JCB reopens factory to start building ventilators

Aaron Morby 2 months ago
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JCB is reopening its closed Uttoxeter factory and recalling 50 furloughed staff to join the national effort to manufacture ventilators.

JCB chief innovation and growth officer Tim Burnhope pictured with the ventilator housing prototypes
JCB chief innovation and growth officer Tim Burnhope pictured with the ventilator housing prototypes

The cab systems production line at the factory will now switch to fabricating special steel housings for new ventilators designed by vacuum cleaner specialist Dyson.

A minimum of 10,000 of the JCB housings are earmarked for manufacture once Dyson receives regulatory approval for its design.

The first prototypes of the housings have been delivered to Dyson after rolling off the production line at JCB’s new £50m factory in Staffordshire.

The factory fell silent on 18 March along with eight other JCB UK manufacturing plants after a fall in demand caused by the Coronavirus crisis.

Mass production of the housings could start in a matter of days.

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said: “When we were approached by the Prime Minister we were determined, as a British company, to help in any way we could.

“This project has gone from design to production in just a matter of days and I am delighted that we have been able to deploy the skills of our talented engineering, design and fabrication teams so quickly at a time of national crisis.

“This is also a global crisis, of course, and we will naturally help with the production of more housings if these ventilators are eventually required by other countries.”

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