SEAT’s Martorell factory near Barcelona has switched production away from the new SEAT Leon to the breathing apparatus as part of the battle against the virus. Engineers designed 13 prototypes before the final design was agreed and sent for production.
Each of SEAT’s new ventilators has more than 80 electronic and mechanical components and has undergone quality control procedures.
Car parts such as gearbox shafts and an adapted motor from vehicles windscreen wipers will be used inside the ventilator.
SEAT says the motivation behind the project was that the company could help save lives with their equipment.
However, a SEAT engineer described the process as “lengthy” and “difficult” due to the logistics of the project.
Sergio Arreciadp from SEAT’s Process Engineering team said: “Taking an assembly line that manufactures subframes, a car part, and adapting it to make ventilators has been a lengthy, difficult job involving many areas of the company, and we managed to do it in the record time of one week”.
UK car manufacturers have been among some of the world leaders pushing for ventilator production.
Seven UK based Formula 1 teams including world champions Mercedes have agreed to unite for the greater cause under the new Project Pitlane guise.
In the first major development, Mercedes F1 team has collaborated with engineers at UCL to produce the new Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device.
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The tool aims to keep patients out of intensive cars by allowing patients with lung infections to breathe more easily.
The tool has been approved for use by the NHS and is the first example of how effective the UK car industry can be in helping the frontline effort.
Andy Cowell, Mercedes HPP’s Managing Director said: “The Formula 1 community has shown an impressive response to the call for support, coming together in the ‘Project Pitlane’ collective to support the national need at this time across a number of different projects.
“We have been proud to put our resources at the service of UCL to deliver the CPAP project to the highest standards and in the fastest possible time frame.”
UK car firm Prodrive has confirmed its factory has been switched to a ventilator production facility amid the ongoing epidemic.
Officials from the Department for Health and Social Care sent blueprint documents containing details of how to make the tools by the middle of March.
The government has repeatedly begged car firms to take up the challenge and begin production of the devices.
The United States has suspended all car production to solely focus on making urgent medical equipment such as ventilators.
Almost 80 years after Ford suspended its production to make tanks and planes in the Second World War, one of the world’s most popular car firms is back on the frontline.
The firm announced it will produce medical equipment alongside rival General Motors to produce a range of medical equipment for frontline staff.
France has also responded to the crisis with a number of their factories committed to the production of life-saving tools.
A consortium of industrial companies including Peugeot group PSA have been tasked with producing 10,000 ventilators by the middle of May.
Renault has also started work on developing the medical equipment using advanced technology.
Published at Thu, 02 Apr 2020 09:40:00 +0000