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UK government calls for more ventilators to be manufactured

Commenting on the UK government’s call for more ventilators to be manufactured to tackle the outbreak of coronavirus, Dr Helen Meese, vice chair of the biomedical division of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said: “Ventilation equipment, like all medical devices, is very strictly regulated to ensure patient safety. We must be clear, that while many engineering companies and individuals have come forward to support this initiative, it will take several weeks if not months to ensure the right processes are in place to increase production of these precision parts.

“The quickest way for the UK to do this is for existing specialist manufacturers to share their drawings, specifications and expertise with non-medical manufacturers so they can make the parts to the right quality standards.

“While manufacturing can be ramped up, we must also remember that engineering will play an important role once these parts arrive at the National Health Service (NHS). Clinical engineers will be needed to oversee the process of installing these parts on the wards and even building some of the hand-held ventilators for use by clinical staff.

“The NHS should look at placing senior clinical engineers in charge of co-ordinating the supply chain between device manufacturers and hospitals to ensure consistency and best practice is maintained. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ biomedical engineering division represents over 3,000 engineers from across the healthcare engineering sector, many of whom have the expertise to assist in this process. It is in times of such crisis that engineers consistently play a leading role in ensuring the health and safety of our society.”



The Institute of Cast Metals Engineers is issuing the following plea to supplier networks: 
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is looking for organisations which can offer support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components across the UK as part of the government’s response to COVID-19. They are seeking suppliers with the ability to design, manufacture or supply the following, in addition to those who have/provide medical training or logistics capabilities:

  • Air compressors/pumps
  • Bellows
  • Self-inflating bags
  • Gas mixing valves
  • Solenoid valves
  • Pressure relief valves
  • Check valves/one-way valves
  • Industrial automation components (safety relays, PLCs)
  • Power supplies
  • Electric motors and motor controllers
  • Linear actuators and controllers
  • Tubing and fittings
  • Pressure sensors and indicators
  • Oxygen sensors and indicators
  • Flow sensors and indicators
  • Manometers
  • Heat and moisture exchanging filters (HMEFs)
  • Air filters, HEPA filters

For more details including how suppliers can respond, visit: