The biomedical device manufacturing process includes the usage of a combination of very expensive, high-value production tools and low cost, custom-made fixtures. Medical device manufacturers invest a lot of their time and resources to ensure that the production line is equipped with the right tools in the right quantity and is available at the right time to ensure that the production line is running smoothly.
Equipment and tools used in the medical devices production line are also required to meet stringent safety and regulatory compliance standards. Tools and equipment need to be sent for periodic maintenance, calibration, and/or safety inspections to ensure that they continue to meet the specifications for which they are designed.
Line supervisors, leads and Asset managers in biomedical device manufacturing companies need to keep tabs on various aspects of asset visibility including production equipment inventory, the current location of assets and their users, date of maintenance, calibration details, asset utilization, and so on. It is an uphill task for equipment managers to manually perform all these tasks in a timely fashion.
AssetPulse’s Next-Gen RFID Tool Tracking System helps manufacturing personnel in medical device companies to quickly track tools and equipment on the production line. The RFID Equipment Tracking System provides accurate, real-time equipment inventory visibility, facilitates smooth Changeover and Line Clearance processes, enables optimal asset utilization, and helps improve productivity without compromising on prescribed safety and regulatory compliance standards.
RFID Tool Tracking for Accurate Production Tool Visibility
Biomedical device manufacturing leverages extensive use of test and measurement equipment including tools and fixtures. In a large production line, every tool or fixture has to be uniquely identified and its calibration, preventive maintenance, or safety inspections has to be closely tracked. AssetPulse’s RFID Tool Tracking System helps biomedical device manufacturers manage the calibration/PM process including tracking each tool on the production line, detecting tools that have entered Metrology for calibration, and reporting tools that need to be sent for upcoming calibration, Preventive Maintenance and/or safety inspections.
Real-Time RFID Location Tracking of Equipment
Specific tools and equipment are to be used at each step of manufacturing, which means each workstation on the production line requires specific tools and equipment for each SKU. Typically, production equipment, tools, and fixtures are stored in wire cages in the Clean Room or at the production line. The Line Supervisor or Line Lead has to have real-time access to the equipment inventory in order to determine whether all the equipment is available when a new Work Order is created. AssetPulse’s Equipment Tracking System tracks the inventory in the cages in real-time. The RFID tool tracking system intelligently detects and alerts on the addition and removal of assets to and from the cages.
RFID Device Tracking for Smooth Changeover and Line Clearance
The changeover and line clearance processes require that the serial numbers of all the equipment, tools and fixtures are recorded at each workstation on the Line. This information feeds into the Device History Record of the device being manufactured. The DHR is updated if and when equipment is swapped out on the line.
AssetPulse’s RFID Device Tracking System automatically collects the tool and equipment details at every workstation, verifies that the right equipment is placed on the right workstation, thereby not only automating the Changeover and Line Clearance processes, but also detecting and preventing potential human errors where the wrong equipment is placed at a workstation. It can also alert on past-due calibration equipment being placed at a workstation. Allowing for past-due calibration equipment on the manufacturing line can have very expensive consequences that all manufacturing organizations want to avoid.
Aside from automating and verifying the Changeover and Line Clearance processes, additional benefits of the RFID equipment tracking system also include tracking asset utilization.This allows the Equipment Managers to not only know what assets are being utilized regularly, but also to know which assets are being under-utilized. This helps the organizations to maximize the ROI on the equipment, reduce overhead costs involved to replace lost or stolen tools and make informed purchase decisions, thereby saving time and money for the organization.
Tool Tracking with RFID for Improved Compliance
Medical devices manufacturing processes require strict adherence to calibration and maintenance schedules. Tracking equipment from manufacturing lines to Metrology for calibration and retrieving the equipment back to the production lines is a challenge for manufacturing asset managers.
AssetPulse’s solution for tool tracking with RFID helps asset managers to track equipment and tools easily and effectively. The RFID tool tracking system provides clear visibility of tools moving from production lines to metrology and retrieval of tools from metrology after calibration to manufacturing lines.
The RFID equipment tracking system tracks equipment movement from every entrance and exit point to ensure complete visibility. Tool tracking with RFID enables asset managers to get a list of equipment that is due for calibration, maintenance, and safety inspection.