JCB stands down ventilator housing production

JCB has stood down production lines “which had been poised to produce thousands of special housings for a new type of ventilator” after the UK government shelved plans for the ventilators.

The housings were being made for the CoVent device produced by Dyson and TTP as part of the national ventilator challenge, according to the British machinery giant.

On Friday, May 8, the Cabinet Office confirmed that, following re-assessment from a panel of expert clinicians, it was ending support of the CoVent and four other devices because they would require further development before they would be ready for clinical testing, and they were not currently required to meet immediate demand.

In March, JCB re-started production at a plant in Staffordshire – closed because of the coronavirus crisis – to produce housing prototypes.

As of yesterday, Monday, May 11, the company confirmed it had stood down its production lines at JCB Cab Systems in Uttoxeter, which the firm says had been ready to make up to 10,000 housings.

The first prototypes rolled off the line at JCB’s £50 million Cab Systems factory in Uttoxeter and underwent several design iterations.

The original prototype in JCB yellow was made out of steel before the team worked on a new design, manufactured in aluminium and painted in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) white and grey livery.

During the current crisis, JCB highlighted that it has been providing thousands of meals for needy families in the UK and India, as well as sandwiches for the homeless in the UK, under Carole Bamford’s ‘Food for our Communities’ initiative.

The company also donated personal protective equipment (PPE) to front-line NHS workers and re-opened part of its world HQ in Staffordshire to help to produce face masks for the NHS.

JCB has been offering logistics expertise to support other ventilator manufacturers, the machinery giant added.