Wire manufacturer steps forward to help in ventilator production
Wire manufactured in the West Midlands is helping support the UK’s unprecedented drive to build more ventilators.
Alloy Wire International has been commissioned to produce more than 5 kilometers of material that will be used to produce crucial parts for use in life-saving equipment destined for the groundbreaking Nightingale Hospital in London.
The company, which holds more than 200 tonnes of EU/DFARS compliant stock at any one time, put its Emergency Manufacturing Service (EMS) into action to meet the urgent requirements of a spring maker that is supplying into the VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium to assist in the ramp-up of Smiths and Penlon Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator Systems.
Interest has also come from North America and South Korea, with AWI supplying urgent quantities of custom-made Inconel spring wire and 316v Stainless Steel to a spring maker in Wisconsin and a major medical centre in Seoul respectively.
“We work with over 5000 customers every year and we knew a lot of them supplied into critical sectors that deliver essential services,” explained Mark Venables, Managing Director of Alloy Wire International.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought this sharply into view and, over the last week, we have been busy manufacturing a range of wire for companies that are playing a crucial role in supporting the frontline, often meeting extremely demanding timelines in the process.”
He continued: “This has included supplying a customer that had to remake springs destined for ventilator production due to an untimely power cut, whilst another client made a 280-mile round trip to collect its order from us. In both cases, we did our bit by making the wire in just 2 days.”
Alloy Wire International is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of round, flat and profile wire, with its 60-strong range featuring a number of medical suitable materials including Phynox, MP35N, Stainless 316LVM, Nickel 200&201 and Inconels.
The company’s workforce is working around the clock to meet the requirements of existing and new customers, with material available from 0.025mm (.001“) to 21mm (.827“) in small batches or medium/large volumes.
In addition to the projects it is completing for ventilator production, AWI is also providing wire that goes into electric heating elements used for medical plastic forming and for the critical sterilisation of vital equipment.
Other customers still placing orders are involved in the detection of gases for hospital incubators, dental products and power generation.
Angus Hogath, Sales Director at AWI, concluded: “We are very proud of the heroic actions of frontline NHS and social care staff and this is our own small way of supporting them to help save lives.
“Our staff have been fantastic and really embraced our role as a key manufacturer, adopting the Government’s social distancing policies whilst still delivering wire that is going to be used in increasing the number of ventilators in the UK and supporting other crucial medical equipment.
“AWI is ‘at the source’ of many first steps in creating life-saving equipment and we are committed to maintaining this supply throughout the pandemic.”