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Penlon manufacture over 11,000 ventilators in 12 weeks

By - World Manufacturing Journal

Over 11,000 ventilators have been built by Oxfordshire based group Penlon in 12 weeks. Penlon has been able to increase the productivity of creating 50-60 ventilators per week to more than 2,000 a week.

This increase in productivity has been made possible through the support of companies such as Newton and Quick release. The combined expertise of Newton and Quick Release, with Penlon offering operational excellence, supply chain mobilisation and transformation programme management has played a pivotal role in rapidly increasing production of Penlon’s ESO2 device.

To overcome some of the barriers to production, Newton utilised experts to design analytical tools, implement processes and facilitate effective communication across multiple businesses to quickly fix issues.

The team were able to optimise production further by bringing in staff to work at different times of the day and sourced the necessary facilities for them to work in line with the government's social distancing requirements.

Founding Director of NewtonTom Wedgwood, commented on the scale of the operation saying: "This is the single biggest manufacturing challenge I’ve ever seen – in fact, it’s the challenge of a lifetime."

The level of demand upon those that were involved in the mass production of the life-saving devices was immense.

Ian Quest, Director of Quick Release, stated that: “Sprinting a marathon is a fitting analogy for what the consortium’s achieved in just four weeks; a more usual development and approval timeframe would be around 18 months, so delivering the first shipment in around 6 per cent of the regular time is a credit to all involved. ”


The facts: 

  • 11,683 ventilators were produced in 12 weeks,

  • In excess of 12.5 million parts were used during the production process 

  • 12 businesses participated in the Scheme with Penlon,

  • Production involved nine new sites and over 2,000 employees


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