Mercedes repurpose Brixworth factory to produce breathing aids in COVID-19 fight

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Mercedes has confirmed their entire Brixworth factory has been repurposed to produce breathing aids in the fight against the coronavirus.

Last month it was confirmed Mercedes' High Performance Powertrains division, working with University College London, had developed a new Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine which had gained approval for use by the NHS.

In typical Formula 1 fashion, it hasn't taken long for a Mark II version of what has been called UCL-Ventura to be created and also given approval by the government which sees the same benefits for patients but uses 70 per cent less oxygen.

The devices have also been open-sourced, allowing anyone to produce them by copying the design and indeed, Mercedes' title sponsor Petronas has confirmed they will begin production in Malaysia.

"After a UK Government order for up to 10,000, the devices are being produced at a rate of up to 1,000 a day at the HPP technology centre in Brixworth, Northamptonshire," a press release revealed.

"Currently, 40 machines that would normally produce F1 pistons and turbochargers are being used for the production of the CPAP devices, and the entire Brixworth facility has been repurposed to meet this demand."

Mercedes HPP chief Andy Cowell added: "Since the project was announced, we have received an incredible number of enquiries about the CPAP device from around the world.

"Making the design and manufacturing specifications openly available will allow companies around the world to produce these devices at speed and at scale to support the global response to COVID-19."

Mercedes, along with the five other UK-based F1 teams, have been working together on helping to meet the technical challenge against the coronavirus through the production and development of machines as part of 'Project Pitlane'.