University of Bradford has issued an open invitation to businesses requiring help to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak.
David Barker, technical services manager from the University of Bradford’s Faculty of Engineering & Informatics, says the university has a bank of high-spec machines ready at a moment’s notice.
They include six specialist computer numerical control (CNC) machines, including two lathes and four milling machines, plus two polymer laser 3D printers, which are currently not in use due to face-to-face teaching being suspended.
The machines could be used to make parts for ventilators and other high-tech components needed by our NHS and David has already reached out to one national company to offer assistance.
“We have these machines available, we have people who are prepared to come in and help. If they provide the design, we can supply the machine capability.”
The university already has a respected track record in developing cutting edge medical tools and implantable devices, including laser-cut stents and plastic devices for use in dentistry, ophthalmology, spinal and so on.
Dr Cristina Tuinea-Bobe, research & knowledge transfer business development manager, echoed the call out to industry.
She said: “We have huge experience with medical devices especially made in polymers, from optical to spinal to orthodontics. Our machines are available for manufacturing anything required for this difficult period.
“We have the capacity to mould from very small, high precision components to parts formed on high-speed, heavy industrial moulding machines. Some of our devices are enclosed in a clean-room environment, so they are suitable for medical manufacture. If they require compounding or need to create a specific material and put antimicrobial powders in the polymers, we can help with that as well.”
She added: “My message to manufacturers is to get in touch. If we cannot help, our large network in the UK and abroad might have a solution.”
Professor Shirley Congdon, vice-chancellor, said: “We have a range of experts and specialist equipment at Bradford which is accessible to businesses and we have in the past supported industry to make all kinds of devices. Manufacturing is a very important sector in the district’s economy and we’re proud of our track record of collaboration with local firms.”