CASE STUDY - SMITHS MEDICAL
Inspection Services Ltd chosen as one of 33 of the most significant, specialised businesses in the UK
UK Ventilator Challenge:
"30 years' worth of production in just 12
In March 2020 the British Government created a select Consortium of 33 businesses to unite and mass produce ventilators for the NHS at a speed and on a scale never seen before in manufacturing. Inspection Services Ltd was one of those businesses and this is how we helped.
Ford Motor Company, part of the UKVC Consortium, had endorsed ISL based on our reputation as a high volume manufacturing inspection specialist. The consortium goal was to produce thousands of ventilators as quickly and efficiently as possible, and medical grade quality assurance was needed to ensure process optimisation.
ISL trained and equipped 60 inspectors in just 48 hours, using a combination of online resources and remote training processes. These systems then allowed us to control and monitor the results in real-time, allowing the teams to report back findings to the wider groups of engineers working for the consortium.
Nothing could prepare anyone involved for the scale of a task that was the UK Ventilator Challenge. Almost 17,000 ventilators were produced in total over 4 months which, under normal production conditions, is exceptionally fast.
Training and monitoring continued throughout the project as specifications were adjusted at very short notice and the teams updated daily. We ensured that a clear work instruction was properly defined and that this was available both digitally and physically for the operators on site at all times. Work instructions are a vital part of what we do as they relay highly specific instructions from the client to the inspector on site, ensuring that there is a clearly defined process and that requirements are understood by all involved.
Another challenge was keeping our teams safe, socially distanced and with the correct PPE at a time when very little was still known about Covid-19. A priority for us was implementing safe working practices for all and ensuring that the teams complied with the need to socially distance.
Working alongside DHL, who were the central 'goods in' hub for the operation, logistical issues and the sourcing of
practical equipment for our teams in a new, remote location proved to be challenging but with our robust cloud-based program management tools we were quickly able to adapt.
It was a long journey with a herculean challenge that was to see levels of team work and dedication we had not witnessed before. Everyone at Inspection Services Ltd was extremely proud to be a part of this venture and we were humbled to be invited to join a national project whose end goal was to protect those in need at a time of crisis.