Aston Martin is doing its bit for the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic by providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to frontline workers. The carmaker is making a new respiratory protection device, as well as protective visors and gowns that will be distributed to NHS workers as the continue to work during the lockdown.
The luxury car manufacturer has teamed up with Multimatic and the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry to help refine and produce the new respiratory protection device, which is an intubation shield that is a perspex box that surrounds a patient’s upper body during procedures in order to protect medical staff.
The parties have designed and created a tool so that the perspex component can be made in one piece. This also has the added benefit of making the device stackable, therefore taking up less space in busy hospitals, and allowing them to be delivered at a faster rate. Cutting machines at Aston Martin's Gaydon plant, usually used in the production of leather components, are being used to cut silicone components that also form part of the box.
The new design, which went from the drawing board to production in just a matter of days, is already being trialled at the Royal London Hospital.
"The local community is very important to Aston Martin so we are delighted to be able to help our local hospitals," said Aston Martin Lagonda president and group chief executive, Andy Palmer. "The frontline NHS workers are protecting us from Covid-19 so we want to do what we can and try to protect them by supplying visors and gowns.
"Times of crisis are also times of great innovation and we are delighted to be working with Multimatic and the MTC to produce the intubation shield for the intensive care staff. Everyone we approached stepped up without hesitation and they should all be proud."
Aston Martin is also using the latest 3D printing technology to develope protective visors, of which it will soon be able to produce 150 per week. It is working with Warwick Hospital to ensure that the new visors meet NHS infection control guidelines.
The first bathc of visors are expected to go into production at the Aston Martin Design Studio at Gaydon next week.
Aston Martin staff who usually put together the brand's esquisite interiors are also being put to work after the company received a request for protective gowns from hospitals near to its Warwickshire base. The company has the ability to produce up to 750 gowns each week, provided it has the necessary materials available.
Finally, Aston Martin technicians are also providing free vehicle repairs to NHS staff from its Newport Pagnell site in Buckinghamshire.
The free service, launched at the end of March, is averaging around two emergency repairs each day.
"At this critical time for the NHS, we want to try to do our bit to keep the vital key workers of Milton Keynes hospital on the road if we possibly can," said Paul Spires, president of Aston Martin Works. "All the Works team members involved in the project are offering their skills on a voluntary basis, and they are thrilled to be able to give something back to the NHS at this time of unprecedented pressure on hospital staff."