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Copely has been making hosing and tube in the UK for over fifty years. In that time, we have manufactured thousands of miles of product, which has been deployed into a myriad of different markets and sectors. Our products are used in numerous applications from pneumatics in OEM machinery, transporting chemicals in industry, to helping the great British public water their lawns.
The 2020 Coronavirus pandemic has forced one of the most drastic adjustments to the company’s working practices in memory. But whilst many staff were relocated to work from home during lockdown, and some unfortunately furloughed, several of our dedicated production workforce were coming in daily to meet the needs of our customers in key industries.
From March 23rd and throughout April, we shut down a significant portion of our operations, only keeping open lines for medical customers. One of these customers was contributing to a project aimed at producing lifesaving breathing aids. The initiative was a joint effort between University College London (UCL) engineers, University College London Hospital (UCLH) clinicians, and industry partner Mercedes-AMG, the Formula One engine manufacturer.
Copely was selected for its experience in producing medical hoses and tubing by existing customer Meditech, which was, in turn, supplying assemblies to UCL/Mercedes in order to produce the CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines.
Aliyah Farouk, Medical Device Analyst at GlobalData describes the benefits of the machines: “The non-invasive nature of CPAP machines is advantageous for patients as the intubation and sedation required for ventilation can be avoided. Additionally, the cost-effectiveness of the device allows mass production, therefore addressing the limited supply of ventilators faced by many countries who are combating the COVID-19 outbreak.”
The product supplied by Copely is 6.3mm (ID) Medical gas hose for Oxygen. Order quantities were increasing daily in April, and at one stage we were in receipt of orders summing 25,000m. This was being turned around within 2 to 3 days so as not to delay essential supplies. Since the UCL-Mercedes CPAP project was revealed on April 17th, Copely has produced more than 35,000 meters of medical gas hose, which is enough to manufacture roughly 15,000 units.
Given the importance of the project, we were committed to a rapid turnaround in order to support the efforts of all involved, not least the patients who had contracted COVID-19 and faced the prospect of ventilation. In order to achieve this, we had to prioritise manufacture of the air hose, however, it did not impact on meeting the requirements of our other customers.
As members of Made in Britain, we are extremely proud to be part of a UK-based initiative, and as one of the few hose brands not manufacturing in Asia, it has meant a lot to do our bit for the country and to support the economy.
In terms of the steps Copely has taken internally to protect its employees at work, they are rather simple and have become second nature. They include the enhanced hygiene techniques that we are all aware of such as hand washing and using sanitiser, social distancing of 2 metres wherever possible and the availability of gloves and masks for employees that wish to use them or who are coming into closer contact with colleagues.
If you would like to discuss an upcoming project that requires hose or tube components then please contact one of our expert team.