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Seat factory retrofitted to produce COVID-19 ventilators

Tyler Heatley

01 Apr 2020

Seat switched from production of the all-new Leon to much-needed ventilators in its home nation of Spain. It took just one week to transform the Martorell factory.

The coronavirus pandemic that is gripping Europe has brought huge changes to the way we live our lives for the time being. Isolation and travel restrictions are no fun for anyone, but we can all take heart in how the world of manufacturer is coming together to battle COVID-19. Seat have transformed its factory to help support the production of ventilators.

Nicolás Mora from the Production area of SEAT Martorell said: ‘The motivation of everyone participating in this project is that with our know-how we can mass-produce equipment that will save lives.’

Seat’s Martorell facility in Spain went from building subframes for the new Leon hatchback, to the essential piece of medical equipment in only one week. Additionally, Seat has found a way to utilise some car parts in the construction of ventilators to reduce any delays in manufacturing. Engineers designed 13 prototypes for testing, and have now agreed upon the final configuration that makes use of printed gears, gearbox shafts, and a windscreen wiper motor.

The Seat factory will host 150 employees from various areas of the business, each with an adapted workstation for the task at hand.

Sergio Arreciado, part of SEAT’s Process Engineering, said: ‘Taking an assembly line that manufactures subframes, a car part, and adapting it to make ventilators has been a lengthy, difficult job involving many areas of the company, and we managed to do it in the record time of one week.’

Seat’s engineers collaborated with multiple charities and companies to make this possible, in particular the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Healthcare Products. It is a brilliant achievement that the people of Spain will be grateful for.

Gracias Seat!

Tyler Heatley

01 Apr 2020