AIRBUS and Siemens are winding down production of the ventilator parts they have been producing for the NHS after answering the UK Government’s call to join the fight against coronavirus.

Working as part of the Ventilator Challenge UK consortium, which brought together some of the world’s most innovative industrial, technology and engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors, the teams worked around the clock to help produce more than 10,000 ventilators in just 14 weeks.

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In a matter of days, Airbus, Siemens and AMRC colleagues rapidly transformed the Welsh Government-owned AMRC Cymru facility in Broughton from a research and development centre into an assembly line to produce medical ventilators on an unprecedented scale.

At the height of production - following approval by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - the teams helped build up to 1,500 Penlon Prima ESO2 ventilators each week; equivalent to six months’ normal UK ventilator production in just one day.

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Ken Skates MS, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, said: “We’re incredibly proud of how the AMRC Cymru facility played its part in the national effort to fight Covid-19. We should learn from this fantastic collaborative effort to explore new opportunities in the future.”

Simon Hart, Secretary of State for Wales, added: “We are extremely grateful to the Ventilator Challenge UK consortium, involving some of the UK’s most iconic businesses, for stepping forward to work with government and meet the unprecedented challenge created by the pandemic. The fight against coronavirus is a collective national effort and the production of hospital ventilators for the NHS has made a real difference.”

The mechanical breathing devices - an update on an existing Penlon model - supply air and oxygen to patients who suffer lung failure as a result of contracting coronavirus and have no doubt saved countless lives.

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Paul McKinlay, Airbus Senior Vice President, said: “Ventilator Challenge UK has shown what is possible when highly effective manufacturing and engineering teams collaborate around a common goal. I couldn't be more proud of our Airbus employees - more used to building aircraft wings than medical devices - who have worked around the clock with Siemens, McLaren, Ford, STI and Penlon colleagues to produce these life-saving ventilators in just 14 weeks.”

Brian Holliday, Managing Director, Digital Industries, Siemens UK and Ireland, added: “We have learned so much together through the ventilator challenge, chiefly the power of collaboration, engagement and meritocracy. We also made huge progress applying digital tools that took us further, faster when it mattered, and I know consortium members will be keen to carry lessons and build skills from this experience into the future.”