Posted: Thu 2nd Apr 2020

Work will begin ‘day and night’ manufacturing more than 10,000 ventilators at Broughton’s AMRC

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Apr 2nd, 2020

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Airbus has teamed up with a number of other manufacturing companies to create a consortium which to help in the country’s fight against COVID-19 by manufacturing more than 10,000 new ventilator units for the NHS.

The consortium is working in partnership with the Welsh Government to create a production facility for ventilators at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre on Chester Road in Broughton.

The production line will be up and running before the Easter weekend.

Due to the urgent need for ventilators, production will take place round the clock with more than 500 employees working shifts – 125 per shift – to ensure they can manufacture, test and distribute units to the front line as quickly as possible.

The VentilatorChallengeUK consortium includes AMRC Cymru anchor tenant Airbus, along with BAE systems, Rolls Royce, GKN Aerospace and Siemens UK among others, who have taken many of their best people from key projects and dedicated significant resources to serve the national need.

The group will harness their collective design, development and manufacturing capabilities to rapidly produce much needed ventilators for the NHS.

They have received an order to produce at least 10,000 units from the UK Government. 

Martin Bolton, Head of Assembly, Wing of Tomorrow, at Airbus said: “Airbus has a crucial role to play in the fight against COVID-19.  

We are part of the VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium focused on accelerating the production of life-saving ventilators in support of the NHS.

Our engineers and technology teams are working flat out to respond to the challenge and I’m proud to be a part of the team.”   

Minister for North Wales Ken Skates has thanks all the businesses involved in the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium “for their brilliance and innovation at this time of crisis.”

He said: “I’m so pleased that Airbus can use the state-of-the-art facilities at AMRC Cymru to help manufacture ventilators and that they are taking part in this important national project to save lives.  When we opened the AMRC Cymru last year we could not have foreseen it would play such a critical role at this time of national emergency.”

[The expectation is that component manufacturing and the assembly of the ventilators will begin next week at Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Broughton where Airbus is the main tenant]

In a letter to local residents, Phil McGraa, Community Relations Manager for Airbus said: 

“Robust social distancing, hygiene and health and safety rules will be adhered to at all times in the facility.

We wanted to let you know about this activity as soon as possible because this will mean an increase in traffic around AMRC Cymru including the delivery of parts and lorries leaving with completed units day and night.

The team will aim to keep noise disruption to a minimum during night time hours.

There will also be an increased security presence around the facility due to the nature of the work.

Furthermore, I am pleased to tell you that Airbus has started a programme of mask donations to NHS in England and Wales.

This will also contribute to the increase in lorry movements on and off site.

These are truly unprecedented times and it is important we all play our part to reduce the spread of the infection but also help where and however we can.

Please stay safe and remember to stay at home where possible to help beat this disease.

Thank you for your understanding and if you have any questions my contact details are at the top of this letter.”

More than 400,000 surgical masks destined for the NHS have been loaded on to trucks at Airbus’ HQ in Toulouse, France, and are en route to the UK.

Airbus has deployed a new air-bridge flight between Europe and China to deliver additional face mask supplies to France, Germany, Spain and United Kingdom health systems in support of the COVID-19 crisis efforts.

In recent days, Airbus had already organised flights from Europe and China with A330-800 and A400M aircraft to donate thousands of face masks to hospitals and public services around Europe.

The cargo is part of a total of 6 million surgical masks that have already been brought to Europe from China using several Airbus test aircraft.

The first UK consignment of face masks – 406,000 surgical masks and about 1,000 FFP2 masks – is due to arrive at Airbus’ Broughton site on Friday.

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