100 GRU-V's are being built at PP Control & Automation's facility in the West Midlands

A leading manufacturer of packaging automation and UV systems has turned to PP Control & Automation (PP C&A) to help it meet growing demand for its technology that helps to deliver clean air in indoor spaces.

Jenton Group has signed a deal with the Cheslyn Hay-based strategic manufacturing outsourcing specialist to produce 100 units of its GRU-V® product, a wall-mounted UV Air Disinfection device that exposes ducted air to ultraviolet (UV-C) light.

This process disinfects more than 99.99% of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the air (the virus that causes Covid-19) and is increasingly being purchased for use in workplaces across the UK, Europe and the US, as well as in residential, commercial, healthcare, medical and education settings.

“Using UV disinfection to stop the spread of Covid-19 indoors has had very little coverage, but that is changing as the world adapts to the new normal,” explained Richard Little, Director of the Jenton Group.

“Our systems use lamps that are proven to kill 99.99% of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, creating safer educational, health and workspaces wherever they are installed. We have seen a significant increase in demand for GRU-V® and this accelerated the need for us to engage with PP C&A so that we can satisfy existing orders and also have a blueprint on how we cope with future sales.”

PP Control & Automation immediately created a dedicated manufacturing line at its factory, with a team of engineers assigned to understand the build, before putting in place bespoke production processes that allow for consistent throughput and repeatable quality.

This was achieved in a matter of days from the first parts arriving on site and, from there, PP C&A has taken just weeks to complete the build and lamp burn testing for the GRU-V® systems.

Supply chain management has also been outsourced meaning that Jenton Group simply provide the initial designs and then wait for first-off inspection and then delivery of the finished product – freeing up its engineers and designers to continue their R&D work and development of next generation products.

“Scaling up is a massive challenge for manufacturers, both from an operational, capacity and sometimes an investment point of view,” explained Tony Hague, Chief Executive Officer of PP C&A.

“This sometimes prevents businesses from taking the next step, often missing that market opportunity in the process. For those that do gamble, many fail due to lack of experience of handling production lines of that magnitude.”

He continued: “Jenton Group’s UV product range and its effectiveness to combat Covid-19 is gaining a lot of interest and the firm wanted the confidence of having a manufacturing partner they could turn to if volumes quickly escalated.

“The order for the first 100 units has allowed both parties to commence a working relationship and begin to understand how ‘outsourcing manufacturing’ could work. So far it has been a seamless process and should pave the way for new opportunities.”

The first shipment of GRU-V® systems has been successfully delivered to Jenton Group’s Hampshire facility…on time, on budget and to the exacting quality standards required.

A number of supply chain improvements have been identified that could support greater configurability for future system designs or to enhance other products in the company’s UV range.

Richard concluded: “There’s always an element of risk to outsourcing, no matter how calculated the decision is. So far, we’ve been really impressed with PP Control & Automation and how quickly it has got to grips with our system, seamlessly integrating production so it can make them as fast as we can.

“I’m confident that we have found a formula that works and look forward to seeing how the relationship develops going forward with higher volumes and additional products.”