ANCA joins the fight against COVID-19 - manufacturing components for life-saving ventilators

April 2020: Coming to the aid of a medical system crushed world-wide by the COVID-19 pandemic, ANCA has joined an important consortium to rapidly manufacture invasive ventilators within Australia. This initiative directly addresses the critical supply of mechanical ventilation equipment to support COVID-19 patients requiring ventilation to survive. Banding together with other Australian manufacturing businesses, the consortium can harness various industry capabilities to make more ventilators sooner.

Building on over 45 years of innovation, ANCA has taken its industry know-how to pivot to COVID-19 related manufacturing to support national efforts to produce more ventilators. ANCA’s dedicated project team will draw on the skills and experience of engineers and manufacturing production teams to support this venture while maintaining business-as-usual production, service and support for its global customers. 

Co-founder and managing director, Pat Boland said: “ANCA is an advanced manufacturer that supplies to a wide range of industries, a key one being the medical industry. In fact, ANCA has been classified in the US as an essential industry because so many of our customers are manufacturing medical components.”

ANCA is a manufacturer of CNC machines that produce quality precision cutting tools. Their experience in advanced manufacturing means they can guarantee a micron precision, a capability which means the company could pivot and utilise its machine shop to manufacture parts for the ventilators. An Australian-based company, ANCA exports 98% of their product and boasts a global network to service global customers. Fully Australian and privately owned, ANCA machines have the capacity to machine components in brass, aluminium, plastic and steel and has skilled assembly capabilities.

Pat adds: “ANCA is Melbourne based, and we are very excited by the prospect of being involved with a home grown project and helping make a contribution to the manufacturing industry; making ventilator components and sub-assemblies to support urgent medical requirements.”

Around the world it is predicted that total demand for ventilators could run into the tens of thousands, with existing manufacturers unable to meet demand. 



“This is a global emergency and in my view it is incumbent on every individual in every organisation to do everything they can to help deal with it. And in the case of ANCA, we have capabilities that are a good match and it’s the right thing to do. We are very good at manufacturing the kind of parts that are needed for ventilators and it is a really great way for us as an organisation to give something back to the community,” said ANCA Group CEO, Chris Hegarty.

Chris continued: “ANCA is a global company, but while we do have some resources offshore for manufacturing, most of our engineering is in Australia and a significant proportion of our manufacturing capabilities are here as well; so that’s why we are able to help.”

With production already in progress to meet tight timeframes; ANCA has hit the ground running with dedicated machinists willingly working weekends and over the Easter break to make parts and help combat coronavirus. 

Production Operations manager, Mark Patman explains: “With an extremely tight timeframe, we’ve jumped in and started manufacturing the parts; it’s a team effort across the business to get it done. As a well-established global business, a lot of the processes required to deliver this type of project are already in place at ANCA. We can leverage off all our systems to be able to deliver the project.” 

ANCA is utilising a cross-functional team comprising manufacturing, supply chain, project management, stores logistics, and safety to support this crucial work. 

Demonstrating agility in moving from machine tools to ventilators ANCA already has a working relationship with the AMGC and is pleased to be collaborating with Grey Innovation to ensure that Australia does not have a shortfall in ventilators, critical for our COVID-19 response. Answering the call from the Australian Government, rapid production will continue to supply contracts and contribute to the coronavirus crisis strategy.