The past year brought blockbuster headlines for U.S. manufacturing. Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn unveiled plans to build a $10 billion assembly plant in Wisconsin that would make liquid-crystal display panels and employ as many as 13,000 people.
Increasing demand for smart devices and embedded intelligence is driving manufacturers in a variety of industries to invest in new production tools and technologies. Additive manufacturing, advanced sensors, augmented reality, cloud-based computing, collaborative robots and digital twins are just a few of the many trends transforming factory floors today.
Ergonomic upgrades are becoming a vital part of many workplaces, and assembly workstations can be especially challenging. According to data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, ergonomic issues cost U.S. companies upwards of $54 billion annually, and they account for one-third of workplace absences.
For medical devices such as catheters, syringes, vials, test tubes and injector pens, many manufacturers are turning to plastics that are formulated to resist harsh chemical and environmental conditions.
ANN ARBOR, MI—Industrial robot orders in 2018 grew 24 percent over the previous year in the life sciences, food and consumer goods, plastics and rubber and electronics industries, according to the Robotics Industries Association. The main reasons are lower robot prices, and robot systems that are easier to install, integrate and program.
BRONX, NY—The Medical Device Innovation, Safety and Security Consortium has announced it is developing a set of recommended practices and profiles for securing medical systems based on the normative requirements in the widely used ISA/IEC 62443 series of standards for industrial automation and control systems cybersecurity.
For medical device manufacturing, quality is crucial. To ensure quality in production, audits of the manufacturing facilities by a government health organization are standard. The audits and inspections are not, however, standard between countries. The Medical Device Single Audit Program (MDSAP) is looking to change that.
On the assembly line, every medical device is thoroughly checked for quality and functionality. Are all the parts present? Is the needle sharp? Does the device leak? Does air flow where, when and how it’s supposed to? Do triggers and control knobs function correctly? Does the touch screen work?