A month ago construction machinery manufacturer JCB announced that it was ready to turn over production at its cab factory to making steel casings for intensive care ventilators designed by vacuum cleaner maker Dyson.
When the Covid-19 pandemic began to escalate, the government put out an urgent call for ventilators, issuing a challenge to the manufacturing sector, as it faced a massive shortage.
JCB and Dyson were among those that stepped up to the plate.
But it has since emerged that initial estimates for how many ventilators would be required proved to be overly pessimistic and demand is currently being satisfied by established manufacturers that already have all the necessary medical approvals.
Dyson owner James Dyson said: "Dyson people welcomed the government’s challenge and, working round the clock, developed an entirely new ventilator in 30 days. Mercifully, they are not now required in the UK but we don’t regret our contribution to the national effort for one moment. I have some hope that our ventilator may yet help the response in other countries but that requires further time and investigation. Dyson has spent around £20m on this project to date, I will be funding this and we will not be accepting any public money. The team have worked 24/7 to design and manufacture a sophisticated ventilator in a very short timeframe – I pay to tribute to their exceptional expertise and commitment and hope they can spend this weekend with their families who will not have seen them for weeks."