SEAT factory to build ventilators

  • Car factory has been converted to build medical ventilators
  • A new ventilator has been designed with assistance from SEAT
  • It's now in final testing, being readied for mass production

SEAT's Martorell car factory in Spain is being readied to build automated ventilators for healthcare authorities to battle against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The factory, which builds the SEAT Leon hatchback has been on stand down from car production since March 2020. To address the crisis, SEAT joined a team of engineers to come up with a series of designs. The team is now testing the winning design alongside the local healthcare authority to get approval for mass production.

The ventilators will be assembled at SEAT’s Martorell facilities. The factory will bring together 150 employees from different areas, adapting their usual workstation to build the ventilators in the spot where the SEAT Leon is usually made.

The project was made possible by a collaboration of manufacturing employees, and working in partnership with several charities and companies, in particular the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Healthcare Products.

'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,' said Sergio Arreciado, part of SEAT’s Process Engineering.

>> Read more: What's the car industry doing to help tackle the pandemic?

What this means for you

Although these ventilators will be primarily heading into Spain to meet its domestic crisis, it shows that car manufacturers can help with the fight of the virus – and you can be sure that the same process is happening across the UK as you read this.