Injection Moulding Repurposing for Medical Supplies enabled by Additive Manufacturing
The modern world is fast-evolving, interconnected and highly mobile, posing a significant challenge in harmonizing risk mitigation measures against emerging biological hazards. For many years the risk of emerging infectious diseases with pandemic potential was declared a major threat to global health security and addressed by many stakeholders around the world. The delay in imposing risk mitigation measures is crucial and can make the difference between a local outbreak with few cases to a pandemic with countless sick and deceased citizens, as severely demonstrated by the recent COVID-19 outbreak.
Immediate activation of national emergency response mechanisms and pandemic preparedness plans to ensure containment and mitigation of COVID-19 with non-pharmaceutical public health measures is critical in order to allow healthcare systems to prepare and cope with an increased influx of patients. However, shortages and other gaps in the global medical supply chain represent a mismatch of supply and demand. With healthcare workers and other first responders feeling the impact of supply chains disrupted by unprecedented challenges, many large and small businesses from outside the traditional healthcare procurement system are reconfiguring to mass produce critical medical consumables.
IES will make available the iSCAN for manufacturing platform to handle data collected from the production lines via MQTT communication. The time-series data output by digital twins will also be uploaded in the platform via API, in combination with the Machine Learning algorithms developed. This will allow remote virtual manufacturing monitoring, to support troubleshooting during production.
Using the IES iDashboards tool prototype, a Command Centre will be designed for each pilot to visualise the data from the line and other sources connected to iSCAN, such as models developed by partners for forecasting (e.g. demand growth, production output, etc.) or simulated/optimised production data/setpoints; and the results of analytics carried out on this data, such as to raise alarms when thresholds are hit. The Command Centre will display the data through colour-coded graphs and KPI cards to provide the main information needed by pilot line managers to decide how to act & transform their production.
- Stilgomma: rubber and plastics, reusable respirators, masks; Castelli Calepio, Lombardy, Italy
- Producta: manufacture of gaskets and extruded profiles, injection moulding for medical products; Montelupone, Marche, Italy
- Elvez: specialized products for automotive industry, electrical and mechanical engineering, and white goods manufacturers; Visnja Gora, Slovenia
- Pascoe: injection mould manufacturer; Paisley, Scotland, UK