How Detection is helping Medical meet the ‘ventilator challenge’
The Covid crisis is an unprecedented event in modern history. In response, Smiths Group is playing a central role in the UK government’s “ventilator challenge”, in which a consortium of manufacturers will make more than 10,000 hospital-ready ventilators. To meet this crucial commitment, a team of volunteers from Smith Detection’s Hemel Hempstead facility is now helping at the Smiths Medical facility in Luton, where the paraPAC Plus ™ ventilator is produced.
“It’s an honour to be part of a project that is helping so many people,” says Chris Edmunds, a manufacturing engineer at Hemel, who gives two reasons for volunteering to be part of this project: “I wanted to do my part towards fighting a pandemic and be involved in something to help others as well as to see how other parts of Smiths operate.”
“It’s an honour to be part of a project that is helping so many people.”
Ventilator volunteer Chris adds that the team at Medical have made all the Detection staff feel welcome and “they helped us through learning the product and provide very good support when we have questions about the build.”
In recognition of Smiths Detection’s track-record and management capability in developing and producing technology, Matt Clark – VP Technology at Detection – has been seconded to Smiths Medical for at least four weeks to set up and lead the team as it steps up production of these critical devices.
Part of this includes creating new supply chains to source the needed components of the ventilator and establishing new sites with new partners to produce the ventilators whilst ensuring they meet regulatory requirements.
“The last few weeks have really shown the ability of a company like Smiths, with a number of divisions who make different solutions, to be able to make a difference because of its scale and its ability to call people to action quickly,” says Matt. “It also shows our ability to work alongside companies in order to achieve a common goal.”
“The last few weeks have really shown the ability of a company like Smiths, with a number of divisions who make different solutions, to be able to make a difference because of its scale and its ability to call people to action quickly.”
While Smiths Medical and Smiths Detection normally act as separate entities, “this is proof that, the divisions are able to work effectively together,” he notes. “We can support each other to address a desperate need of the community.”
He adds that there has been an “overwhelming eagerness” from staff to be able to contribute to this ventilator programme: “It is clear that where a need arises to work across the divisions, we can manage it – our people can apply their transferrable skills across the divisions.”
While Matt is leading this essential work, Ed Gibbs, Director of Technology and site leader at Hemel, is acting as the coordination point for the Technology team.
“This is a truly global effort from Smiths Group, with multiple divisions supporting the manufacture of both our own and other ventilator models,” says Smiths Detection president Roland Carter. “I am deeply grateful to Matt, Ed and the team in Hemel for their assistance in helping to support the UK government and playing a role in saving as many lives as possible.”