Renishaw ramps up production of ventilator components

April 22nd, 2020 9:33 am | by admin

Global engineering company, Renishaw has started mass-producing critical components for medical ventilators, as part of a nationwide effort to support the NHS in the fight against Covid-19. The company has dedicated a significant part of its manufacturing sites in Gloucestershire and South Wales to produce precision-machined components for two different ventilators manufactured by the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium, with production at the sites now running seven days a week. This follows a huge effort from the project, manufacturing engineering and production teams over the last two weeks.

Like many companies across the UK, Renishaw reacted to the UK government’s call to radically increase ventilator production to treat coronavirus patients suffering with respiratory complications. Tens of thousands of these complex machines are needed in just a few weeks.

Marc Saunders, director of group strategic development, who is leading Renishaw’s response, explains: “When the government called, we scrambled to respond and immediately realised the daunting scale of the challenge.  Ventilators are sophisticated medical devices and we felt that our capabilities would be best applied to helping scale up the production of designs with existing technologies. We soon realised that many other industrial companies were thinking the same way and that we would need our combined capacity and capabilities to achieve this enormous endeavour.”

Within a few days, Renishaw joined with leading companies in the aerospace, automotive, medical devices and motorsport sectors to form the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium, under the leadership of Dick Elsy, CEO of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.  This diverse team is working non-stop to boost production of two proven ventilators, selected by the NHS and manufactured in the UK by Penlon and Smiths Medical.

Dick Elsy explains: “Penlon and Smiths ordinarily have combined capacity of between 50 and 60 ventilators per week. However, thanks to the scale and resources of the wider consortium, we are targeting production of at least 1,500 units a week of the Penlon and Smiths models combined within a matter of weeks. Ventilators are intricate and highly complex pieces of medical equipment and it is vital that we balance the twin imperatives of speed of delivery with the absolute adherence to regulatory standards that is needed to ensure patient safety.”

Within this context, Renishaw’s manufacturing activities form part of a complex network of suppliers that the consortium is coordinating, many of whom, like Renishaw, are making ventilator components for the first time. Mass-production of ventilators, each of which comprises hundreds of diverse components, requires millions of parts to come together for assembly, a huge logistical operation.

“To prepare for the important work that we are undertaking, both for the ventilator project and our global customers in critical supply chains, we temporarily closed our UK manufacturing facilities last week to introduce additional measures to protect the welfare of our employees”, explains Gareth Hankins, director of group manufacturing services at Renishaw.

“We have reorganised our factories to increase spacing, as well as zoning areas to restrict movement around the sites. Hygiene regimes have also been enhanced to minimise the potential risk of the spread of infection. Our staff have responded magnificently to this challenging situation and it is wonderful to see the factories back up and running and for us to be playing our part in the national Ventilator Challenge.”

Marc Saunders reflects: “It has been an extraordinary few weeks, with so many companies from different fields aligning on a single goal and pulling together so effectively and so quickly.  The VentilatorChallengeUK consortium is working together with incredible determination and energy to scale up production of much-needed ventilators and combat a virus that is affecting people around the world.

“The consortium’s key message is that ‘Every ventilator produced is a life saved’ and Renishaw is proud to be playing its part in this vital endeavour.”

UK-based Renishaw is a world leading engineering technologies company, supplying products used for applications as diverse as jet engine and wind turbine manufacture, through to dentistry and brain surgery. It has over 4,500 employees located in the 36 countries where it has wholly owned subsidiary operations.

For the year ended June 2019 Renishaw recorded sales of £574 million of which 94 percent was due to exports. The company’s largest markets are the USA, China, Japan and Germany.

Throughout its history, Renishaw has made a significant commitment to research and development, with historically between 13 and 18 percent of annual sales invested in R&D and engineering. The majority of this R&D and manufacturing of the company’s products is carried out in the UK.

The company’s success has been recognised with numerous international awards, including eighteen Queen’s Awards recognising achievements in technology, export and innovation.

Renishaw plc
Tel: 01453 524524
Email: uk@renishaw.com
www.renishaw.com

Renishaw reflects on 50 years of British innovation

July 18th, 2019 3:54 pm | by admin

In 2019, engineering companies throughout the UK are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the prestigious MacRobert Award, the country’s longest running prize for engineering innovation. As a previous winner, Renishaw is celebrating the success of others in the industry as well as reflecting on its own engineering innovations which continue to shape the world around us.

The MacRobert Award, which is presented and run by the Royal Academy of Engineering, with support from the Worshipful Company of Engineers, recognises step-change innovations that transform their sectors and create jobs and growth.

Throughout the years, the MacRobert prize has been awarded to some of Britain’s biggest and best-known engineering companies, honouring the winning organisation with a gold medal as well as a cash prize of £50,000. As well as Renishaw, past winners have included the engineers behind innovations such as the Pegasus jet engine, catalytic converters and intelligent prosthetic limbs.

The presentation of the Award recognises outstanding innovation, tangible societal benefit and proven commercial success. Renishaw was awarded this accolade in 1987 for the design and exploitation of its metrology probes. The company, which has recently celebrated its 45th birthday, is continuing to innovate decades after winning the prestigious award and has expanded out of its award-winning core metrology business to drive innovation in other sectors.

One notable project is the manufacture of a device for North Bristol NHS Trust that was used in a ground-breaking clinical trial. The device enabled the precise delivery of a new drug candidate, Glial Cell Line Derived Neurotrophic Factor (GDNF) with the hope of regenerating dying dopamine brain cells in people with Parkinson’s and thereby improve their symptoms.

“Over 30 years ago when Renishaw was a much smaller business, the MacRobert Award recognised the importance of our breakthrough technologies and their global impact on society,” explains William Lee, chief executive of Renishaw. “Since 1987 we have sustained our culture of innovation through long-term investments in research and development and a relentless focus on identifying the true needs of our customers.

“Today, our products and people continue to transform lives around the world by advancing the development of diverse products, from solar panels to medical implants, and by addressing real-world problems such as energy generation and degenerative diseases.”

As well as its commitment to innovation, Renishaw has broadened its social outreach to schools, partners and universities. This programme aims to educate young people about the world of engineering, additive manufacturing and precision machining and inspire them to consider science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) careers.

For more information, visit www.renishaw.com.

UK-based Renishaw is a world leading engineering technologies company, supplying products used for applications as diverse as jet engine and wind turbine manufacture, through to dentistry and brain surgery. It has over 4,500 employees located in the 36 countries where it has wholly owned subsidiary operations.

For the year ended June 2018 Renishaw recorded sales of £611.5 million of which 95 percent was due to exports. The company’s largest markets are China, the USA, Germany and Japan.

Throughout its history, Renishaw has made a significant commitment to research and development, with historically between 13 and 18 percent of annual sales invested in R&D and engineering. The majority of the R&D and manufacturing of the company’s products is carried out in the UK. The company’s success has been recognised with numerous international awards, including eighteen Queen’s Awards recognising achievements in technology, export and innovation.

Renishaw plc
Tel: 01453 524524
Email: uk@renishaw.com
www.renishaw.com