Medical manufacturing in the United States today looks a lot like it did in the middle of the 20th century. Many of the practices that were in use over 50 years ago — stretched out shipping lines and international supply chains — are still in use today.
This is not a good thing.
According to a release from the the Commissioner of Food and Drugs and the Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs, “These manufacturing platforms are not dynamic and can increase the risk for shortages, limit flexibility during an emergency, and contribute to the high cost of medical products.
The COVID-19 outbreak revealed leaky seams throughout manufacturing supply chains, including medical manufacturing. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration encourages medical manufacturers to pursue advanced manufacturing to support public health.
What is advanced manufacturing?
Advanced manufacturing refers to new technologies and practices that improve medical manufacturing. This includes things like continuous manufacturing, 3D printing, IoT, and smart factories.
Advanced manufacturing practices help:
- Improve drug quality
- Increase availability of drugs, biologics, and medical devices
- Prevent shortages of medicine and personal protective equipment
- Reduce the amount of time it takes for people to get medical devices
- Lead to new tools or technologies that can improve the health outcomes
- Create more resilient supply chains
- Prevent delays in manufacturing processes
- Avoid quality issues
Improving medical manufacturing could improve public health.
Eliminating inefficiencies in manufacturing increases profit and creates opportunity for innovation. Eliminating inefficiencies in medical manufacturing provides these benefits while also improving health outcomes for millions of Americans.
The COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity for medical manufacturers to transition to advanced manufacturing. America’s emergency response during the global health crisis highlighted just how vulnerable our manufacturing processes are.
Maybe you’re not in a position to totally overhaul your motion control system, or maybe you still need to lean on your legacy system a little longer while you transition to newer machinery.
We can help keep your legacy Indramat products running smoothly as long as you need them. When you’re ready to upgrade your legacy system, we can assist with retrofitting and transitioning to newer Bosch Rexroth machinery. Call 479-422-0390 for any of your Indramat motion control needs.