in Aerospace

SiG working with VCUK

Posted 17 April 2020 · Add Comment

Sharing in Growth (SiG), which normally supports aerospace and advanced manufacturing suppliers to increase their capability and win more business, is now working with the Ventilator Challenge UK (VCUK) consortium which has formal orders from the Government for in excess of 10,000 ventilator units so far.

Courtesy SiG

Said Sharing in Growth CEO Andy Page: “The SIG community comprises of many highly capable manufacturing companies that have risen to the challenge. They have made parts within hours of receiving drawings and supported each other with material and/or sub tier components when necessary. It is humbling to see what can be done with focus and determination and I am delighted we could use our knowledge of their capability to get them involved quickly.”

SiG has been helping the VCUK consortium with identifying capability and capacity within the SiG beneficiaries to support the manufacture of small mill turn components for the ventilators.

So far, seven SiG beneficiaries have been selected and have begun making components. They are Excel, Hyde, Martin Aerospace, Nasmyth Bulwell, NEMCO, Produmax and SL Engineering. In many cases the companies have had the capability to turn agreed drawings into parts that pass inspection in a matter of hours.

The consortium is producing two types of ventilators. The Penlon Prima ESO2 device, which has been undergoing stringent testing and clinical trials for the last two weeks, has now been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Production ramp up will now accelerate at the Penlon site in Oxfordshire and at the new VCUK production lines built in Broughton, Dagenham, Woking and Maidenhead. Having already commenced deliveries of the Smiths Group’s paraPAC plus devices, VCUK are working closely with supply chain partners to rapidly scale up production to achieve at least 1,500 units a week of the combined Penlon and Smiths models.

Said Dick Elsy CEO of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult and Chair of the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium: “To provide some context, Penlon and Smiths ordinarily have combined capacity for between 50 and 60 ventilators per week. However, thanks to the scale and resources of the wider consortium, we are targeting production of at least 1,500 units a week of the Penlon and Smiths models combined within a matter of weeks. Ventilators are intricate and highly complex pieces of medical equipment and it is vital that we balance the twin imperatives of speed of delivery with the absolute adherence to regulatory standards that is needed to ensure patient safety. I want to take this opportunity to again thank every member of the consortium and the hundreds of dedicated colleagues who have been working day and night to get us to this point.”

SL Engineering based near Grantham volunteered for the challenge which meant assessing, quoting, procuring material and tooling, and setting up 24/7 working shifts all under the challenges of current Covid-19 restrictions. The team then managed to complete full New Product Introduction processes, manufacture and deliver the components within a calendar week from receipt of authority to proceed.

Said joint managing director Shaun Stevenson: “It has been a fantastic team effort to make this happen, with parts ready for despatch including completed subcontract operations and customer approved first article sign off, all achieved in less than one week from receipt of order authorisation! Great effort and great result from Team SL for doing our bit to provide these critical ventilator components to the front line in support of our brilliant NHS.”

For their part, award-winning beneficiary Produmax has implemented split shifts around the clock to produce vital parts at speed from their Baildon site in West Yorkshire. The company will have switched to making ventilator parts on their lathes over the next few weeks, to produce over 60,000 brass, steel and plastic components for the air flow control units of Penlon and Smiths Medical ventilators.

In addition, beneficiaries, such as Amphenol Invotec and Amfax are also supporting other ventilator consortia with components such as PCBs and PCB test equipment. While others, like the Oxley Group have designed and manufactured or repurposed personal protective equipment for the NHS front line, or have increased production in vital areas. These include Gentex, whose products include emergency service respirators, and surface treatment specialists Poeton Industries, whose customers manufacture medical ventilators required for the NHS.

Gentex’s Stranraer plant manufactures the Pureflo 3000 innovative powered air purifying respirator which provides an all-in-one respiratory, head, face, eye and hearing protection. With demand soaring for high-end medical use, Gentex used SiG’s lighthouse cell improvement concept to more than double production on their current assembly line. They then created two more lines, with plenty of space for staff to work at safe distances; mobilised some 60 suppliers to provide 200 parts and raw materials; used their engineering expertise to build new rigs; and trained staff for additional shifts. As a result, they aim to increase production to 750 Pureflo respirators a week – in total more than a seven-fold production rate increase.

The members of Ventilator Challenge UK consortium include Airbus, BAE Systems, Ford, GKN, Inspiration Healthcare, Meggitt, Renishaw, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Thales, Ultra Electronics, Unilever, Formula 1 teams: Haas F1, McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull, Racing Point, Renault and Williams. The project is also being supported by Accenture, Arrow Electronics, Dell Technologies, Microsoft and PTC.

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Latest News

Aerobility launches Armchair Airshow

Scheduled for 20th June and free to view, the Armchair Airshow 2020, organised by disabled flying charity Aerobility, promises live pilot interviews, walk-throughs and never before seen air-display and in-cockpit footage.

Kaman delivers 80,000th F-35 rear fuselage packer to BAE Systems

Kaman UK has delivered its 80,000th rear fuselage packer to BAE Systems for its F-35 manufacturing programme.

Aircraft deliveries hit record low for April

Global aircraft orders and deliveries in April were heavily affected in the crisis caused by the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Thales and Skyports partner on NHS drone delivery trial in Scotland

Thales and Skyports have partnered to conduct a drone delivery trial for the NHS in Scotland, to support the UK's COVID-19 response.

New report explores development of UK UTM

A new report from Connected Places Catapultís explores the steps the UK has taken to be at the forefront of commercial drone development and identifies the steps yet to be taken in order to remain in the global race towards Unmanned Traffic

Atkins and Gama Aviation awarded MARs contracts

Atkins and Gama Aviation Plc have been reappointed to continue delivering Military Airworthiness Reviews (MARs) to the Royal Air Forceís HQ Air Command (HQ Air) and The British Armyís Joint Helicopter Command (JHC).

ODU 0201311219
See us at
SMI favws BT0602040620DVD 2020