Johnson Matthey donates space to make ventilators in coronavirus crisis

Johnson Matthey in Royston. Picture: Harry Hubbard

Johnson Matthey in Royston. Picture: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

Royston’s biggest employer Johnson Matthey has donated space at one of its sites for the assembly of ventilators, vital in saving the lives of patients most seriously affected by COVID-19.

The Johnson Matthey space will be used as part of the Ventilator Challenge UK, in which two consortiums made up UK industrial, technology and engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors, have come together.

They been tasked with manufacturing 15,000 ventilators in 12 weeks – a marked increase on the 4,000 ventilators typically manufactured in the UK each year. DHL Supply Chain will create, construct and manage logistics operations and – as it became clear that capacity would be constrained if both supply chains continued to operate from one facility – they approached Johnson Matthey to support the consortium and logistics provision through its site in Bedford.

READ MORE: Royston chemicals company staff are making PPE using 3D printersJohn Tobin, regional warehouse and network manager at JM, said: “As a long-standing partner of DHL with knowledge and expertise of the automotive supply chain, we didn’t hesitate to agree.

“We’re delighted to help by offering our site to store and ship the parts and components that ultimately allow the assembly of approximately 8,000 ventilators. Each ventilator will help save hundreds of lives affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and we’re proud to be able to help.”

Six trailers worth of product arrive at the site each day – enabling DHL teams to support the assembly of approximately 600 ventilators daily.

The other consortium members which Johnson Matthey is supporting includes Airbus, Unilever and Jaguar Land Rover.

The DHL team at the Johnson Matthey site will operate with strict social distancing rules in place ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the individuals involved.

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Vice president at DHL Automotive, Tony Fitton, added: “I’d like to thank Johnson Matthey again for allowing the use of their facility in Bedford for the receipt, storage, picking and shipping of ventilator components. These will ultimately lead to the assembly of over 8,000 ventilators and contribute to the VentilatorChallengeUK.”