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The Pros and Cons of Covid-19 for Medical Device Manufacturing

The coronavirus has led to a shortage of medical supplies. However, it is possible to produce medical devices fast with rapid injection molding.

Categorys:Rapid Injection Molding

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Posted on March. 18th, 2020, | By WayKen Rapid Manufacturing

Technological progress is impartial. It doesn’t adhere to good or evil. Therefore, even the worst of events can make a positive impact on the Tech devices. An awful threat has appeared all over the world. A new pandemic has appeared and spread all over the world at a tremendous speed. As bad as it sounds, it has brought some positive developments as well. The Covid-19 has brought countries to forget their quarrels and unite under a common goal. Doctors help each other out, governments send help to other countries. But what Covid-19 has done for the tech world is boosting the medical device manufacturing speeds and new inventions.

The Needs in Medical Devices During a COVID-19 Pandemic

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The Coronavirus is a very dire respiratory disease that results in coughs, high fever, body pains and the symptoms increase daily. Right now, the most important things medical devices do is prevent the symptoms and increase the immune system of the patient. Based on that, ventilation systems, humidifiers and respiratory masks are the most important medical appliances. A lot of countries have a total lack of those devices because of the influx of sick people. That’s why new rapid medical device development and manufacturing methods via 3D-printing,medical injection molding and machining are being developed as we speak.

Affordable Ventilator Prototypes with Rapid Injection Molding

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Rapid Injection Molding is one of the perspective processes in the rapid prototyping and manufacturing business. They allow us to set up production in mere weeks rather than months as it is done with conventional injection molding. Rapid Injection Molding is just perfect for such cases when a production line is needed urgently. Example: a pandemic. Patients need lung ventilation systems and not all countries have the resources of Chinese manufacturing.

That's' why an affordable and portable ventilator system can be made even at home for the people who require artificial lung ventilation. It requires a plastic ( acrylic or likewise) enclosure, a standard ambulance bag, a motor with  controller, and a special plastic cam part. The motor activates the cam mechanism, which suspends the ambulance bag and pushes the air into the lungs of the patient. The whole thing works via batteries.  It is possible to make this ventilator at home from basic parts.

However, setting up a batch manufacturing system for the ventilator will bring much more advantages and most importantly more people can get help. And when you want to make a batch, using rapid injection molding is perfect for a lot of parts for the ventilation device. First of all, the enclosure can be modified and made slightly more complex to house all the elements better. Then, the cam can be made with injection molding as well and lastly you can add a special respiratory mask made from silicone to better fit the patient.

A Venture in Respirator Manufacturing

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One of the areas that actually had a terrific rise while all the other industries were losing money due to quarantines and lack of buyers are the respirator manufacturers. The majority of people purchase paper masks but those last only a couple of hours and are not really efficient. They prevent the wearer from being contagious rather than protect him from the viruses around him. Now, the respirators with filters are quite different. They protect the wearer and the filters can be changed.

Business is all about opportunities. You have to act fast and set up the manufacturing just on time before others see the same window of opportunity. A respirator requires two things: filters and a silicone mask. The filters can be easily purchased on any mass market site. The masks must be made with injection molding. Usually, an injection mold requires at least a month or two to be designed, verified and machined from hardened steel to be used from mass production.

However, a rapid injection mold is made of lighter alloys using the best CNC machining equipment for the maximum efficiency. The cavity is usually done separately from the base of the mold. It allows the manufacturer to machine the mold twice as fast (since the two processes go simultaneously). The mask doesn’t really require long testing for certification because the filters you purchase are already certified.

Making Humidifiers with Rapid Injection Molding

One of the things the doctors tell us about the virus is that it is very important to keep yourself hydrated. Drinking a lot of water and keeping the air humid is a good way towards reducing those rasping coughs. That’s why humidifiers are in great demand. One of the ways to create additional humidifiers is to use rapid injection molding. A simple humidifier is pretty simple. It consists of a water tank and an enclosure where the water from the tank flows in and is sprayed with an ultrasonic membrane. You would need to purchase the ultrasonic membrane though, which is as easy to get as the filters.

The Cons of Coronavirus on  the Medical Device Development

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Apart from the actual meddling in the jobs of the manufacturing companies and the design institutions that develop medical device prototypes, the coronavirus has some other cons that are going to influence the medical industry for some time. All the funding has now switched to this virus and other illnesses that are actually more little get less attention. All the medical facilities are developing devices and medicines against respiratory diseases, namely the COVID-19 and its family and all the other projects have been halted.

A lot of the plants that were previously working on essential medical supplies have switched to the production of the devices that protect against the coronavirus. It will take some time for the plants to readjust back to a normal rate of work. So, as a result, not only do we have a pandemic, other people will get less attention, less medical equipment, less medical attention and some contagious diseases will get a rise due to a lack of medical attention.

All the medical facilities are developing devices and medicines against respiratory diseases, namely the COVID-19 and its family and all the other projects have been halted. A lot of the plants that were previously working on essential medical supplies have switched to the production of the devices that protect against the coronavirus. It will take some time for the plants to readjust back to a normal rate of work. So, as a result, not only do we have a pandemic, other people will get less attention, less medical equipment, less medical attention and some contagious diseases will get a rise due to a lack of medical attention.

Want to know or learn more?

We have many enough resources available( materials, equipments and processes) to help you machine medical device prototypes, you can visit our gallery there. When you are ready to start a new project, we will be happy to offer your more advices (contact us: info@waykenrm.com )and we will get at you back as soon as possible.

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