M-CNC: Engineering Support for Ventilator Challenge UK

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, this Bridgwater-based company supported the NHS by manufacturing and supplying components for lifesaving ventilators.

The Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium was established in response to the COVID-19 crisis, aiming to utilise the skills of major UK industrial, technological, and engineering businesses for the mass production of urgently required ventilators. Recent expansion of their Bridgwater site has provided M-CNC with the capability and flexibility to respond to customer demand quickly and efficiently, and therefore made it possible for them to help in the production of components for use in this lifesaving equipment.

Whilst the road to supply was swift and efficient, all necessary procedures were followed to ensure that the new valve bodies and brackets were manufactured in compliance with NHS safety standards.

“After an intensive period of consulting, estimating, and prototyping, we were given the ‘green light’ for full production,” explained Mark Wylde, Managing Director at M-CNC. “Just 72 hours later, these parts had been machined, finished, packaged, and were being driven to their final destination by a member of M-CNC team.”

Ready for despatch: the first pallet of ventilator parts, machined and finished by M-CNC Engineering within 72 hours.

SWMAS is proud to have supported M-CNC over the years with various strategic projects including accreditation, Capex investments, data systems, and growth plans. Most recently, a business review identified the need for an IT infrastructure project, which would align multiple, existing systems for increased productivity. This led to investment in a fully integrated computer network and remote data access system, which has improved efficiency throughout the business, enabling a boost in sales, and entry into new markets.

M-CNC fully understand how substantial investments will help to strengthen their business in these difficult times. To increase their capabilities and product offering, they have recently invested over £3m in machinery, allowing them to better serve existing customers, whilst also expanding into new sectors.

Mark continued. “Like most improvements, the value of these new systems relies heavily on the expertise, and support of staff. The entire M-CNC engineering team have embraced recent business improvement changes, and I am immensely proud of the dedication they have shown to ensure these ventilator parts were completed on time, with many giving up their Easter weekend with family to support this vital challenge.” 

“With all the technology in the world, a company is only as good as its employees, and we have built a strong and skilled workforce over the years. We also recognise the value brought by the apprenticeship scheme we run, which offers the next generation an entry point to a successful career in engineering, whilst also promoting future staff loyalty.”

M-CNC are an inspirational example of a manufacturing company making the investments necessary to ensure future business growth. Their innovation and drive enabled them to successfully contribute to the national call for ventilator production. Going forward, they are planning further expansion into medical and defence markets, but recognise the need for business and financial support to achieve their goals in the current climate. It has been a pleasure working with M-CNC, and we look forward to supporting them every step of the way as they put their future growth plans into practice.

Paul Gilbert , Manufacturing Specialist

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Support has been provided through the High-Value Manufacturing Advisory Programme (HVMAP) in the Heart of the South West, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Fully-funded business development support and grants are available to small and medium-sized manufacturing companies across the South West -
read more here.