Posted: Tue 7th Apr 2020

Fighting the battle against coronavirus – engineers install ventilator production line at AMRC Broughton

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Apr 7th, 2020

Work is well underway at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC Cymru) in Broughton creating a production facility for life-saving ventilators.

Airbus has teamed up with a number of other manufacturing companies to create the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium which will help in the country’s fight against COVID-19.

The group is harnessing their collective design, development and manufacturing capabilities to rapidly building 10,000 new ventilator units for the NHS.

The production line was installed over the weekend by Siemens UK and Airbus at the state-of-the-art R&D Centre on Chester Road in Broughton. 

A video posted on social media by AMRC shows part of the new production facility where hundreds of workers will begin making ventilators later this week.

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.

To enable the rapid acceleration of production of ventilator, futuristic HoloLens headsets will be used to fast track the training of operatives, while allowing them to keep a safe distance from one another in line with Covid-19 guidance.

Microsoft tasked AMRC’s Head of Digital, Professor Rab Scott with coordinating their deployment across the country in the response to the government’s Ventilator Challenge.

[The Microsoft HoloLens is demonstrated by the AMRC’s Sean Wilson]

The high-tech equipment – initially designed for use in gaming –- will be delivered with additional software provided by an AMRC partner, the US-based global augmented reality specialist PTC.

“HoloLens and mobile devices will run PTC’s Vuforia Expert Capture app to create and share training content, giving workers guided instructions in how to set up the new production processes needed to make the ventilators.

In addition, Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Remote Assist will offer hands-free video calling on the HoloLens to let operators collaborate with experts on a PC or mobile device, harnessing immersive digital tech to tackle a real-world pandemic,” said Professor Scott.

Rather than putting wearers of the headset in a fully computer-generated world, as virtual reality does, HoloLens allows users to place 3D digital models in the room alongside them; users can walk around the objects they create and interact with them using gestures, gaze and voice.

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.

 

 

 

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