C&W manufacturers rising to the challenge
“We put out a plea to provide goggles and protective screens on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and we received over 1,500 responses in 24 hours."
Coventry and Warwickshire manufacturers are ready to answer the call to support the Government’s drive to make new ventilators to help in the fight against Coronavirus.
The Government is looking for businesses who can support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components and also for businesses specialising in design, rapid prototyping, contract or product assembly, certification/regulation/testing, logistics and medical training.
Nearly 30 companies swiftly contacted the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub following the appeal and among them were Brown & Hawthorne Engineering and Sarginsons Industries.
Vicki Walls, managing director of Brown & Hawthorne Engineering in Spitfire Close, Coventry, led a management buyout alongside Troy Poole three years ago after they both joined the company as 17-year-olds. The business manufacture parts for the motor industry with its CNC, 3D, 5 Axis and grinding machines for its customers including Mercedes, Ricardo and AP Racing.
She said: “We have the facilities and our skills are transferrable to make ventilators for the NHS and I think in these difficult times, everyone should come together.
“We have produced medical parts in the past for Molins who make the machines that put the powder into capsules so we are familiar with the industry.
“All the processes in the motor and medical industries are the same, it is just a different shaped product which is being manufactured, so it is not a problem to switch. The only difference will be the stringent health and safety measures which we’re happy to accommodate.
“We have 12 staff and we’re following the Government’s guidelines by keeping apart and staggering breaks so we’re being as safety conscious as possible.”
Gavin Shipley, Sarginsons Technology Centre Manager of Sarginsons Industries based in Torrington Avenue, said: “If the ventilators require aluminium cast and machined housings, bases or support brackets, we would like to support with rapidly supplied sandcast components.
“We have supplied safety critical components to the oil and gas industry and also have experience with the medical sector. We could move very quickly on this.
“In terms of the pattern tooling for the parts, we believe we could get those very quickly from another supplier in Warwickshire, which would help to speed up the process.
“We are very keen to support this effort and have given the CWLEP Growth Hub information on our expertise and capacity to help if we can.”
Craig Humphrey, managing director of the CWLEP Growth Hub, said the response to the appeal from businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire had been staggering.
He said: “The response has been fantastic and we thank all the manufacturers in Coventry and Warwickshire for their offers of help. We are co-ordinating this with manufacturers’ organisation Make UK to pass on this vital information to the Government.
There is an ongoing need for Personal Protective Equipment for our key workers in health and social care as, in the short term, the availability of these products is outstripped by the current spike in demand. If any businesses are able help with supplies PPE locally until such a time that the availability to our social care and health personnel increases, we would be very interested to hear from you.
Specifically, we are looking for supplies of:
· Fluid repellent surgical masks (type IIR)
· FFP2 masks
· Goggles/visors/safety spectacles
· Antibacterial hand gel (> 60% alcohol)
· Aprons and gloves If you are able to assist please contact us at: CV19PPE@warwickshire.gov.uk.