Jarrow engineering firm donates machinery as Barbour ramps up production of PPE
Jarrow-based, UTS Engineering, has designed specialist machinery for the international clothing brand as it continues to produce much-needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for NHS Trusts in the North East.
Barbour announced earlier this month that it had begun producing protective clothing to support the local hospital trusts in the fight against Covid-19.
The South Shields factory is currently producing between 1,000-1,500 disposable gowns a day, with the first shipment of PPE delivered to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle on Friday, April 10.
Staff are now working six days a week with a twice-daily delivery of disposable gowns to North East NHS Trusts for them to distribute.
Now UTS Engineerging, based on Bede Industrial Estate in Jarrow, has donated two rigs - designed and assembled from scratch - to help them keep the brand keep up with production.
Managing director, Shaun Sadler said: “We are fighting a battle against an invisible enemy and companies must step up and use their resources to assist the national effort. The NHS staff are true heroes and we must keep them safe at all costs.
“Barbour is doing an absolutely amazing job at supplying our NHS Trusts with PPE at an incredibly fast rate and we are eager to help them in any way we can. We have donated two rigs which we designed and assembled from scratch and are looking at other things we can do to help assist production.
“It is heartening to see that local people and local companies are coming together to support our communities and NHS workers.”
Mr Sadler, who started his career at Barbour 30 years ago, added: “When Tom Sweeney reached out I was thrilled to hear from him and more than happy to assist Barbour. We mobilised an eight-strong team, headed by our research and development manager, Tony Chambers, who designed the equipment and had the rigs ready within hours.
“I take great pride in the quality of our products and the service we provide clients but this had a different and emotional meaning behind it for myself and the team. We owe our NHS workers a huge debt and I am thankful that UTS Engineering is in a position to work alongside a local company which is doing everything it can to protect those on the frontline.”
Tom Sweeney, product development and technical services manager, Barbour commented: “We would like to thank Shaun and everyone at UTS Engineering for their support.
“The rolls of fabric we use for PPE gowns are far heavier than those we normally use. The rigs supplied by UTS Engineering enable us to handle these rolls and have been crucial in our ability to adapt the factory to make PPE. Shaun’s enthusiasm and willingness to help is very much appreciated and it demonstrates what can be achieved when local companies come together in the fight against COVID-19.”