Any medical equipment must meet specific regulatory requirements before being approved for use.
As such, the production of equipment can be expensive and time consuming. The production process involves several steps: design, testing, and manufacturing.
Streamlining each step of the production process is vital to reducing the cost and time associated with producing medical equipment. But while you may be looking to reduce the costs and time required to produce the equipment, you shouldn’t sacrifice quality and compliance.
Quality assurance is critical in the production of medical equipment, as any substandard product can be dangerous to patients and fail to meet regulatory requirements.
Reduce time and cost of medical equipment production
Below is a detailed guide on how to reduce the time and cost of producing medical equipment.
1. Use rapid prototypes
Rapid prototyping is a cost-effective way to quickly test potential designs. This process involves the use of 3D printing and other computer-aided technologies to create working models of the products.
By comparing different prototypes, you can reduce the time spent on development and testing and reduce the costs associated with trial and error.
Through prototyping, it also creates predictable results from your design. The design will be created with regulatory standards in mind before actual manufacturing begins.
As a result, the equipment will not need to go through repeated manufacturing and testing cycles before it is approved and released to the market.
2. Have a strong development team
Having a strong team of experts to develop the product and manage the production process is critical to speeding time to market and reducing costs. Trained personnel with relevant knowledge of the healthcare industry and its regulations should do the design.
An experienced development team can identify potential problems in the design before they become costly problems in the manufacturing process.
In addition to developing the product design, the team must be able to handle other aspects such as budgeting, risk assessment, scheduling, and quality control strategy development. The combination of all these skills can result in a robust and efficient manufacturing process.
3. Reduce material waste
Your team can cut costs by reducing material waste during production. Efficient use of materials and minimizing the energy or resources required for each process step can significantly reduce costs.
To help reduce waste, invest in machinery and technology designed for efficiency. For example, you can program machines like 3D printers and laser cutters to produce precise designs that require minimal resources.
Your equipment should also use materials with a longer lifespan instead of cheaper alternatives that may need frequent replacement.
4. Work with quality suppliers
The components used to build medical equipment are just as important as the design of the product. You should work with quality vendors who can provide reliable and compatible parts such as connectors, circuit boards, and cables.
Working with the right suppliers will help reduce delays associated with sourcing parts, as components will be available for assembly.
It is also essential to ensure that suppliers have high quality assurance standards and that any parts purchased from them meet regulatory requirements. Working with trusted suppliers can speed production and save costs by avoiding costly recalls due to defective products or non-compliance.
5. Employ automation
Many processes in the production of medical equipment are repetitive and can be automated. Automation helps reduce costs and improve efficiency by reducing the amount of labor required during production.
Automated solutions, such as computer numerical control machines, can create complex designs quickly, accurately, and consistently.
Additionally, automation can help ensure quality throughout the process with automated test and inspection systems. As? Reduces the time required for labor-intensive quality control procedures.
Automation can also eliminate human errors that can lead to costly rework or production delays. For example, automated systems can detect defects when printing circuit boards and adjust the process accordingly. Otherwise, these errors would have crept into the manufacturing process if done manually, leading to delays in approvals or products being returned to production.
6. Ensure Compliance with Regulations
You must ensure that your products comply with the relevant regulations and standards. Various regional, federal, and international bodies guide how medical equipment is designed, manufactured, and marketed. For example, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a set of regulations for medical equipment, such as 510(k) clearance.
The FDA requires manufacturers to notify before introducing or reintroducing a device that they have undergone significant changes that may affect its safety.
You also need to ensure that your medical products comply with other relevant standards, such as ISO 13485, an international quality management system standard designed specifically for medical devices.
Compliance with these regulations can reduce the costs associated with the recall of defective or non-compliant products. It also speeds up the approval of devices, allowing them to get to market sooner.
It is crucial to keep up with changing regulations and ensure that all processes comply with the latest standards. You must have a dedicated team or staff to manage the fulfillment process.
7. Get real-time information about the production process
Investing in technologies that provide real-time production process information can quickly improve production planning, identify potential problems, and take corrective action.
Technologies like manufacturing execution systems provide a complete overview of the manufacturing process and allow the collection of data from multiple sources in one place.
The information helps you make informed production decisions and avoid costly delays due to inefficient planning or unexpected problems. It is also useful for tracking a product’s progress along the production line, which can help identify bottlenecks that are slowing down the process.
8. Ensure quality control
There must be quality assurance procedures to ensure that all components, parts and materials meet required standards. They include tests of safety, precision and efficacy of the products during the different stages of production.
You should also implement a statistical process control system in addition to having a development team.
The system analyzes the process and issues alerts when a problem occurs. change in quality occurs. You can then detect and trace the point of failure and address any issues before they become significant issues.
Minimal errors mean faster production and less costly errors.
Medical equipment can be manufactured faster and more cost-effectively with the right processes.
Automation, compliance with regulations, real-time monitoring of the production process and quality control are some strategies to reduce the times and costs associated with production. By implementing these strategies, you can ensure that your medical equipment reaches consumers quickly and safely.