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Helping out: Laptop recycling firm transforms assembly line to produce ventilators for hospitals

  

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Venture: CEO Sean Sheehan and staff at the Cork plant. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Venture: CEO Sean Sheehan and staff at the Cork plant. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Venture: CEO Sean Sheehan and staff at the Cork plant. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

An Irish firm that specialises in recycling laptops has repurposed one of its production lines for the assembly of life-saving ventilators for our hospitals.

Wisetek in Cork is now capable of assembling 50 ventilators a day from components sourced with firms that have been hugely supportive of the initiative.

Chief executive Sean Sheehan said that the firm was now working with the HSE on the production of ventilators which, once Irish demand was satisfied, could then be made available for export to other countries battling Covid-19.

"We were operating at around 50pc capacity after the virus restrictions were put in place," Mr Sheehan said.

Wisetek was deemed an essential operation because of its work with firms including Dell EMC and Irish healthcare agencies.

It specialises in taking used IT hardware such as laptops and then securely deconstructing them to allow the components to be recycled.

Wisetek was approached last month about ventilator assembly work.

After securing a component supply stream, Wisetek's engineers converted an entire production line in just 24 hours.

"The week previous, we turned out 24 ventilators. Last week, we turned out 42 ventilators. But we have the capacity to push that up to 50 a day.

"We are very proud to be able to undertake a project like this because we all understand the importance of supporting the Government and HSE at this time," he added.

"We have been overwhelmed by the support not just of our suppliers but from the wider business community."

One supplier, O'Connell Batteries, opened its shop over Easter weekend and hand-delivered products directly to Wisetek.

Irish Independent