Industrial steam specialist, Spirax Sarco Limited, headquartered in Gloucestershire, has begun machining a critical component part for use in the UCL-Ventura breathing aid, a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device that is being used to provide potentially life-saving oxygen to patients affected by COVID-19.
Spirax Sarco responded to an urgent enquiry from Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains, who are working in conjunction with University College London, asking if the company could produce the component at its manufacturing plant in Cheltenham. The part is a special design quick-fit connector that helps to safely manage the flow of oxygen, ensuring that as many patients as possible can receive the vital supply they need.
In less than a week Spirax Sarco completed a technical evaluation, wrote the programs required to manufacture the part, produced the first samples, had the samples reviewed and approved, and commenced around-the-clock production, until the order was fulfilled. Spirax Sarco employees volunteered to run the machines continuously over the Easter break and completed the initial order on Sunday evening, ahead of Tuesday morning’s deadline.
Spirax Sarco began by producing 300 parts every 24 hours but quickly increased this to 450 parts. Collections from the factory were happening every few hours to ensure there was no delay to the assembly and shipment of the completed devices.
We are proud to be able to offer our skills and resources to support the nation’s fight against COVID-19. In addition to responding to this specific need, we also continue to meet the critical demand of many of our customers who are also playing a vital role in responding to this virus, from hospitals, to pharmaceutical companies to food manufacturers.Greg Godfrey-Williams, UK Supply Director
Greg Godfrey-Williams, UK Supply Director at Spirax Sarco commented “We are proud to be able to offer our skills and resources to support the nation’s fight against COVID-19. In addition to responding to this specific need, we also continue to meet the critical demand of many of our customers who are also playing a vital role in responding to this virus, from hospitals, to pharmaceutical companies to food manufacturers.”
The first 100 components shipped from Spirax Sarco on Wednesday night at 10:00pm and by Thursday morning the first completed CPAP devices had been inspected, built, tested and prepared for shipment to the NHS UK.
Spirax Sarco Limited is part of Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc, a world-leading thermal energy management and niche pumping group. Other parts of the Group have been doing what they can to support the fight against the virus too. Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group, based in Cornwall, which supplies pumps and fluid path products that are used extensively in the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and medical diagnostic industries, has put its 3D printers to work, producing components for face shields that are being sent to GP surgeries and hospitals throughout Cornwall to help prevent the spread of the virus.