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Spirax Sarco answers SOS to produce breathing aids

One of Cheltenham's biggest employers is joining the fight against coronavirus - by extending its expertise from steam solutions to the manufacture of components for use in specialist medical equipment.

Worldwide leaders in steam engineering, Spirax Sarco have announced their important part to play in the production of specialist UCL-Ventura breathing aids.

The Charlton Kings headquartered firm with 1,100 employees has begun machining a critical component part for use in the breathing aids, which will provide potentially life-saving oxygen to patients affected by the virus.

Spirax responded to an urgent enquiry from Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains, who are working in conjunction with University College London, asking if the company could produce the component at its manufacturing plant in Cheltenham.

The specific part is a special design quick-fit connector that helps to safely manage the flow of oxygen, ensuring that as many patients as possible can receive the vital supply they need.

In less than a week the firm completed a technical evaluation, wrote the programs required to manufacture the part, produced the first samples, had the samples reviewed and approved, and commenced around-the-clock production, which will continue until the order is fulfilled.

From it's factory on Kingsditch Trade Park, Spirax Sarco began by producing 300 parts every 24 hours but quickly increased this to 450 parts.

Collections from the factory are happening every few hours to ensure there is no delay to the assembly and shipment of the completed devices.

Greg Godfrey-Williams, UK supply director for the business, said: "We are proud to be able to offer our skills and resources to support the nation's fight against COVID-19.

"In addition to responding to this specific need, we also continue to meet the critical demand of many of our customers who are also playing a vital role in responding to this virus, from hospitals, to pharmaceutical companies to food manufacturers."

The first 100 components shipped from Spirax Sarco last Wednesday at 10:00pm and by Thursday morning the completed CPAP devices had been inspected, built, tested and prepared for shipment to the NHS UK.

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