As Britain’s oldest company, the Royal Mint has supported the nation through some of its toughest times. As the devastating impact of coronavirus became apparent in spring 2020, the Royal Mint joined the battle against the pandemic – setting up an emergency production line, and making 1.9 million visors for NHS workers.
The Royal Mint, more commonly known for making coins, bullion and gifts, has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in South Wales. With an abundance of engineering skills and knowledge, workers at the Royal Mint were keen to support the NHS, and began searching for medical equipment which could be easily assembled on site.
The team found a rudimentary design for a medical visor online, and began developing high specification prototypes within 48 hours, becoming the first firm to secure approvals under the new government scheme. They then worked with their supply chain across the UK, including Brammer, TJ Morgan and Technical Foam, to source the materials needed to mass manufacture the design.
The visors were initially made available to Cwm Taf Healthy Authority in Wales, but as demand grew so did the scale of the operation. The Royal Mint is now set to make 1.9 million medical visors for the NHS in England and Wales to help protect medical workers, with employees making over 100,000 medical visors per week exclusively for the NHS.
The Chancellor, and Master of the Mint, Rishi Sunak said: “It’s vital our brave NHS workers have the protective equipment they need to safely care for those affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
“I applaud the Royal Mint for refocusing their efforts and working around the clock to play their part during this national emergency.”
Anne Jessopp, Chief Executive of The Royal Mint said: “We wanted to play our part in the fight against Coronavirus by providing NHS staff with the protective equipment they need to keep the nation and themselves safe.
“When people think of The Royal Mint they think about the coins in their pockets, but we’ve been making useful products for the nation for 1,100 years and have a team of skilled designers, engineers and production staff. Together they turned a rudimentary visor design into a working model in just 48 hours, and within a week we were manufacturing thousands per day.”
A few months ago producing protective equipment had never been on The Royal Mint’s radar of items to manufacture. However, as soon as the organisation identified a problem and recognised that they had the ability to offer a solution it became not only a priority but a commitment for the business to do so. The underlying assets that enabled us to offer a high-specification solution was our existing engineering and scientific expertise giving us an ability to design and test visors. This work demonstrated our existing knowledge being repurposed to tackle an alternative problem. This is a proud moment for The Royal Mint by being able to help protect thousands of front line NHS staff that face the impact of coronavirus daily.
Over the past few days the Royal Mint has reached a new milestone in its journey to manufacturing medical visors for the NHS. The organisation has successfully manufactured 1 million medical visors for the NHS. Being able to produce protective equipment to help support the tireless work and dedication that NHS frontline workers do each day has been an immensely proud moment for this 1,100-year old organisation.
During these unprecedented times, the Royal Mint adapted its core responsibility of producing coinage to being able to support those in need as a British manufacturing brand. Not only has the Royal Mint used its in-house expertise of producing and manufacturing coins to manufacture PPE for the NHS but the organisation has also looked at various ways to support the community in the hope of being able to make a difference during these difficult times.
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