Case Study: Ventilator Challenge UK

During the Spring of 2020, it became apparent that there was a much greater demand for ventilators than what was currently available in the UK. The COVID-19 crisis put a huge amount of strain on the NHS, and private companies wondered what they could do to help. That’s when Ventilator Challenge UK was founded. Working in close collaboration with the Cabinet Office and NHS England; businesses all over the UK, from several different sectors, used their skills and resources to manufacture ventilators to see the country through the pandemic.

The challenge

The ‘challenge’ itself was simple enough in its aim: manufacture ventilators so that the NHS could meet the anticipated demand. We were contacted by Ventilator Challenge UK in March 2020, just when COVID-19 was starting to put a real strain on the health service. We were asked if we would be able to provide sheet metal components to use in new ventilators in the fight against Coronavirus. The quantities that were needed seemed overwhelming at first – would we be able to manufacture thousands of items?

In addition to Ventilator Challenge UK, we were also being faced with rising demand from our existing customers in the medical sector. The sentiment was the same from everyone: ‘This is to protect the NHS’. Well, how could we not get behind that? From that point onwards, the real work began.

The solution

We started by getting the team together and informing them of the challenge that lay ahead. Once everyone was in the loop, we started producing the parts that were needed. Thanks to the dedication shown by our team and our first-class facilities, we were able to start delivering parts on a daily basis within just a few days. We increased our daily throughput by 25% – something we had never anticipated doing before. In these unprecedented times, we rose to the challenge. After all, we knew that so many people were counting on us. Every single part we manufactured could have the power to save a life. It was a responsibility we didn’t – and still don’t – take lightly.

We were able to maintain a strong output rate for a number of months after we sent those first parts out. Eventually, our role in this challenge came to an end. We fulfilled all of our obligations and delivered orders on time, every time. The challenge, along with all the other orders we had from our other customers in the medical field, took up all of our manufacturing capacity for months. It was a time like no other, that’s for sure. It’s not often that you can say that you lived through a historic event – let alone step up to the plate and play an active part in!

Get in touch with LL Potters

Working to meet the demands of the ventilator challenge made us much stronger as a team, and we moved on to new projects with real vigour and a desire to innovate. If you want to find out more about how we could help you, then please get in touch today.

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