Diamedica in Barnstable, Devon, contract manufacturer Plexus, defence contractor Babcock and health giant Smith + Nephew have all announced plans with the UK government to supply critical care ventilator systems to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
The announcements come as the first portable non-invasive ventilator units are shipped from Smiths Medical (above, being tested), although initial volumes are of course low. This is part of the UK Ventilator Consortium programme that is also making an invasive system from Penlon.
The new announcements indicate that volume production from existing partners (including Dyson with it’s Covent design by TTP in Cambridge) will not be in time to meet the peak need for Covid-19 patients in the next two to three weeks. Distributor Anglia is tracking component demand for many of these production ramps, while 3D printing specialist Renishaw in Gloucestershire says the UK Ventilator consortium will be producing 1000 ventilators a week but by the end of April.
Diamedica’s ventilator designs were shared with the Cabinet Office team leading the challenge, who have been able to match the plans with specialist manufacturers who are able to start ramping up production quickly, and at scale.
Diamedica is providing consulting services to the matched specialist manufacturers who are contracted to produce ventilators. “We are exceptionally proud to be a part of the effort to deliver ventilators for the NHS. Our product is already the leader within emerging markets and has now been selected to support the UK’s fight against COVID-19. I want to thank our team here at Diamedica for their dedication and efforts thus far, and all the manufacturing partners who are critical to this effort,” said Robert Neighbour, Managing Director.
Plexus will be manufacturing ventilators at its plant in Kelso, Scotland. “We are proud to be a part of this opportunity to produce a substantial number