McLaren joins effort to produce ventilators for COVID-19 patients

High-end UK automotive/racing group hand-building components for coronavirus fight

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A McLaren Automotive technician assembles a ventilator trolley | McLaren photos

The McLaren Group, which is composed of Automotive, Racing (Formula 1) and Applied (data and electronics) divisions, has joined the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium helping to produce medical ventilators to treat coronavirus patients.

“Employing their unique blend of expertise in design, rapid prototyping, electronics and manufacturing, every McLaren company is taking part to support the consortium’s production goal of ventilators to help treat coronavirus patients,” according to a company news release.

McLaren engineers and technicians have brought their expertise in supercar and F1 design to bear on producing key components for the much-needed ventilators, the release says:  

McLaren Automotive has designed and crash-tested lightweight, bespoke trolleys on which the ventilators are fixed for use in clinical settings,” the company says. “It is also helping to duplicate and expand the production of existing devices to meet demand by reverse engineering and building more vital test boxes to validate new ventilators

“These are being hand-built in the top-secret McLaren laboratory where the next generation of supercar protypes are usually created.” 

Ventilator trolleys are lined up for shipping

McLaren Racing converted its ‘machine shop’ to manufacture ventilator components while also working with 100 of their suppliers and other UK-based Formula 1 teams.”

“McLaren Applied is supporting the ventilator device build assessments, in particular around electronics, and is working with McLaren Automotive to provide engineering expertise to design and build ‘end of line’ test equipment, ensuring that the ventilator units meet all of the functional and safety requirements.”

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The VentilatorChallengeUK consortium is comprised of industrial, technology and engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors, the release notes.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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