Rolls-Royce: VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium

  • March 30, 2020

Rolls-Royce is part of the VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium which has been working hard to investigate production of a range of ventilator design options to help increase the UK’s supply of ventilators. 

The consortium has now received a formal request from the UK Government to accelerate production of the agreed designs, based on existing technologies, which can be assembled from materials and parts in current production which are readily available within the UK supply chain.

Craig Askew, Rolls-Royce Executive Vice President of Control Systems said:  “Rolls-Royce has a crucial role to play in the fight against COVID-19.  We are proud to be playing our part in a consortium dedicated to scaling up production of much-needed ventilators and will be focused on working at full-speed to provide devices which can help save lives. I would like to thank all my colleagues for rising to this challenge.”

Rolls-Royce’s role in the consortium is to set up a parallel supply chain to feed in materials as quickly as possible to a new assembly plant being delivered by GKN. This is needed as the existing supply chain needs to focus on increasing supply to the existing manufacturer. The team are applying their skills and expertise to a completely different product and industry.  Key challenges include identifying, contracting and getting up to speed a range of appropriate suppliers.
This work is absolutely crucial and the team are focused on ensuring the supply chain produces components of the right quality as well as at the right rate – both are equally important and we will be working in collaboration with Siemens Medical to ensure this happens.

Nigel Pearce, Programme Leader on the project said: “It has amazed me how well people have reacted to this situation in such a difficult time. We are pulling together the collective talent of the Rolls-Royce team to support this project at pace. They are being briefed on the enormity of the ramp up rate in a new supply chain.  Then without blinking, in minutes they are rolling their sleeves up and coming up with great ideas, structure and personal drive to make what seems like the impossible become possible to support the country at this time.”

The team is growing all the time and currently includes controls, valve and pump specialists who normally work in our Controls business in Solihull and commercial, procurement and programme management specialists usually based in our Derby campus. We expect the team to grow significantly in the coming days and are also using resources in the US, so that we can work around the clock.  Once the supply chain is set up, we will be working with Accenture to keep materials moving. We are also assessing our manufacturing and assembly capabilities in Solihull and elsewhere to understand whether we can further assist this vital programme. 

In addition, Rolls-Royce continues to offer our wider support to the Government and other companies, organisations and groups who are aiding in the delivery of additional ventilators to the NHS at this unprecedented time.

For further information see: VentilatorChallengeUK

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