A group of four Australian-owned and operated manufacturers has teamed up with an international medical technology company and is drawing on local supply chains to manufacture emergency hospital beds in response to COVID-19.
Demonstrating the power of Aussie innovation and collaboration, the Australian Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) has helped facilitate the partnership between Stryker South Pacific and A.H Beard, AmTek Australia, Fallshaw Wheels & Castors, and Varley Group.
Registered for use with the Australian Therapeutic Good Administration (TGA) standards, the Emergency Relief Bed has been designed to accommodate patients in respiratory distress and provides critical surge capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said within six days Stryker South Pacific, in partnership with AMGC, mapped a local supply chain to adapt the design, create prototypes and begin production of the Emergency Relief Bed in Australia.
“This rapid response is an incredible feat and shows how Aussie companies are quickly working together in the face of this unprecedented pandemic,” Minister Andrews said.
“The fact that these beds can be manufactured from readily available components, shipped and stored as flat-packs and then assembled on-site with hand tools demonstrates the kind of ingenuity that is helping Australia respond effectively to the COVID-19 crisis.
“Not only does this innovation highlight how local producers are supporting our hospitals and ‘pop-up’ care facilities with equipment during this time, but also the potential to support the health-care capacity of our Pacific neighbours if needed.”
Stryker South Pacific’s President Maurice Ben-Mayor said the Emergency Relief Beds partnership was a testament to the dedication and agility of Australia’s medical technology and manufacturing sectors.
“Every day we at Stryker are driven to make healthcare better for patients and caregivers. I’m very proud of this partnership with leading Australian manufacturers which has enabled Stryker to deliver on our mission through the Emergency Relief Beds,” Mr Ben-Mayor said.
Managing Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, Dr Jens Goennemann said, “The ability of Australia’s manufacturing sector to respond in times of crisis demonstrates just how strong and adaptable our manufacturing industry is.
“Via the Stryker project, AMGC has linked a 130-year-old fabrication business, to a 120-year-old Australian mattress manufacturer and a 100-year-old Australian caster company, all of whom are working side-by-side to deliver an advanced manufacturing solution to address the current COVID-19 crisis – it’s innovation and collaboration at its finest,” Dr Goennemann said.
“Amtek is proud to assist Australia in this challenging time. Our team’s expertise in design and manufacturing allowed us to rapidly respond to Stryker’s request, going from design to prototype in 24 hours,” said Amtek’s Director, Alan Moses.
“During this crisis, we’ve seen what Australia’s skilled manufacturing workforce and our can-do attitude can achieve in a very short space of time. It’s an honour to support the production of these beds which provide additional capacity for our health sector,” said Fallshaw Group’s Managing Director Jo Fallshaw.
“The Emergency Relief Bed project represents the power of Australian manufacturers individually and as a collective. We are proud to collaborate with leading manufacturers to deliver this project with Stryker,” said A.H.Beard’s Chief Operating Officer Brent Tyrell.
“For over 130-years Varley Group has been here to help. When we were approached by AMGC to assist Stryker with Emergency Relief Bed, we didn’t need to be asked twice” said Varley Vehicles Chief Executive Officer Blaine Scarr.