Medical-Device Manufacturing Can be Lean With DDM

A new mindset has made Acist Medical Systems more agile than ever. A medical-device manufacturer with a clinical presence in more than 40 countries, Acist specializes in contrast injection systems. Its devices let caregivers in cardiology and radiology infuse dye into the vascular system so doctors can better see patients’ anatomies.

Creating end-use parts on Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) systems has improved Acist’s processes in several ways. Because it’s engaged in direct digital manufacturing (DDM), Acist can manufacture in low volumes and update devices based on customer feedback. Inventory is lean, because replacing a broken part takes just a CAD file and a day. And designers can reduce part count by integrating complexity into components.

“We want to use as many FDM parts as possible in our machines that are going to market,” said Dave Scott, manufacturing engineering manager. On a recently upgraded display system, seven FDM parts replaced what would have been 15 traditionally manufactured components.

Here’s a question for designers and engineers: Can more complex parts actually simplify your work, as they have for Acist?

Read the whole story of Acist’s lean manufacturing.

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