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A TOUGHBOOK G1 being used by an ambulance worker

Proud to support first responders and key workers across Europe

Priority repairs and servicing of TOUGHBOOKS for all key workers
Written by Kevin Jones, Managing Director of the Panasonic Mobile Solutions Business Division

Proud to support first responders and key workers across Europe

Priority repairs and servicing of TOUGHBOOKS for all key workers

A key worker mobile computing device being repaired in the TOUGBOOK European Service Centre in Cardiff

Like everyone, we were initially concerned about continuing to work during the coronavirus outbreak after the lockdown was first introduced. But with 60% of Panasonic TOUGHBOOK customers classified as key workers or first responders, the European Configuration and Service Centre in Cardiff, Wales, had an important role to play in keeping their devices repaired and serviced.

Following Government guidelines, including social distancing, strict hygiene protocols and the use of Personal Protective Equipment, 60% of the more than 150 employees were essential to the repair and servicing role and remained working at the site.

Over the past two months, the team has carried out an estimated 1800 priority repairs and services of rugged TOUGHBOOK mobile computing devices belonging to key workers and first responders across Europe during the coronavirus pandemic.

The rugged devices have been supporting people in vital roles in the fight against the pandemic, from hospital and healthcare workers, to emergency services personnel and others in the utilities, logistics and retail industries keeping vital goods moving and essential power and water flowing.

A protoype CPAP machine assembled at Panasonic Manufacturing UK Ltd.

In addition, to prioritising key workers, the team has worked together with staff at the Panasonic Home Appliance division, also based at the Panasonic Manufacturing UK Ltd. (PMUK) site in Cardiff, to assist the local community in other areas.

A cross-site team worked together to create a new production line in just two days to produce 80 prototype breathing devices to assist hospital patients suffering from COVID-19. The emergency breathing aid – a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device – was designed by hospital consultant Dr Rhys Thomas and local engineer Maurice Clarke. Panasonic staff from across the centre worked around the clock, in response to a Welsh Government request, to procure parts and produce 80 units for regulatory approval and use in clinical trials. The Panasonic facility is on standby to produce a 1,000 more devices if required.

Staff at the Panasonic facility have also been involved in a number of other initiatives to help the community during the coronavirus crisis. This included another request by the Welsh Government to carry out Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) testing and reporting on a new Oximeter developed by the University of South Wales to measure levels of oxygen in the blood. In addition, Engineers have been using 3D printers to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the NHS, and donated Panasonic TOUGHBOOK mobile computing devices to help patients in isolation communicate with relatives.

I’m incredibly proud of the team. They realise the customers they support are working on the frontline and they have a clear sense of purpose. Everyone wants to make a difference. They are all heroes in my eyes.

The role TOUGHBOOK devices play in supporting key workers and first responders can be seen in this video.

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