The COVID-19 pandemic has unveiled many holes in the healthcare manufacturing industry. As more and more people require tests, ventilators and space in a hospital bed, healthcare professionals are realizing how little materials they have to work with.
With a lack of stocked supplies, manufacturers across industries have come together to produce necessary tools, equipment and devices that healthcare professionals desperately need. By changing up their strategies, manufacturing new products or working in overtime to produce materials as quickly as possible, companies are doing what they can to support the industry and help stop the spread.
Adapting Their Tooling Capabilities
With materials like ventilators and face masks in high-demand right now, manufacturers that typically produce those products simply can’t keep up on their own. To help support these struggling companies and deliver necessary materials to healthcare workers, many manufacturing companies have adapted their tooling to produce them.
For example, many car manufacturers are converting the parts they normally produce for cars into devices used in ventilators and other medical devices.
- Kia Motors: manufacturing face shields for hospital workers
- Ferrari: converting snorkel masks into respirators
- Ford: manufacturing ventilators, powered air-purifying respirators and 3D printed face shields
- General Motors: producing medical masks and ventilators
- Tesla: shipping FDA-approved ventilators to hospitals for free
Clothing companies are also producing medical masks and hospital gowns, while breweries and distilleries are using their resources to produce hand sanitizer. Industries across the world are changing up their manufacturing capabilities to adapt to the needs of healthcare workers.
To combat increasing demands and tight turnaround times, manufacturers have pushed their capabilities to the limits to produce medical parts as quickly as possible. Normally, medical design timelines are long, as validation phases and FDA approvals can take extended amounts of time. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA has done their part to provide quick approvals for medical devices, allowing parts to move quickly from prototype to production.
Apple Rubber continues to support the medical industry by reducing lead times and quickly fulfilling orders. Since Apple Rubber has in-house molding capabilities, we are able to turn prototype tooling into production high-cavity tools for increased throughput. With quick, high-volume production, we are providing large amounts of rubber parts and seals for ventilators, tests and devices that are critical to the health and safety of our community.
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