When demand for Centurion Safety’s Concept Air powered respirator soared during the coronavirus pandemic, they turned to trusted supply partner and Thetford neighbour, Vanilla Electronics, to help meet the surge in demand.

British safety products manufacturer, Centurion Safety, has been manufacturing above-the-neck PPE, including respiratory protection systems, in Thetford, Norfolk, for over 100 years. Their products are used in many manufacturing environments to protect workers against exposure to dust, fumes and vapours.

Once the coronavirus pandemic took hold, workers, from doctors on the front line to dentists and veterinary practitioners, were looking to upgrade their respiratory protection and demand for powered respirators increased by +423%. Centurion Safety needed to dramatically increase their production capacity in order to meet this demand and help keep critical workers safe.

Vanilla Electronics has been supplying Centurion Safety with electronic components and PCB assemblies for the Concept Air range and are experts in providing technical supply chain services that can be fully customised to help manufacturers rapidly scale their businesses.

As part of this project, Centurion worked with Vanilla Electronics to upgrade the internal powered air componentry and software, as well as redesigning the PCB layout. This redesign enabled them to manufacture in volume. Vanilla also risk-bought long lead time parts to improve delivery and the time to market of the final product. Meanwhile a sophisticated stock management system has enabled Vanilla to manage free issue inventory from Centurion, alongside Vanilla Procured Parts (VPP).

Once Vanilla completes the initial assembly work, Centurion takes over the production for the final assembly and product testing. This outsource of the PCB and mechanical assembly to a semi-finished state has enabled Centurion to drastically increase capacity, whilst maintaining high levels of quality.

The partnership has enabled Centurion Safety to increase production during the peak demand to keep a wide range of professionals safe during the pandemic. Many of these workers had never worn a powered respirator before the coronavirus outbreak but were pleasantly surprised by how easy and comfortable the Concept Air is to wear and how quickly and efficiently Centurion were able to supply the product during a global pandemic.

Quote from Centurion:

“Our partnership with Vanilla has been a huge success and has enabled us to meet, with ease, the dramatic increase in demand for powered respirators during the pandemic.  We are extremely proud that with Vanilla Electronics’ support we were able to ramp up production so quickly and efficiently, playing a critical role in keeping the nation safe.”

Vanilla and Centurion continue their close relationship, collaborating on new and existing technology products.