Manufacturing beyond Coronavirus

By Gerald Kelly, Director of Professional Services at Sony UK Technology Centre

The Covid-19 pandemic has had an immense global impact and has changed the landscape of manufacturing as we know it over-night.

Here at Sony UK Technology Centre, we have had to adapt our way of working substantially, but we have endeavored to continue supporting key sectors across the globe and make a positive contribution to the fight against the virus.

Our Pencoed-based facility saw operations scaled back to ensure we could continue to supply technology linked to the medical and broadcast industries, as well as food manufacturing, power and utilities, and education sectors.

Given the circumstances, it was crucial for us to continue supporting our key customers and produce a range of the Raspberry Pi computer models, which have been in high demand around the world due to their application in the development of medical technology. They have also played a vital role in the development of medical ventilators treating COVID-19 patients, and virus tracking technology worldwide.

With our scale-backs, we have also ensured that the professional service centre has been able to provide support for critical high-end products, including medical printers and cameras, as well as a full range of professional broadcasting equipment. This service has kept hospitals, clinics, medical centres, medical equipment providers, large broadcasting stations and freelance professionals across Europe up and running during this challenging time.

However, although our work has been categorised by the UK Government as ‘essential’, it has also been a huge priority for us that we recognise the risks that the workplace presents. Our team players’ health and safety is our top priority, so we had to think fast to keep going, safely. We took on the enormous task of re-evaluating our environment and working processes to create a completely new and unprecedented way of working.

There is no denying that this was a difficult task, but we have worked tirelessly to implement these essential changes to our working environment, processes and site rules, all in line with the most recent UK and Welsh Government guidelines for a safe working environment.

A host of health and safety measures have been introduced in order to protect our dedicated staff. There are now thermal and temperature testing machines installed on-site, to ensure anybody entering the facility is not displaying any symptoms.

We have also minimised risk by separating the facility into seven different work zones with designated exits, entrances, and carparks. A new one-way system has also been mapped out to avoid unnecessary contact, along with mandatory handwashing and virtual meetings. We have also provided team players who will be accessing the site with PPE.

These measures not only help ensure our team players are protected, but also helps ease the anxiety that is inevitable in this unavoidable situation. We’re pleased to say that our team players have adapted well to these changes.

As we reflect on the past few months and look towards the future, we hope that our efforts to steadily increase production underlines our commitment to supporting the growth of the Welsh and UK economy following the pandemic, but more importantly our commitment to supporting key industries fighting coronavirus worldwide whilst keeping our incredible employees safe.

Related News