Sunday, 31 May 2020

Watchmaker offers to help make ventilators

Watchmaker offers to help make ventilators

A LUXURY watchmaker has offered its headquarters in Henley to help manufacture ventilator parts.

Bremont says Sawmills in Marlow Road and its machining and assembly facility in Ruscombe could be used to help victims of the coronavirus pandemic.

There is concern that the NHS could run short of ventilators, which get oxygen into the lungs and remove carbon dioxide from the body when people are too sick to breathe on their own.

Nick English, who founded Bremont with his brother Giles, said: “At this moment in time, we see there is an opportunity to use our capabilities to help with manufacturing parts for much-needed ventilators.

“Bremont has put a bid in to government to offer our services in this way, if and when required.

“We are yet to hear back but would welcome the opportunity to help our great nation in any way we can at this particularly distressing time.”

He said most Bremont staff were now working from home and the firm’s shops were closed. “The fact is we have got this factory sitting there,” said Mr English. “We’re good at manufacturing precision parts, we’re good at assembly and we’re good at testing.

“If there are any parts, big or small, if we can possibly help out we’d be delighted to. I think at times like these if you have got something which can be used it’s worth putting your hand up.

“There’s a very similar skill set between the medical and the watchmaking industry — you’re machining and assembling parts in often a very sterile environment.

“A ventilator is made up of many different parts and no one company can make one overnight. However, there are parts which we certainly could manufacture if given the plans.

“We have got a whole factory which is full of machines which are capable of making these parts. The other part we can help with is assembly. We have got very skilled staff who can assemble things to a high quality.”

Mr English said that if the covid-19 crisis continued then Bremont’s new headquarters at Sheephouse Farm, off Reading Road, would be “ideal” for manufacturing anything needed. The building is due to be completed in the summer.

He added: “The number one priority is keeping everyone safe.”

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