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Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare Invests in Community Daily Living Aids Made in Britain

Posted on April 22nd 2022

Formed in 1988, Welland Medical manufactured aids for daily living from their production facility in Leicestershire. In 2011 they joined the Drive group through a strategic acquisition, expanding the UK manufacturing capabilities. Today they employ over 90 people, and the business delivers over 350,000 individual products to customers across the UK on a yearly basis. The Leicestershire production facility provides true UK manufacturing; taking raw steel tube and other components and converting this into a wide range of finished products designed to support diverse customer care needs.

Improving competitiveness and lead times, especially in unpredictable markets, is important to delivering high levels of service to customers. Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare have moved investment to the heart of the business in order to meet our customers’ expectations. Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare are fully committed to UK manufacturing and the benefits this brings to their business, their customers and the UK economy; they will continue to deliver higher levels of service into the future. Over the past year their Leicestershire production facility has benefited from significant improvements and investment:

  • Recruitment of a new highly experienced Manufacturing Director
  • Restructure of production with implementation of teams and team leaders
  • Implementation of additional production shifts
  • Re-lay out of production facility based on lean manufacturing principles
  • October 2021 saw the installation of a new bending machine with a second machine due for installation April 2022
  • Investment in extending the curing ovens to improve output of our unique paint process
  • Improved warehousing and increased on site component stock for production
  • Supplier agreements to hold working stock of steel and components for faster delivery

Drive DeVilbiss focus on ensuring their products are robust and high quality; requirements which are essential to maintain those products in good condition to enable recycling and to gain the highest return on investment for the products purchased. The normal powder coating paint finish used on many products looks pristine when the products are new, but the finish can chip, scratch and scuff easily leading to unsightly marks and premature rusting. Duradip™ is a higher cost, better quality, and more resilient coating which is standard on the frames manufactured at the Drive DeVilbiss Leicestershire manufacturing site.

Duradip delivers

  • Chip resistance due to the plasticised components within the paint which produce a thicker, more resilient coating once baked to the metal surface.
  • Peel resistant coating with improved adhesion to metal surface of products ensuring protection in wet and damp environments
  • Scratch and scuff resistant, products look better for longer
  • Provides a warmer to the touch feel on painted surfaces
  • Our Duradip peel resistant, plasticised painting process provides durable, hardwearing frames, increasing longevity of use.

Grant Abrahams, Commercial Director for Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare;

“Our aids for daily living are designed and manufactured by our experts in Leicestershire and where possible we source materials and components from local suppliers. We are proud to manufacture in the UK, supporting the local economy; but also, being able to provide short lead times from order through to supply. Our supply chain teams are focused on buying local, high-quality steel; enhanced quality steel further supports increased recycling and provides improved return on investment.

In addition to the product benefits which our customers receive, buying British materials feeds directly into the UK economy supporting funding for areas such as the NHS and Social Care.”

With a focus on raw materials and parts being sourced in the UK from UK producers, the Drive DeVilbiss manufacturing process at Leicestershire reduces transport miles significantly compared to goods which are brought into the UK from countries such as China. Reduced transport miles mean reduced fuel use and reduced carbon release helping to reduce the impact on the environment.

For May 2022, Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare announced they will introduce a 5 year warranty on the frame of all products manufactured at our Leicester facility.

 “Buying British made community daily living aids from Drive ensures customers receive higher quality products, a new extended warranty on the frame, quick and efficient delivery and continuity of supply. Additionally buying British supports UK employment and government income, supports funding for NHS & social care and with fewer transport miles provides a more environmentally friendly solution.” Grant Abrahams, Commercial Director for Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare

For more information on the range of UK manufactured products from Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare, please contact info@drivedevilbiss.co.uk or call 0845 0600333. See our leaflet here for more information on the benefits of British made Daily Living Aids.

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Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare Invests in Community Daily Living Aids Made in Britain