Wales’s leading manufacturer Sony UK Technology Centre (UK TEC) is “proud” to have continued supporting key medical markets by operating at a reduced level through the coronavirus lockdown.
The Pencoed-based facility, which produces high-specification broadcast and professional camera systems, scaled-down its operation during the pandemic to ensure it could continue to supply technology linked to the medical and broadcast industries, as well to the food manufacturing, power and utilities, and education sectors.
The facility continued the production of 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.
In addition, the professional service centre continued providing support for critical high-end products, including medical printers and cameras, as well as a full range of professional broadcasting equipment. The 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.
During that period, the factory introduced a raft of health and safety measures to safeguard its staff and ensure Government social distancing guidelines were adhered to.
This included the introduction of thermal and temperature testing on-site, separate work zones with designated exits and entrances, and a new one-way system.
With these in place, the facility will continue its steady operation, now also delivering the new highly anticipated Raspberry Pi4 8GB computer which was launched on the market last week.
This comes following increased demand for the technology, with more people using it for home working and learning during lockdown.
The Raspberry Pi has also been utilised in the manufacturing of medical ventilators treating COVID-19 patients, and virus tracking technology worldwide.
On the stepped increase in manufacturing and the Raspberry Pi news, Steve Dalton OBE managing director at Sony UK TEC said:
“With all sectors worldwide facing unprecedented challenges during the coronavirus pandemic, we are proud to have been able to continue manufacturing to support essential services at this time.
“While our operation ran at a far reduced level for a few weeks, we were still able to assist key markets including medical, broadcast and education, providing the high level of quality and service that Sony UK TEC is renowned for.
“A reduced number of our dedicated team has continued to work at the factory during the outbreak, with all precautionary measures in line with Government advice taken to ensure their safety.
“We’d like to thank them for their selfless dedication, and for adapting seamlessly to the measures we have introduced factory-wide.
“While manufacturing has continued, we have seen a stepped increase in our production volumes overtime to meet growing demand for the new Raspberry Pi4.
“We have always been proud to be a part of the manufacturing process behind the Raspberry Pi, and we are delighted to have been selected as manufacturing partner once again.
“Now more than ever, with Raspberry Pi being utilised in ventilator and testing technology for Covid-19, we are incredibly humbled to support its production.
“It has been a privilege to manufacture this life-changing technology and for our Welsh manufacturing facility to support people fighting this virus on the frontline worldwide.”
In order to maintain production, the Pencoed facility has introduced wide-ranging safety measures to ensure the health of its 300 staff working across the site.
These include face masks for staff, thermal and temperature testing on-site, mandatory handwashing, a one-way system, seven separate work zones with designated exits and entrances, virtual meetings, separate lockers, and spaced car parking areas. Mr Dalton said:
“The safety of all our staff at this time is paramount, as such we’ve overhauled our methods of working within the factory to ensure social distancing can be observed.
“We are currently running at just under 60% of our staffing capacity onsite, with numerous others working from home and supporting our vital day to day operation.
“We hope that our steady move towards increased 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.”