A task force set up to address supply chain issues in building medical equipment in the UK and Ireland for the Covid outbreak is seeing a shift in component supply.
The Task Force, set up by distributor Anglia Components, already works with contract manufacturers making medical equipment and is helping engineers move new designs into volume production and adapt existing designs.
“At this stage we are not seeing problems with shipments,” said marketing director John Bowman who leads the task Force. This is backed up by companies such as Analog Devices and XP Power prioritising supply to customers making ventilators and other medical equipment. However all are seeing potential issues in the next two weeks.
Established manufacturers and consortia in the UK and Ireland are expecting to make over 30,000 ventilators in the next four weeks, and Bowman says there is potential for this to happen.
“I believe from the activities over the last two weeks, where competitors are becoming collaborators, I would set an expectation that that work has to happen. Will it happen? That’s one of the big questions and we are doing everything we can on designs and modifications and the scaling up of existing manufacturers, and everyone doing their bit gives me much more confidence that it will happen.”
“We see three distinct categories of activities in the ventilator drive for medical power supplies, battery packs and sensor heads,” he said. “We have the established intensive care ventilator manufacturers that are scaling up production and licensing production rights to other organisations and many of those are our customers already through contract manufacturers, and we are making sure the right quantities are going to the right place,” he said. “The next categories are for neonatal, veterinary, anaesthetic ventilators being adapted and our engineers are helping them with those adaptions.”