The impact of the coronavirus continues to influence all manner of sectors connected to the housewares industry. Housewares manufacturers and online giant Amazon are among those providing services to the NHS, and trade show venues are being transformed into hospitals.
Birmingham based manufacturer U Group has increased its hospital bin production fivefold to satisfy increasing orders for the NHS in its fight against Covid-19. U- Group (which owns Samuel Groves and Mermaid brands) produces a vast array of products from bakeware and cookware to bins for the hospitality industry, the domestic market and healthcare establishments.
The manufacturer recently invested in its bin manufacturing process, with the installation of an injection moulding machine last year. The investment is enabling U Group to respond to crisis situations and support the overwhelming surge in current bin requirements for the NHS.
Lee McDonagh, md of U Group said: ““Our strategy in recent years has been to have greater control of the quality and costs of our products and to that avail we made a conscious move to UK production. We are pleased that we can respond to the NHS demands and hope it helps goes some way to reduce the suffering caused by the virus.”
Best known to the housewares industry as the venue for Spring Fair and Autumn Fair, the NEC is becoming the venue for an NHS Nightingale hospital. The hospital based at the NEC in Birmingham will start with up to 500 beds equipped with the capacity to increase beds up to 2,000 if needed. Meanwhile, London’s ExCel (home to trade shows including Brand Licensing Europe and the recent Hotel, Restaurant & Catering Show) opens as an NHS Nightingale Hospital this week, and is set to expand capacity to treat up to 4000 patients.
Amazon is helping the Government with the logistics of a new coronavirus (COVID-19) testing programme NHS staff are the first in line for the new test. Doug Gurr, UK country manager for Amazon, said: “We believe our role serving customers and the community during this time is a critical one, and we are committed to working closely with the Government to identify ways in which we can support efforts to respond to the crisis.”
At the current time, SDA manufacturer Gtech is not going ahead with the manufacture of its design of ventilators. The design – which uses off the shelf parts for ease of assembly – did not meet with the government standards. However the design details and assembly instructions are being downloaded from Gtech’s website by interested parties from around the world.
Meanwhile Dyson has received an order for 10,000 ventilators, pending regulatory approval. Dyson’s new design was created in collaboration with The Technology Partnership.
Top: One of U Group’s bins that are used in hospitals and other healthcare establishments. The bins are made in Birmingham.