NHS COVID Testing Automation at Southampton University

In October 2020 MONK Conveyors were approached by the University of Southampton to see if we were willing to work on an automation project for the NHS. This was part of a new COVID testing facility where non-invasive LAMP saliva testing was being setup in an automated environment. The task given to us was to design a conveyor-based feed system for COVID test samples being delivered to the site every day.

The challenge was the very short lead time, as it was a race against time to get this facility operating. At the time vaccinations had not yet been rolled out and a cancelled Christmas was looming. Because we hold conveyor parts in stock in the UK and have good engineering design capability, we were very keen to do what we could to help the test facility and the NHS.

Our existing customers generously agreed to delay some of their own projects, so we could focus on the COVID system. Designed to handle up to 100,000 samples per day if the need arrived. Our system was to receive bagged live test samples, and distribute them into a room of 28 staff who would unpack the bags and remove the test tube samples ready for testing. A network of outfeed conveyors and specially designed sorting equipment would feed them on to the next part of the process.

The system was design and built in our factory, before shipping and installing in the NHS test facility in Southampton. The whole project was put together in record time and was ready in go live within the tight deadline.

In January of 2021 design work began on a second room. Our task was to automate the feeding of test vials up through the floor and then distribute them to 40 Automata EVA Robots. We designed bespoke conveyors, pneumatic gates, pushers, sensors and indexing star wheels to sort and handle the test vials. Then a precise push and gate device to present test vials to each Robot position. The Robot system would then automatically remove the cap and take the samples dose from the tube.

It was challenging and rewarding to be part of this project and working alongside the other suppliers and NHS staff. It was satisfying to know that our work was helping in a small way to be a part of the fight against COVID and improving the automation of this new NHS testing facility.

Our engineers have built up over 25 years experience in conveying and handling equipment. Please contact us or call 01252 369800 and we will be happy to discuss your application.

Warehouse Packing and Sortation

MONK have been providing Conveyor Systems and Product handling solutions to a wide range of industries for over 25 years. Designing a handling system tailored specifically to your needs involves careful consideration of your product, operators, machine throughput and line capacity.

Our wide range of products and experience helps us work with you to meet all of your essential business demands. We work with you to provide the best production solution to move materials and products around your factory. Our goal is to provide cost effective solutions with the highest level of service.

Our roller conveyors are a proven cost-efficient solution for the many meters of track used in handling and delivering totes and parcels in warehouses or packing halls. Pallets can also be handled on our special purpose pallet system, feeding to robots, wrappers or racking.

The right conveyor system in your warehouse can reduce manpower, improve accuracy and increase productivity. We will design you a product feed system completely tailored to your site. Monks range of conveyors means we can use standard equipment to reliably handle the size and shapes of your product range.

We are very proud to have worked with The Norville Group, delivering on all of their requirements for new lines across Surfacing, Coating and Glazing. Our knowledge of the Optical Industry and experience helped us to work with Nevil Trotter on completing their project on time and to the highest standard. Take a look for yourself in our video interview…

Industries Using MONK Conveyors

We supply conveyor systems and product handling solutions to a wide range of industries. Designing a handling system involves careful consideration of product, operators, machines throughput and line capacity. Each industry has specific needs and our wide range of products and our experience help us work with customers to meet their requirements.

Our roller conveyors are a cost-efficient solution for the many metres of track used in handling totes and parcels in warehouses or packing halls. Pallets can also be handled on our special purpose pallet system, feeding to robots, wrappers or racking.

Our Flat Belt and MODU Flex Chain conveyors are ideal to handle everything from medical items, pharmaceutical & personal products, automotive components, wrapped food products, optical lenses, candles and many more. Larger heavy duty belt conveyors can handle cartons feeding between mezzanine floors and bagged laundry.

Examples Photo's of Food, Medical and Automative Systems

Example Photo's of Parcel, Warehouse, Sortation and Optical Conveyors

Examples Photo's of Tea, Candle Cooling, and Sushi Convyeors,

Our Product Range

Our philosophy at MONK is to always look and apply the simplest solution possible. We have a comprehensive range of standard conveyors and automation devices.

By using as many standard products within our systems, they will be reliable, easy to maintain and cost effective. Our 25 years of engineering design capability means we can also manufacture special equipment and machinery. We can supply individual belt conveyors up to fully installed systems with electrical control and software.

Our engineers have built up over 25 years experience in conveying and handling equipment. Please contact us or call 01252 369800 and we will be happy to discuss your application.

Have a question?

Get in touch today.

+44 (0)1252 369800 sales@monk-conveyors.co.uk

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