From advanced robots that can repair roadways and fight fires to 3D printers that can create muscle and bone, modern day smart innovations all have one inescapable force behind them – digitisation. The era of digitisation is already upon us and will only continue to evolve and encompass all aspects and all sectors of manufacturing.
The age of digitisation, also known as Industry 4.0, is the single biggest challenge facing manufacturers. And with smart manufacturing transforming what we produce, we need to transform how we produce to stay on the cutting edge.
This is where the concept of the Digital Factory applies. Put simply, the digital factory is when a digital twin or copy of real production is simulated – and shows the production process in a virtual way. It is especially important for the planning and optimisation of the manufacture of complex products, such as medical devices.
At our upcoming information roadshow on Industry 4.0 for medical device companies, experts from Seabrook Technology Group and Siemens will discuss and showcase the advanced technologies necessary to keep pace with digitisation. In this blog, we will examine the advanced technologies in Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and the huge role it will play in the transition to digitisation.
PLM is so much more than a piece of software or a technology, it is also a strategic operations process that will ensure sustained manufacturing excellence into the future. PLM facilitates compliance enforcement, enables greater innovation – therefore enhancing product quality, reduces time to market and allows for continuous improvement.
At the very core of PLM is its ability to simulate a digital copy of the end product in which individual components can be inserted in different configurations and thoroughly tested. This is possible along the entire development chain, before a single piece of the product is ever produced. This process is especially significant for the medical device manufacturing sector, where reconfigurations and iterations of a product cost both valuable time and money.
An example is the progress and innovation in the global production of orthopaedic medical devices by the Wright Medical Technology Group. Using PLM Teamcenter®, Wright has been able to come up with less painful and less invasive ways of repairing fractures and other orthopaedic ailments. It has designed and manufactured hip and knee joint implants as well as implants for hands, shoulders, feet and ankles. PLM has allowed for collaboration between all teams in quality, engineering and manufacturing, as well as with the necessary surgeons and medical professionals who could look at virtual 3D models of the device and give instant feedback. With the easy accessibility of the most up-to-date data, PLM Teamcenter also resulted in reducing time to market and cutting delays with FDA compliance and regulations for Wright, who has increased its market share since adopting the technology.
Using PLM to connect the real with the virtual world of production makes it possible to enter entirely new dimensions in quality, efficiency and flexibility. It’s clear that organisations that adopt these technologies now in order to transition to the Digital Factory, will lead the way in the future.
For more information, or to secure your place at Seabrook’s Preparing for Industry 4.0 roadshow, see www.seabrookglobal.com/preparing-for-industry-4-0