3rd April 2020 | Business News
European Springs Answers the Call to Help Make NHS Ventilators
SQ Digital is proud to have worked with our client, European Springs & Pressings, for more than 10 years. Here we share news about the fantastic work the firm is doing during the coronavirus pandemic.
The urgent need for ventilators and protective visors has been at the top of news bulletins as healthcare staff around the world battle against coronavirus.
The manufacturing firm European Springs & Pressings is responding by upping production of essential parts for such vital equipment.
The firm has been meeting additional demand from its healthcare customers, some of whom are working around the clock.
Sales manager Simon Taylor says the firm, which supplies a diverse range of businesses with springs, pressings and wire forms, is used to dealing with high volume orders and has been able to step up production for the medical sector at short notice.
The international need for ventilators for critically ill patients has led manufacturers to quickly increase production. European Springs & Pressings had previously been supplying one such manufacturer with 6,000 parts a year.
Simon says: “They started to ramp up about four to five weeks ago and we suddenly started to get larger orders from them. By the time they had finished their most recent ordering cycle, they had put in orders for 29,000 parts.”
A second ventilator manufacturer increased its order from 9,000 for the whole of 2019, to 24,000 parts to be delivered in April and May.
Another customer in the healthcare sector, which makes filters for breathing apparatus, usually orders 600,000 parts a year.
Thanks to careful planning, which European Springs & Pressings does for all its long-standing customers, it wasn’t fazed when the customer upped the order to one million parts.
The firm had already stocked up with the metal required, an approach it uses even in normal trading circumstances. Such measures have been invaluable in ensuring the business can meet increased demand even if its own suppliers have to shut their doors.
Other orders prompted by the coronavirus emergency include a request from manufacturers in the USA and Poland for 12,500 springs to be used in protective visors. A UK firm, which makes safety valves for use during patient intubations, has ordered 60,000 parts – its usual annual requirement – to be delivered as soon as possible
Such is the critical nature of some orders that European Springs & Pressings has been helping customers by turning out samples for new products within days.
Although some individual orders have been large, Simon says they have been able to meet demand: “We’re a business that does specialise in both quick turnaround and high volume production.”
The firm employs 170 staff across two manufacturing sites, in Beckenham in Kent and in Cornwall. Staff have stepped up to help during the crisis.
To ensure their safety, colleagues are working from home if possible, while production team members are maintaining the required distances from each other during shifts and breaks.
Those who need to self-isolate are being supported to do so.
Simon’s background – he has a degree in microbiology – proved useful while they were preparing for the outbreak.
“Because I saw this coming, I made sure we had the hand sanitizers put in key points, like our doors and in the canteen. Those were put into place early on.”
He says the pandemic has led to some loss of contracts. Work for the automotive industry, which accounts for 10 per cent of business, has dried up.
Although this has been a blow, it has enabled the firm to prioritise urgent healthcare orders.
Working with SQ Digital gets its name known and frees up time to deal with the production side of the business: “What SQ does for us is make the wider world aware of us so it’s important to us, without a doubt.”
Simon says if there are businesses struggling to source metal components, they are welcome to contact European Springs & Pressings which has good supply chains.
He says they’re doing whatever they can to keep going and to help others and adds: “If everybody does, we will pull through it.”