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Vauxhall workers complete ventilator assignment

Posted on 29 Jul 2020 and read 614 times
Vauxhall workers complete ventilator assignmentA team of 15 workers from Vauxhall’s Luton plant have completed a 16-week assignment at Smiths Medical, working as part of a consortium that delivered 13,437 ventilators for the NHS to combat the on-going Covid-19 virus.

In April, 13 staff plus a team leader and supervisor, were hand-picked from Vauxhall’s Kimpton Road Plant, which manufacturers the Vauxhall Vivaro van, to move to the Luton site of Smiths Medical, a division of Smiths Group plc, to help the company respond to the ‘Herculean task’ of meeting the 10-fold increase in ventilator production requested by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

The Vauxhall staff were picked for their specialist skills and ability to carry out intricate production work to a very high standard and time frame. Following a week of training, the team helped to assemble 20 to 30 life-saving ventilator units a week. Towards the end of the assignment, production rose to hundreds of ventilators a week – surpassing all expectations. Vauxhall’s staff conducted in-line quality tests as the ventilators were produced, ensuring they met the high standards required by the NHS.

During their assignment, the Vauxhall staff worked alongside engineers and specialists from a variety of sectors, including aerospace and mobile phone manufacturers. The Vauxhall workers also managed to raise £300 for charity during their placement.

Stephen Norman, Vauxhall Motors managing director, said: “I’m immensely proud and not at all surprised that Vauxhall workers have volunteered and have been able to make such a valuable contribution during these difficult times.”

“Our plant employees are used to working on lines where only consistent high quality is not just essential but primordial, and they have done a fantastic job over the past 16 weeks being part of the team making much needed ventilators to contribute to the NHS.

During the last war Vauxhall manufactured Churchill tanks in Luton and here we see our front-line contribution in what is widely seen as the most serious world crisis since that time”

Julian Fagge, Smiths Group strategy and M&A director, said: “On behalf of Smiths, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to Vauxhall for joining the fight against this terrible disease. This initiative has been part of the extraordinary efforts made by British industry to help maximise production of ventilators and save lives.”

The Vauxhall staff will return to their normal jobs at the Luton plant, which has now resumed full production capacity, running all three shifts.