The ‘Ventilator Challenge’ aims to support the UK Government’s request to ramp up the manufacture of ventilators.

The ‘Ventilator Challenge’ aims to support the UK Government’s request to ramp up the manufacture of ventilators.

Read how Desoutter, Siemens, the AMRC and Airbus rose to the ‘Ventilator Challenge’ to support the UK Government’s request to ramp up the manufacture of ventilators’

In response to the Government’s request for UK manufacturers to meet the challenge of rapidly scaling production of Ventilator devices, the Siemens UK team joined the Ventilator Challenge UK consortium. The team were faced with the challenge of helping Penlon to upscale manufacture of its Prima ESO2 ventilator and assembling engineering experts from within the Siemens UK business.

The team of manufacturing engineers assessed the challenge of developing an ‘industrialised’ assembly strategy for the Penlon ventilator device, in order to meet the demand of manufacturing a combined quantity of 15,000. The challenge became apparent when the established Penlon business currently manufacturers around 60 units per week with a fulltime dedicated team of manufacturing experts. Challenged with the delivery of a complete manufacturing strategy, it became apparent to the engineers that there was a clear requirement for Industrial Assembly Tooling.

The devised solution included delivering several manufacturing lines, with industrial assembly tools, that were not only accurate, but needed to be easy to use. The equipment also needed to be portable and suitable to run in a continuous 24/7 environment. Desoutter UK was contacted by the manufacturing engineers, to help solve the industrialisation challenge. After initial contact and briefing of the challenge, the Desoutter colleagues supplied a proposal and continued to secure the supply chain and manufacturing capacity with the Desoutter Vice President within mere hours. This quick response and clarification of availability secured the partnership with the Siemens UK engineers, and so began the onboarding of Desoutter to the Ventilator Challenge UK.

Desoutter’s challenge was to manufacture and deliver 35 ELS2.5 tools, 70 batteries, 8 CVIR’s, 8 ERS tools and all manner of accessories to the AMRC site, in a matter of days. After not only rearranging the manufacturing facilities production schedule and expediting the supply chain, the tools where delivered to site within 3 working days. While the Desoutter service and sales colleagues rose to the challenge of both commissioning the equipment and training the AMRC colleagues.


While delivering this project milestone, the Ventilator Challenge UK, not only required another delivery of additional tools in a short timeline but also required the support of the Desoutter team to complete an in-depth joint analysis of critical joints within a new sub-assembly challenge. The Desoutter team, again rose to the challenge and alongside the Penlon and Siemens teams a complete analysis of the sub-assembly was completed within a matter of hours. This fast analysis resulted in a complete solution being devised with operator guidance in mind and 10 complete CVI systems, inclusive of a bit tray program selection being procured, delivered and commissioned within a matter of days.

The quick delivery of all the solutions and ongoing support from all of the Desoutter colleagues not only resulted in the new AMRC production facility being able to manufacture the newly developed Penlon Prima ES02 device at an increased production rate but helped secure the MHRA’s approval of the newly manufactured, modified ventilators. Without the support of Desoutter being able to overcome the challenges of materials, resources, multinational government restrictions the world faces under the COVID-19 pandemic, the Penlon Prima ES02 ventilator challenge at the AMRC site, would have been a very different story.

The commitment and support of Desoutter UK, during the delivery of the Penlon Prima ES02 ventilator challenge has shown the power of manufacturing within the UK and the superhuman efforts of the Ventilator Consortium UK teams working under the difficult COVID-19 conditions.


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