Covid-19 poses a new challenge for point-of-care manufacturing

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The spread of covid-19 outbreaks has led facilities in medical device manufacturing to rigorously anticipate, plan, and innovate. By Ali Burns, managing director of Siemens Healthineers Sudbury, UK manufacturing facility.

In its Sudbury facility, the work Siemens Healthineers does is intrinsically linked to the preservation of life; supply chains and distribution networks are constantly monitored and reinforced for the critical work the company undertakes.

The facility manufactures blood gas benchtop products along with diabetes and urinalysis instruments. Even under normal circumstances, some of these are lifesaving machines, critical in hospitals and essential to patients’ survival. The covid-19 pandemic has made production of these instruments even more important.

With news of covid-19 spreading in other countries as early as January 2020, the site began preparations, increasing the raw material inventory to help protect production and maintain supply levels. This included several contingency planning meetings of the site leadership team, with a focus on keeping the Sudbury site running and ensuring that the business’s many customers could still obtain the consumables they needed. All manufacturers witness fluctuations in demand, and the need to anticipate, plan, and innovate is an established reality in medical device manufacturing.

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Date: 10 August 2020