Enter COVID-19: meeting unpredicted needs
Any crisis will amplify the strengths and weaknesses of any industry and company. The COVID-19 pandemic has sent a shockwave through manufacturing as medical and healthcare workers were under increasing pressure to scale up the creation of new diagnosis tests for the virus. The need for large volumes at speed increased the pressure for our partners to rapidly measure, seal and transport incredibly large numbers of reagent doses.
Fortunately, we’d been working with one client to create a flexible, integrated assembly line for re-agents, using Rockwell MagneMotion solution to create highly customised individualised treatments. This enables complete traceability over each individual package, and allows us to easily add and remove different stages to the assembly line, such as gas flushing, for a truly customised output. This kind of flexibility has been vital to help the client pivot to providing COVID-19 tests.
We were also keen to do our bit to help other clients meet their targets more quickly in this time of crisis. So, to enable our partners to reach the required sealing and production speeds, we decided to take a more active role in their supply chains. Previously, we would ship out the sealing heads and other component parts for our partners to assemble. But this complicated process could take weeks before they were ready. So we simplified the process, pre-wiring the components into a Rockwell point I/O monitoring system. All the client has to do is provide electricity, and ethernet, saving around 7-10 days engineering time onsite, so these vital tests can be ready sooner.
The importance of flexibility
Continuous innovation, particularly that which builds flexibility into your products, processes and supply chains, is vital for manufacturers to adapt to sudden changes and stay ahead. It’s becoming clearer than ever that manufacturers with the right technology and solutions can rapidly adapt to solve unanticipated problems. And by working with the right partner, they can ensure that they are making the right decisions and future-proofing their company for years to come.
Even when a technology appears to do its job perfectly, it’s crucial to keep innovating. You never know what hidden potential you could be missing, or what future problems you might be helping to solve.