Welsh Pearl at the heart of UK Governments Project Oyster
As the nation entered lockdown, the launch of the Ventilator Challenge UK revealed that a consortium of 14 firms would collaborate to harness their combined manufacturing capabilities.
Split into twin projects, codenamed Project Oyster and Project Penguin, the Ventilator Challenge UK initially stood as a government order for 15,000 devices, which would be deployed to treat coronavirus patients.
Project Oyster was hailed as government clinicians’ preferred project, as it would see ventilators produced to an existing design created by Oxfordshire-based medical manufacturer, Penlon.
Project Oyster brought together some of the world’s leading manufacturers from a variety of industry sectors, including Ford, Airbus, Thales, McLaren and Arrow Europe. Yet, success would be dependent on securing technical expertise from a UK contract electronics manufacturer with direct experience in the development of advanced medical technologies.
Ahead of the launch, Axiom Manufacturing Services was selected by the UK Government consortium to manufacture the electronic printed circuit board (PCB) assemblies for the Project Oyster ventilators.
Delivering on this mammoth challenge saw Axiom leverage its global procurement network to source millions of components from over twenty countries, while ensuring that all boards produced met the exacting regulatory standards required. that it develop no less than ten bespoke PCB test fixtures.
Working in shifts over a seven-day week, enabled Axiom’s team to produce over 1400 completed boards per day. At the close of June 2020, after some thirty million components purchased and received, 28.2 million components placed and 90,000 boards manufactured, Axiom’s team completed the challenge ahead of schedule, while developing an array of in-house test fixtures and providing complete traceability for each and every product despatched.
David Davies, managing director of Axiom Manufacturing Services, said: “Delivering on this challenge required total commitment from the entire team. Our ability to rapidly redevelop our production model from a low volume, high IP assembly process, to high volume manufacturing that guarantees quality, perfectly demonstrates Axiom’s agility and flexibility.
“It is my belief that no other contract electronics manufacturing team within the UK could have delivered what we have. I thank everyone for their dedication to ensuring that Axiom delivers excellence in manufacturing, despite the exceptional situations we all face today.”