A Chinese virus, disruption in the far east, did anyone at the beginning imagine the dramatic consequences that would follow?
A worldwide pandemic, Europe and UK lock down, restricted movement, face masks, working from home, social distancing, hand washing, sanitising and no after work pint down the pub.
On the 23rd March Boris Johnson Locked down the UK. Staff asked, what are we doing still at work? Is what we are doing critical?
The UK government put out a call to manufacturing to step up and support the medical industry and the NHS with masks, gowns, ventilators, testing equipment and many other pieces of technical equipment.
Merlin has seen a dramatic increase in specialist companies Dyson, McLaren, BAE all designing new ventilators, blood testing machines, temperature monitoring with fast turn requirements. The factory went to a 24/7 operation, staff gave up their weekends and holidays to meet this unprecedented demand, normal working hours were abandoned, designs were being sent out in the small hours of Sunday mornings and product driven to assemblers the following day. The feel of a national effort could be felt within the factory and outside, suppliers were opening up on Saturdays and Sundays to facilitate unusual demands, maintenance support companies jumped key equipment to the top of their rotas to ensure a continued supply of critical components to key industries.
March and April saw a record throughput of panels, schedules had to be changed pushing medical products to the front of every list, customers supported the effort with the unfortunate delays that ensued, many companies, due to the lock down were happy to delay receipt of their orders.
Merlin, its staff, supply network and customers all did rise to the call and we are very proud that everyone did step up to support the NHS and the medical industry.