SMTL Princess of Wales Hospital

Overview
SMTL at Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend Wales, encountered a problem with their Instron 3345 system that was testing PPE for the staff at the hospital.

 

The Challenge

On Monday 30th March 2020, Instron received a call from Princess of Wales Hospital that the extra high 3345 system located in their Surgical Materials Testing Lab was not functioning properly. Field Service Engineer Paul Metters had been on site and provided a temporary fix, but the system wasn’t stable enough for the continuous testing of medical gloves that the hospital needed to keep their healthcare workers safe during the escalating COVID-19 crisis. The lab manager explained they were sourcing gloves from different suppliers, and it was now more critical than ever that they were able to test the gloves before providing them to hospital staff.

The Solution

Instron’s technical support team in High Wycombe was fortunately in possession of an extra high 3345 customer return, which was immediately dismantled in preparation to support the malfunctioning system at Princess of Wales. The following day, Helen Smith (UK Service Sales Representative) and Toby Sparkes (Field Service Engineer) arrived on site with the necessary parts. When they assessed the customer’s machine, it was found that the ball screw was travelling in an elliptical pattern and returning with a lot of noise and vibration. To fix the problem, they replaced the top part of the customer's machine with identical parts from the customer return. The safety systems were checked, the speed and displacement were calibrated, and the machine functionality was verified with the customer. Both the system operator and the lab manger were extremely happy with the response they received from Instron, which enabled them to continue testing PPE with minimal system downtime.