Are we using the data from injection molding in the medical devices space?
Data is everywhere. Nine out of 10 processes today are controlled digitally and generate data of some kind. This is the reality for injection molding and is especially true of the equipment used for the manufacture of medical devices.
According to a panel discussion that Plastics Today attended recently, the conversation was centered around the fact that the rise of industry 4.0 has improved product quality and boosted operational efficiency. Talking specifically about medical devices, the consensus was that the impact was indeed profound – and the panelists made some important points.
“We must challenge all the data — the data we like and the data we don’t like — and correlate that with output,” said one of the panelists.
Advantage Engineering has years of experience serving the medical devices industry and uses data with confidence; some of its peers in the industry do a good job of leveraging data too. The group believes that in order to make the most of data, it must be used effectively.
In most cases, data generated is run through software that simulates different scenarios, factors in a variety of conditions, leverages specifications from a variety of materials databases, and ultimately, provides model-powered summaries of component and assembly evaluations.
“That information feeds into the molding process to develop parts and tooling,” explained a panelist.
Before getting into injection molding, especially for medical devices, the panelists discussed how most responsible manufacturers 3D printed the parts and used information from other instrumentation on the shop floor to put make precise measurements and adjustments to their equipment before moving to production for the client.
“There's volumes and volumes of information — we need to standardize how we score that and how we evaluate it,” said another panelist.
Ultimately, the reality is that finding data isn’t the problem. Making sure it is used in the best way possible needs a willingness to explore and a fair bit of experience. Advantage Engineering makes this possible for its clients (in the medical devices space or otherwise), right from the start. To learn more about how our team uses data and how it can help you with your manufacturing needs, get in touch with us now.