Engineering services giant Babcock International Group is spearheading an effort to produce 10,000 ventilators for the NHS in response to the UK government’s request for help during the Covid-19 crisis.
As well as working on a brand-new prototype, a team of Babcock engineers and specialists have set up a supply chain solution from scratch and enlisted a number of UK manufacturers to help with the assembly and production.
Babcock is also partnering with a leading medical equipment company – which it is not currently naming – in the production of the so-called Zephyr Plus ventilators, which will use tried and tested medical components.
In a statement, Jon Hall, Managing Director of Technology for Babcock, said: “The team is working flat out to get the first of the Zephyr Plus ventilators off the production lines as a matter of urgency. We are designing, testing and manufacturing a brand new product but we are also designing and managing the entire supply chain to support its delivery from scratch.
“To do both in parallel demonstrates the commitment and innovation of everyone involved. It also highlights the incredible support Babcock has had from the suppliers with whom we are collaborating.
“I’m really proud of what we have done, and what we are achieving in the race against time to help deliver critical equipment to the NHS.”
The company said its expertise in Design for Manufacture (DfM) is a key element helping to drive efficiencies in time and resources to enable the ventilators to be produced at scale and quickly. The team are also working directly with suppliers on capacity and capability matters.
To enhance the resilience of the supply chain solution, the Babcock team devised multiple assembly streams, which can respond at speed and with flexibility using suppliers from the across the UK including Armstrong Medical, Kohler Mira, Raytheon UK and Sovrin.