Companies throughout Britain and those which form part of the process industry supply chain have donated manufacturing capacity, expertise and finance towards the international campaign to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
Thousands of firms have taken part already, with more enlisting every day. Among the volunteers to date are the following:
Engineers and scientists in Leeds have developed a way to turn a sleep?apnoea?machine into a ventilator to treat people with Covid-19.??
The modification came from collaboration between clinical staff, engineers and physicists at Leeds Teaching?Hospitals Trust (LTHT) and academics and technologists at the University of Leeds.???
With thousands of similar devices across the NHS, their rapid modification has the potential to significantly increase the respiratory support available to very ill patients across the country.??There are around 100 in Leeds?hospitals.?
Modification involves changes to the device’s settings and reconfiguring the supply of oxygen so it flows to the face mask worn by the patient. The machine operates in a mode called CPAP: constant positive airway pressure.? That means the pressure inside the mask is slightly raised, keeping the patient’s airway open and making it easier for them to breathe.???
It provides enriched oxygen of between 40 to 60 percent and because it is a modification to a device, it does not have to go through a full regulatory approval process.??
Professor Nikil Kapur, who led the University team, said:?“The collaboration showed how the University of Leeds was able to support colleagues at LTHT who had brilliant ideas but insufficient time to investigate them because they were having to prepare their?hospitals?to deal with the unfolding pandemic.”??
Grundfos marked its 75th Anniversary Year with the Poul Due Jensen Foundation (the Grundfos Foundation) announcing it would expand its normal £16 million donation level and remit, to £25million, allowing it to pledge some £9 million specifically to support research into COVID-19.
Siemens UK and Siemens Healthineers are part of the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium, alongside businesses from the automotive, aerospace and technology sectors to respond to this urgent challenge.
Managing director of the Siemens Healthineers Sudbury business Ali Burns – project managing for Siemens UK and Siemens Healthineers – said: “Siemens does not manufacture ventilator products itself, but as a company we have expertise in healthcare manufacturing and manufacturing productivity technology which will, alongside the efforts of the other consortium members, help the companies who do make these products to massively ramp up the production to meet the levels required.”
Siemens is providing expert assistance to the consortium in medical device manufacture under the standards to MHRA guidelines, mainly through the team at Siemens Healthineers facility in Sudbury. This is being carried out in addition to, and without disruption to, existing demand for blood gas analyser products which are also massively in demand and a crucial part of the fight against Covid-19.
FLIR is prioritising shipments of its new FLIR A400- and A700-Series fixed-mounted, smart camera solutions for industrial monitoring solely for those responding to COVID-19, because the Advanced Smart Sensor configuration can be used as part of an elevated skin temperature screening process, as an adjunct to other screening technologies.
ABB is accelerating its remote services tools to ensure production can keep running, and operators/business can safeguard reliability and availability of essential services, whilst keeping their employees safe. Said Peter Terwiesch, president, Industrial Automation, ABB. “Remote services and digital solutions can make a major contribution to keep people safe, production running, and critical supply chains and economic livelihood preserved.”
Porvair has adapted some key manufacturing processes to combat Covid-19. Its Segensworth division has been selected to support British carmakers’ consortium Project Oyster’s task of building 10,000 ventilators. supplying flat discs to be used as air filters. The Wrexham division is manufacturing filter components for organisations building breathing apparatus and also undertaking a rapid development project to use existing DNA extraction products and use the technology to design and manufacture RNA extraction kits.
Porvair is also supplying chromatography bed supports and pharmaceutical grade water to pharmaceutical customers whose production is increasing. Sister company Seal Analytical is providing water quality testing kits and general industrial filters to pharmaceutical and chemical reagent customers.
University of Sheffield engineers are 3D printing face shields for doctors and healthcare workers. Led by Dr Pete Mylon from the University’s Faculty of Engineering, is utilising the world class engineering facilities in the University’s Diamond building to rapidly manufacture face shields for frontline NHS staff working in hospitals and healthcare practices.
Following a national call for help made by the 3DCrowd UK initiative, started by a small group of makers last week with the aim of providing PPE to healthcare workers using 3D printing, Dr Mylon got to work by assembling an interdisciplinary team of engineers with a range of different specialisms.
The team has developed a manufacturing process that allows them to maintain social distancing. All materials entering the building are cleaned and the completed face shields are disinfected prior to shipping.
Schaeffler AG and the Schaeffler family are jointly donating one million euros to the Red Cross to help in the fight against COVID-19
Plexus will be manufacturing and delivering ventilators to the National Health Service (NHS) to assist in the treatment of COVID-19 patients. These ventilators will be produced in Plexus’ facility located in Kelso, Scotland.
Bristol based Apex Pumps, recently received a request from a well-known chemical company for an ATEX certified pump, required to handle ethanol, a key component in hand sanitizer.
The requirement was to help increase production of hand sanitizer for use across the NHS and the wider UK market. The pump set was delivered within 5 days, having been designed and built at the company’s production facility in the UK.
Apex is now fast tracking production of any pumps destined for the NHS or for any processes related to the worldwide fight against COVID 19.
Specialty chemical company Clariant has started monthly production of 2 million litres of disinfectant at its facilities in Gendorf, Germany – nerly two-thirds of the monthly target demand for the local region to aid hospitals and other vital institutions currently facing limited availability.
Recipharm is to test Erdosteine as an add-on treatment for COVID-19 patients. The clinical study, is being conducted in clinical centres actively involved in COVID-19 treatment in Milan and Bergamo in Lombardy, the Italian region most affected by the virus. The study, which involves around 100 patients affected by COVID-19 and discharged from hospitals, is evaluating if Erdosteine improves respiratory symptoms (dyspnea, cough, asthenia) and reduces the time to reach a negative test result for SARS-CoV-2. First results from the study are expected in two months.
Flare mitigation startup Crusoe Energy Systems has found a new way to leverage its DFM technology, which converts flared natural gas into electricity to power modular cloud computing systems on-site. The company has donated its computing power to Stanford University's crowd-sourced computing laboratory that models proteins with potential therapeutic value in an effort to help find coronavirus antibodies.
Hoppecke UK is advising firms to prolong battery life to avoid demand on restricted supplies needed elsewhere by taking the following steps:
Make sure that batteries, including any spares that are in use, are fully charged
- Once charged, top up batteries with deionised or distilled water to the correct level
- If a battery is left on a truck and not connected to a charger, disconnect the forklift DC plug from the truck
- Batteries connected to chargers can be left on charge - it is not necessary to switch off chargers once the charge is complete
- Ensure the mains electricity supply to chargers is maintained
- Any truck with a fully charged battery must not be used
- Any auxiliary equipment connected to the battery or truck must be switched off or disconnected - remove the plug to stop the battery from discharging and avoid sulphation
- If a battery is not left on a truck or connected to a charger, it should be reconnected and undergo a refreshing charge every 3 months
- The electrolyte level of all batteries, including those which have had a refresh charge, should be checked after 3 months