Vital respiratory products for Covid-19
New machines for Intersurgical at short notice

Breathing filters provide an effective barrier that help prevent cross contamination between patients, breathing systems, respiratory and anaesthetic equipment – these have been a vital requirement in the Covid-19 pandemic. Intersurgical manufactures breathing filters for hospital use and increased their capacity to meet demand as KraussMaffei stepped in by providing new machines at short notice.

Text Petra Rehmet  Photos Intersurgical

Intersurgical is an innovative market leader for high quality respiratory care products for the hospital sector worldwide. Therefore, precision is a key factor for any products manufactured by them; selecting KraussMaffei as a trusted business partner for high tech injection molding machines was the preferred choice. Since its inception in 1982, Intersurgical has been completely focussed on providing medical devices for respiratory care. Their product portfolio covers four key areas: airway management, anaesthesia, critical care, oxygen and aerosol therapy delivery devices. Their Head office is located in Wokingham, UK, and today the company has grown to a total of five production locations in the Channel Islands, UK, Lithuania, Italy and China with over 3,000 employees; 704 of whom have joined the team during the course of the Covid-19 crisis. The solid personnel base at Intersurgical has allowed so many new colleagues to be integrated into the company demanding, high-quality production processes.   

Charles Bellm, Managing Director of Intersurgical, adds importance to the company’s ethos is in engaging with their employees: "We have many employees who have been with us for 20, 30 or 35 years. That's very important to us, because with their knowledge, their experience and their passion, form the core of Intersurgical."

Production at Intersurgical
Production at Intersurgical
Since the start of Covid-19, the company has invested in numerous new KraussMaffei machines.
"In this crisis, we have learned how to be as efficient as possible, and also who we can rely on." 
Charles Bellm, Managing Director Intersurgical

Effective also in the crisis

As the first factory closed in February of this year due to the Covid crisis, the global demand started to increase from both governments and hospitals directly. The management team implemented a strategy to increase resource, extending working hours, numbers of staff and its manufacturing equipment. Intersurgical has been working with Richard Mumford, Sales Director of KraussMaffei in Great Britain since 1996 – and one system from those early years is still in operation today, which speaks for its durability. It quickly became clear that a solution needed to be found to respond to demand. KraussMaffei responded with exceptional speed of machine delivery and a fair invoicing agreement. Charles Bellm emphasizes: "In this crisis, we have learned how to be as efficient as possible, and also who we can rely on." 

Filters from the CX 160
Filters from the CX 160
are integrated into the tube between the machine and the patient

Thus, so far, a CX 160 with an electric turntable found its way to Lithuania, where it is now producing high quality breathing filters that are used in a breathing tube between a respiratory machine and the patient providing protection. In an eight-cavity mold, the two halves of the filter are created from polypropylene (PP), in a cycle time of 18 seconds, between which a membrane will later be inserted in cleanroom assembly.

Huge demand for filters and oxygen masks

Before Covid-19, breathing filters such as these were routinely replaced in intensive care approximately every 24 hours, at peak times in the pandemic, in certain cases, every one to two hours. This explains why Charles Bellm says: "We could have increased our production capacity twenty-fold, and it still wouldn't have been enough to cover the demand." In addition 26 injection molding machines alone are currently producing Intersurgical EcoLite oxygen masks around the clock for the global markets. 

Martin Spayne, Group Processing Manager at Intersurgical (20 years in the company and 35 years active in the field of injection molding), knows what he appreciates about KraussMaffei machines: "For us, the user-friendly control system is important, not too much text, more graphics, which makes it easier for beginners to cope. And the many equipment options make it easy to put together the ideal package for us."

Back to “new normal” status

After a summer in which the infection numbers have slowed down a little everywhere, Intersurgical is now in a state of the "new normal", as Charles Bellm says. The company is still working hard to ensure they can cover any outstanding and ongoing customer orders, and preparing for a second wave. If demand suddenly increases again in the winter, they are well prepared. In an emergency, KraussMaffei will certainly be able to deliver even more machines. 


Thomas Hörl

Head of Expert Sales & KeyAccount Management Medical


Richard Mumford

Sales Director  New Machines IMM KraussMaffei Group UK