While the idea of a world-wide sickness that can affect millions made for a good science fiction movie, it didn’t seem like a real threat until it actually happened. Now we are all watching this scenario play out before us in real life as virtually everyone has been impacted by the Coronavirus in one way or the other. Thankfully, we have dedicated health care professionals who care for the sick and provide comfort, while medical scientists are feverishly working to develop new treatment therapies and testing systems.
Now with the advancements being made by the medical community, we are beginning a new phase of the battle against COVID-19. It is time to start manufacturing the technologies we need to test for and detect the presence of this virus. Ramping up production on any new product typically takes time, and during a pandemic that has shuttered many businesses, this could be difficult. But there are some manufacturers that are uniquely qualified to take on this task. Here’s how the role of manufacturing technology in pandemic containment is well suited to your local printed circuit board contract manufacturer.
The Role of Technology in Pandemic Containment
Whether it is medicines, vaccines, therapies, ventilators, or diagnostic equipment, new technologies are being leveraged in the development and production of it. Research has ramped up using the latest tools, while design and development are working overtime to create what is needed. We are seeing factories transition from what they used to manufacture in order to create ventilators and other life-saving equipment, while medical diagnostic equipment to test for COVID-19 is being rushed into production.
Much of this requires the creation of new types of medical equipment, whether it is for actual patient care or supporting the work that is being done. There is a catch though. In order to build medical equipment, a manufacturer still needs experience with the technology and the expertise and certifications to manufacture it. At the same time, these manufacturers have to be able to react quickly and precisely in order to get the job done in order to get into the fight as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are electronic assemblers that are uniquely positioned with the right capabilities to do the job: your local PCB contract manufacturers.
How Local PCB Contract Manufacturers are Uniquely Qualified to Help
Here are some of the advantages that you will find with a locally based PCB contract manufacturer that lends itself well to the current crisis:
- Location: Being located locally, you won’t have to worry about the time differences or shipping problems that can happen using offshore manufacturers to build your medical equipment. You can quickly and efficiently communicate your needs to the local PCB CM in order to get the project started and completed in as little time as possible.
- Capabilities: Not only can you get your circuit boards built by the CM, but they often have other services that can help with your project as well. Cables, wire harnesses, and box building capabilities under one roof will help you to not only get your project built perfectly to your specifications but will also help get it finished as soon as possible.
- Engineering: Local PCB CMs usually have a well-staffed engineering department that will help you validate your design before production, and can also help you with the design if needed. These experts understand the electrical and mechanical details of the work that they do and will make sure that your product is built correctly.
- Components: With their vast networks of component manufacturers and vendors, local PCB CMs will have access to the parts you need for your project. Plus their ability to review the parts that you are using in your design may result in suggestions for replacement parts that have better performance, prices, or lead times.
- Speed: Local PCB CMs are specialized in low-volume high-mix production, which means that they are used to manufacturing many different types of projects quickly. This puts them into the position to respond quickly to your needs and requirements while developing a superior product for you.
- Experience: Most local PCB CMs have been doing this for a long time. They understand what is needed to successfully build advanced electronics, and they have a skilled and experienced staff ready to go.
- Certification: To build medical equipment, local CMs will carry certifications such as ISO 13485. This will ensure that your medical equipment is being built to the correct standards and that it is fully documented for regulatory and traceability requirements.
Let’s take a look at how one PCB CM is putting their experience and resources to work to help out during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How One PCB Contract Manufacturer has Answered the Call
VSE is a PCB contract manufacturer that has been building printed circuit boards and electronic devices for many industries, including the medical industry, for over 30 years. Recently, we partnered with one of our regular customers, a local business that specializes in biomedical manufacturing, to build boards for a diagnostic system that identifies COVID-19 cases. We were able to respond to this need promptly, and because of our experience in building medical equipment, we were able to accelerate the process of ensuring functionality and transitioning to production.
Besides building highly specialized boards for this diagnostic system, we also developed the unique fixtures needed for the production of this project. Our staff was able to handle the precision assembly requirements of this medical equipment without any problems, including the extensive manual soldering work required for these moisture-sensitive devices.
We have been building medical devices at VSE for a long time, and our staff has the experience, training, and certifications necessary for success. In this instance though, it has been truly gratifying to be able to put all of our abilities to work in order to respond quickly to the urgency of this pandemic.