Vauxhall technicians switch to help medical firm meet NHS demand for ventilators

Apr 14, 2020

Vauxhall’s factory in Kimpton Road, Luton.

WORKERS from Vauxhall’s Luton plant have swapped the Vivaro production line in favour of slightly more clinical surroundings to meet huge NHS demand for ventilator production.

Vauxhall is providing 22 staff to the Luton site of Smiths Medical, a division of Smiths Group plc, which is being tasked with significantly increasing production of Smiths Group’s paraPAC plus ventilators, which have been approved and in use within the NHS for over ten years.

The staff – 20 assemblers, a team leader and supervisor – were hand-picked from Vauxhall’s Kimpton Road plant due to their specialist skills and ability to carry out intricate production work.

Working on a static production line at Smith Medicals factory on Bramingham Business Park, the team will conduct in-line quality testing as the ventilators are produced, with a stringent pass/fail safeguard in place to ensure that the units meet the highest possible standards.

Matching the three-shift framework adopted by Vauxhall’s Luton Plant, each team member will work a 40-hour week. The team will work overtime as required during the secondment, which lasts until July 31.

Stephen Norman, managing director of Vauxhall Motors

“I am immensely proud that Vauxhall workers have been able to make such a valuable contribution during these difficult times,’ said Vauxhall Motors managing director Stephen Norman. “Our plant employees are used to working on lines where repeatable high quality is essential and I am confident that their skills will transfer exceptionally well to the production of much-needed ventilators for the NHS.

“Vauxhall will continue to work with the British government to support other similar initiatives.”

Julian Fagge, Smiths group’s strategy and M&A director, added: “On behalf of Smiths, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to Vauxhall for joining the fight against this terrible disease.

“This initiative is part of the extraordinary efforts being made by British industry to help maximise production of ventilators and save lives.”

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