The impact of COVID-19 has affected every industry, including manufacturing, and many factories are already experiencing decrease in workforce capacity and resources. The development of new operating procedures and automation solutions that extend production capabilities beyond the factory floor is crucial to maintain constant production capacity during future pandemic outbreak. Quarantine conditions arising as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) have had a significant impact on global production-rates and supply chains. Thus, it has become even more vital to rapidly deliver innovative solutions to contain and mitigate the outbreak and to better care for patients, survivors, vulnerable groups, frontline (health) care staff and their communities, especially in the coming 18 months.

The delay in imposing risk mitigation measures is crucial and can make the difference between a local outbreak with few cases to a pandemic with countless sick and deceased citizens, as severely demonstrated by the recent outbreak of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It is of paramount importance that appropriate and proportionate measures to each phase of the pandemic (e.g. from situations with no reported cases, sporadic, local clusters of cases, to widespread sustained transmission) are immediately implemented to interrupt human-to-human transmission chains, prevent further spread and reduce the intensity of COVID-19 outbreak.

The importance and relevance of agility in manufacturing has certainly been exposed by COVID-19, i.e. the ability to produce a broad range of low cost, high quality products with short lead times in varying lot sizes and built to individual needs of healthcare workers and other first responders. The overall concept underpinning imPURE was developed with the intent to meet challenges and lessons learnt from the recent pandemic outbreak.