Dedicated to improving manufacturing efficiency

A thank you to the engineering industry - Highlighting some of the companies helping in the fight against COVID-19

The response from the engineering industry to help in the fight against COVID-19 has been overwhelming. Companies from all sectors have stepped up to produce everything from ventilators and face masks to hand gels and more. Here, Jeremy Whittingham, head of community and content at Advanced Engineering UK, highlights some of the generosity shown across the industry.  

In the last stanza of Rudyard Kipling’s poem If, he writes, “If you can fill the unforgiving minute / With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, / Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it." There is no doubt that the COVID-19 crisis has been unforgiving and unrelenting. At the same time, however, it has also shown the compassion and generosity of engineering and manufacturing businesses and individuals in equal measure.

In factories, kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms across the world, those with the means and the equipment, no matter how small, have been 3D printing, assembling and delivering PPE and other essential supplies to hospitals, care homes and frontline staff, around the clock.

Worcestershire based Central Scanning began 3D printing 500 face visors at the end of March 2020, the first batch of which went to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. When production quickly fell short of demand, the company purchased an injection moulding machine to produce in excess of 4,000 parts a day. This included the production of valve adaptors for use on hospital equipment used in the fight against COVID-19.

Essex based CNC machine manufacturer Blackman & White used the spare capacity in its demo room in Maldon to make face visors. The 28–strong company explained that its, “Orion and Genesis V machines can use dual motion control, state-of-the-art routers and laser capabilities to produce 300 units every day”.

Further afield, Berlin based Leica Microsystems donated an advanced microscopy system to the Charité Institute of Virology in Berlin. The THUNDER 3D Live Cell imaging system will be used by scientists to deliver faster results and make the analysis of images easier, uncovering more information about the structural detail of the studied cells. 

This is part of the research group’s aim to “develop clinical strategies to treat the disease, by investigating how the virus enters cells, what exactly happens when human respiratory cells are infected, and how antiviral drug candidates would work”.

For those that want to help but lack the means to make PPE, a company called 3D Hubs can help. The global platform for distributed manufacturing explains, “If you are an engineer designing parts for COVID-19 related projects, but lacking the funds and production facilities to manufacture the parts, we invite you to apply to the COVID-19 Manufacturing Fund.

“If your project is accepted, we’ll ensure you receive the money, access to our global manufacturing network, as well as expert DfM feedback on your designs.”

Not only do these examples highlight the level of engineering excellence in the sector, they also show just how the community has pulled together in this difficult time. From everyone at Advanced Engineering UK, thank you.

These and other companies will be exhibiting in one of six show zones at Advanced Engineering UK, the UK’s largest annual gathering of OEMs and engineering supply chain professionals, from November 4-5, 2020 at the NEC in Birmingham. Find out more at www.advancedengineeringuk.com.

Related Articles

Analog Devices contributes to global fight against COVID-19

Partners with international advocacy organisation Global Citizen on a televised and streamed special “One World: Together At…

DHL supports the NHS fight against COVID-19

DHL Supply Chain is working alongside the NHS to deliver vital support services in the healthcare battle against COVID-19. The company has…

Essity supports the fight against COVID-19

Essity, manufacturer of the Tork range of hygiene products, is dedicated to delivering urgent supplies and helping to protect the…

Free R&D tax advice for companies who are switching production to fight Covid-19

As a number of companies across the UK switch manufacturing processes to join the fight against Covid-19, a leading R&D tax specialist…

Brown and Hawthorne join the fight against COVID-19 with Trim E905

Brown and Hawthorne Engineering Ltd, a subcontract CNC machinist based in Coventry in West Midlands, have started making tooling parts to…

Engineering industry supplier adapts to meet Covid-19 demand

Since the emergence of COVID-19 and the UK’s public health countermeasures, many industry suppliers have seen demand for some…