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29 March, 2021 - 13:06 By Tony Quested

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group accelerates production of life-saving device

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group has reached an agreement with UK manufacturer Portsmouth Aviation to accelerate production of crucial technology to fight COVID.

They are ramping up output of negative pressure ventilation assistance devices by sharing knowledge and prototypes developed in partnership with the Exovent consortium of academics and medics who initially identified the potential for the application of the technology in the global battle against the pandemic.

The non-invasive prototype was developed to provide additional treatment options for patients with respiratory conditions in critical care environments, including those with COVID-19. The solution had the benefit of offering greater patient comfort as they don’t need to be asleep or have an artificial airway in place.

Having taken the concept to the pre-production stage, Marshall will now pass over all of its background knowledge, data, design and engineering drawings, along with a working prototype of the device, to the team at Portsmouth Aviation with a view to them developing their own device and take into high volume production.

MADG chief executive Gary Moynehan says: “We were approached early in the pandemic by the Exovent team to support them in the development of a new, non-invasive negative pressure ventilator to provide alternative treatment options for Covid-19 patients.

“Recognising the benefits that Exovent could deliver, we offered to provide our engineering expertise to the support the design and rapid prototyping of the first unit which enabled medics to get their hands on a working device in just four weeks.

“Using their feedback from the prototype we were able to mature the product and build four pre-production units that have since gone through much of the stringent testing necessary for application in a medical setting.

“We are now delighted to be able to hand the project over to Portsmouth Aviation and are optimistic that their own engineering and manufacturing expertise they will be able to deliver a cost effective product that will ultimately prove invaluable in the treatment of patients with a broad range of respiratory issues.”

• PHOTOGRAPH: Simon Escott – managing director, Portsmouth Aviation; Patrick Wood – CTO and engineering director, MADG; Craig Stretton, production manager, Portsmouth Aviation; Ian Joesbury (Exovent CEO) and Mark Johnstone, chief engineer at MADG

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