In a time where the manufacturing community expected to be together at MACH 2020 following months of preparation, we are instead faced with the unprecedented challenge of overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. With the exhibition now planned for January 2021, Star GB is proud to be amongst the many companies who have reallocated this time to work together with the aim of saving lives through the production of emergency equipment.
In association with the HVMC (High Value Manufacturing Catapult) led by Dick Elsy, a significant number of both Star users and BTMA members have generously dedicated their machining capacity to help with the production of over 250,000 ventilator components and other critical medical parts.
Working alongside a consortium of significant UK businesses, many of the components required were already manufactured using sliding head technology through Star’s network of subcontract users, allowing volumes to be increased with minimal programming or operational changes. Other components were quickly adapted for sliding head manufacturing, with programming and tooling prepared by Star’s applications team.
Stephen Totty, Managing Director of Star GB said: “We would like to express our gratitude to everyone who is going above and beyond during these difficult times. We are running several customer machines around the clock at our Derby HQ whilst our engineers continue to provide ongoing technical assistance to all customers as usual. Supporting our customers is paramount so this includes priority help with writing programs, preparing tooling layouts, procuring cutting tools and other requests as required.”
Star’s trusted partners are also committed to supporting customers and continue to prepare ancillary equipment at its Derby HQ with social distancing procedures in place. The company’s hauliers have also allocated additional drivers and vehicles to urgently and safely deliver machines throughout the country.
It is the outstanding commitment of all of these teams which has made it possible for Star to achieve its quickest ever turnaround on a machine supplied to produce medical components. In response to increased demand from an existing customer, Qualiturn Products Ltd invested in an additional SR-32JII Type B with high-pressure coolant.
Nicholas Groom, President of the BTMA and Managing Director of Qualiturn Products Ltd said: “We are delighted to do our part in the battle against the Coronavirus alongside many other members of the BTMA. We are increasing the production of critical medical components for a number of customers and we had our latest Star machine ordered, delivered, installed and making parts within 48 hours. These parts will save lives and we are grateful to the teams at Star and Qualiturn, as well as those who have joined forces within our association.“
Together we will all make a difference in these challenging times and look forward to a highly anticipated MACH exhibition in January 2021.