These Guys Are Good "Project Pitlane"

in hive-174578 •  2 months ago 


When we think of a Formula One Team we forget to think that they are made up of a multi talented world class team. We see the end result of months and sometimes years of hard work. Every season the technical side is faced with new challenges whether it is a design change to the car or something so new and unique outsmarting their rivals.
This week 7 Formula One teams was applauded for some new technology developed by their engineering team. We all know about the COVID-19 crisis happening right no and the shortage of ICU beds. No they didn't make a new type of bed but something just as important to help patients stay in the normal hospital beds.
Project Pitlane was formed when Mercedes Formula One got a call on Wednesday the 18th March along with the other 6 teams based in the UK to help reverse engineer an item called CPAP. This stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure and the challenge was nick named Ventilator Challenge UK by the teams. This is a breathing apparatus that allows patients to breathe without an incubator. Patients with serious lung infections can use this apparatus using just oxygen alone. No other gases are required or specialist equipment which is limited.
The teams have specialist machines that can manufacture specialist hi tech items at a moments notice. Formula One ticks all the boxes for this type of thing as they are known for rapid design, prototype manufacture, test and skilled assembly.
One specialist said what the teams are doing in 5 days is what the industry would take two years to achieve. The item actually took 1000 man hours to develop and manufacture which is nothing really when you look how many engineers are involved. It is amazing to think all this machinery and technology with the teams expertise has been called into action to produce life saving equipment at a moments notice. The plan is to have thousands of these manufactured over the coming days so they can be not only used in the UK but for whoever needs them.The latest is the teams have been asked to now manufacture 10 000 urgently.

McLaren offices in the UK and "workshop."
The items are all going through a quick trial but the precision work and standards have met all the certifications required. No doubt in their downtime they will make a few changes and improve on what was already available.
I think the medical industry is changing and many companies who had a monopoly have seriously screwed their businesses up. I saw @themarkymark's post about 3D printing being used to make valves for a fraction of the price $1 versus $11 000 and now this. Companies that thought no one could make something the same as what they had keeping them in business has now been seriously challenged. The government has asked for 10 000 of these specialist CPAP breathing apparatuses and how much were those costing before if a valve cost $11 000. Whoever was supplying them just lost out on Millions of Dollars in profit.
The various health authorities around the world can relook at what they are now paying for items and if things seem expensive like the valves then they could go to Project Pitlane and ask them for something better and cheaper. There is no ways an engineering team is just going to copy an item as they will make improvements to what is available.
INEOS the giant chemical Manufacturing company used Mercedes to help them improve their sailing yacht for the Americas Cup and they have a team now dedicated just for this. INEOS will use the expertise on hand to no doubt help fabricate other items they need in the future regarding their business needs. They paid $20 Million for sponsorship advertising space on the Formula One Car but it was obvious it was used to open the doors to the specialists that work at Mercedes Formula One. The team has over 1200 employees and everyone is a specialist in their field.
Formula One has many spin offs over the years normally for the motor industry but they have been asked to adapt and improve things before outside their normal realm.It is fairly obvious really as how many companies have developed items with technical flaws and need help. I remember Williams was doing something with the military a few years ago.

Not many companies have a team of 100 or more specialist high skilled engineers at their disposal. Throw in all the machinery and anything can be redesigned and manufactured in no time at all. I think after this the Formula One teams are going to be busy doing everything, but racing cars as it shows you what they are capable of. This could be more lucrative than the racing and something to seriously consider to help subsidies their expenses considering they are all on budgetary caps this season.

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