Medical device manufacturer, Boddingtons, is currently involved in the manufacture and assembly of moulded components in order to satisfy UK ventilator production demand in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The emergency project came about via a tool transfer request from McLaren Racing working directly with Penlon on the Ventilator Challenge and has teamed Boddingtons with other OEM participants in the project consortium.
Boddingtons CEO Andy Tibbs notes that “Medical customers increasingly need their suppliers to be ‘all in’ – able to show them that the medical sector is their primary business.”
Tibbs adds that “Such suppliers must also have the ISO 13485 medical manufacturing standard as a minimum and must ideally be able to provide all legal and administrative support, together with Class 7 Cleanroom capability when needed.
“In addition, successful med-tech suppliers need total manufacturing capability – from first designs to tool production, injection moulding, assembly and shipping.”
All of these qualifications and more helped Boddingtons join the Ventilator Challenge, ultimately supporting Penlon and their direct supply to the NHS and the UK population where needed.
A number of project tasks presented themselves from the outset; including tool transfer, repair and modification, preparation of production facilities and incoming materials; manufacture of gauges and jigs for the seven brass fittings in the component. McLaren was instrumental with their fast turnaround of design and manufacture with support from Boddingtons for the required jigs and fixtures.
The moulding itself is a bellows plate and is directly involved in the workings of the ventilator airflow system.
Chris Philpott, Boddingtons Business Development Manager, notes: “This bellows plate is of critical importance in the ventilator operation. We are therefore delighted to have succeeded in satisfying the project brief every which way; logistically, technically and in terms of the finished product.”
The OEM client specified all the features needed from the part, including materials specification and colour, a TPX polymer blend from Mitsui. Philpott adds that ‘feedback to date has told us that the quality of this component is superior to previous attempts in supporting the end customer.’
The COVID-19 crisis has catalysed and accelerated the amount of med-tech business undertaken by Boddingtons, new projects also including a significant number of tool transfer jobs.
Recent investments at Boddingtons – in Class 7 cleanroom expansions; in the Mitutoyo Quick Vision Active CMM machine and in the universal MDSAP medical quality qualification – are set to further increase the company’s markets in medical manufacturing.
The award-winning design expertise from Boddingtons for medical devices has been recognised on a near-annual basis over the past six years. Medical and healthcare clients include SME start-ups and Medical OEMs.