Scania winds down ventilator engagement having reached targeted tripled production
6 NOVEMBER 2020
As the Coronavirus pandemic continued to spread across the world, hospitals were overwhelmed by the increasing number of patients in intensive care. The shortage of ventilators was acute and Getinge, the Swedish medical technology firm that accounts for one-quarter of the world market, needed to swiftly boost production.
With Scania’s production in Södertälje at a standstill due to shortages of components, Scania offered to lend 40 of its skilled workers to Getinge to rapidly raise production. Now, six months later, Scania’s engagement will gradually be phased out as the production target of tripling production from the normal output of 10,000 ventilators is within reach.
“It’s been one hell of a ramp-up and a tremendous challenge but now we’re approaching the finishing line. And that’s awesome,” says Anna Andersson, who has worked six months as a shift manager at Getinge’s facility in Solna, Stockholm.
Andersson, who normally works as a team leader at the basic engine assembly, had then just started a two-year technology training course but didn’t hesitate when asked whether she could take the assignment at Getinge. “I opted to work evening and night shifts to be able to continue studying. Sure, you’re tired occasionally but this wasn’t something you would say no to.”
Right from me – also at Getinge
She describes assembly operations at Getinge a fairly straightforward and less physically demanding than at Scania but the need for exactitude and precision is similar. “If there are fault, the ventilator might need to be scrapped and we’ve been very aware that they were needed as quickly as possible in health care. So, you must take work seriously, but then of course that’s in our Scania DNA – right from me.”
“Our contribution was needed”
Scania colleague Anton Anjou Hebbel left the V8 engine assembly line to work with material handling at Getinge. “We were furloughed at the time and it wasn’t clear then when production would reopen,” he says. “This was an attractive option and I’ve really enjoyed working here.”
Anjou Hebbel found that all everything at Getinge was so much smaller than at Scania. Deliveries to the production line were carried out with manual carts rather than forklifts, for instance. He will soon return to Scania’s engine assembly. “Our efforts have really been needed at Getinge. I’ve felt that our contribution has been so meaningful. Now we’ve managed to reach the production target, which many doubted was possible.”
To be furloughed was no fun at all, says Madelene Strömberg. “There was therefore no doubt in my mind in accepting the offer. I’ve liked working at Getinge,” she says adding that she also enjoys working at Scania. Like Anna Andersson, she notes that working without takt time is very different and at times gives a greater sense of personal responsibility.
“We’ve learned fighting spirit”
“It’s felt good to be part of something that really makes a difference and we’ve been able to increase production output tremendously. What I’ve learned is actual fighting spirit. We’ve encouraged one another and there have been no sullen faces, we’ve all had fun and enjoyed work.”
Unlike colleagues in other assembly workshops, Team Leader Hanna Pulkkanen is used to assembling small and fragile fuel injection system components. At Getinge, she has been assigned fault reporting and analysis. Like others, she jumped at the opportunity to take on the meaningful and needed job. “In a way, I’ll miss Getinge but at the same time it feels good to come back to Scania.”
And she leaves a lasting contribution to the company. “With our experience from Scania, we’ve defined and documented efficient processes for fault recognition and analysis. That will benefit Getinge long after we’ve gone.”
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