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Aston joins fight against coronavirus. Image by Aston Martin.

Aston joins fight against coronavirus
Aston Martin manufacturing PPE for NHS workers, plus offering free car-repair service in Bucks.
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Aston Martin is the latest manufacturer to heed the call to arms to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline NHS workers during the coronavirus pandemic. The British marque is working on a new respiratory device, protective visors and gowns, alongside one of its project partners, Multimatic. The device, an intubation shield which fits over the upper body of patient during procedures, is designed to be manufactured from one piece of Perspex, making them relatively easy and quick to manufacture, and allowing them to be stacked upon one another so that they take up less room in busy intensive care wards. Aston Martin is using its cutting machines at Gaydon, which would normally be cutting leather hides for its sportscar interiors, to manufacture the boxes. Aston Martin Lagonda president and group CEO, Andy Palmer, said: "The local community is very important to Aston Martin so we are delighted to be able to help our local hospitals. The frontline NHS workers are protecting us from Covid-19 so we want to do what we can to try to protect them by supplying visors and gowns. Times of crisis are also times of great innovation and we are delighted to be working with Multimatic and the MTC to produce the intubation shield for the intensive care staff. Everyone we approached stepped up without hesitation and they should all be proud." Larry Holt, Multimatic's chief technical officer, added: "We were happy to be asked and happy to help with this critical project. Aston Martin and Multimatic have a history of achieving seemingly impossible goals together in the automotive world and this is just that partnership being extended to help the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) deliver an extremely important, innovative new medical device. We are proud to be involved." The latest 3D printing technology at Aston also means that it will be providing 150 protective visors for NHS staff every week, with the company working with the nearby Warwick Hospital to develop a visor which meets NHS infection control guidelines; and Aston will be using its DBX SUV to deliver the first batch after the Easter weekend. Meanwhile, it will also produce up to 750 gowns each week at Gaydon, while down at the Aston Martin Works building in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, volunteer technicians and staff will offer emergency vehicle repairs to NHS staff at the nearby Milton Keynes University Hospital. Launched at the end of March, the free service is averaging around two emergency repairs per day, including punctures, issues triggering dashboard warning lights and also brake-pad replacements. NHS staff only pay for any required parts, sourced at a significantly discounted rate from local parts suppliers. Paul Spires, president of Aston Martin Works, explains: "At this critical time for the NHS, we want to try to do our bit to keep the vital key workers of Milton Keynes hospital on the road if we possibly can. All the Works team members involved in the project are offering their skills on a voluntary basis, and they are thrilled to be able to give something back to the NHS at this time of unprecedented pressure on hospital staff."

Matt Robinson - 10 Apr 2020

2020 Aston Martin NHS PPE coronavirus effort. Image by Aston Martin.2020 Aston Martin NHS PPE coronavirus effort. Image by Aston Martin.2020 Aston Martin NHS PPE coronavirus effort. Image by Aston Martin.2020 Aston Martin NHS PPE coronavirus effort. Image by Aston Martin.    - Aston Martin road tests
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