Many users of everyday medical consumable products and medical devices such as face masks or single-use bandages would not stop to consider how it is that such products are readily available in such large quantities at such a low per-unit cost. Large medical-industrial capital equipment and automated machine production lines make this type of mass production possible.
Much like other similar equipment in other manufacturing industries, capital equipment in the medical manufacturing industry is defined as the large machines used to produce marketable medical goods. These machines possess large industrial footprints and contain hundreds of moving parts and components working in concert to accomplish a wide range of manufacturing operations. These capital machines possess long useful lives and are therefore categorized as fixed assets with long depreciation horizons.
These machines are essentially fixed at a single location within a manufacturing facility. Large medical capital equipment is most commonly employed to produce either high-volume consumable products or other small medical tools and equipment.
Typically, medical industry capital equipment is highly automated, complex machines that are able to take raw material inputs and produce finished products ready for use. To accomplish this, high levels of automation are designed into these machine lines. This is usually done because these high-volume manufacturing facilities are routinely located in countries with a lower number of skilled workers which necessitates that automated machines perform much of the complex manufacturing operations.
Common medical products produced by these machines consist of medical-grade gloves, gowns and scrubs, syringes, needles, intravenous (IV) therapy tubes, surgical staples, diagnostic test equipment, and medical-grade adhesives typically used in wound dressing.
Dozens of other varieties of small medical tools and equipment can also be produced using capital equipment machines. These products are absolutely essential to the effective administration of daily patient care by doctors, nurses, and other medical support personnel. In this way, it is no exaggeration to say that medical capital equipment produces huge quantities of indispensable medical products.
The design and build of these complex capital equipment machine production lines are most usually accomplished in-house by the full-time engineering staff of large equipment manufacturers. However, smaller medical device manufacturers with fewer resources may decide to contract both the design and manufacturing activities to outside design/build agencies that specialize in this work. because they do not possess the expertise to engineer such complex equipment product lines. This outsourcing activity is sometimes the best way to bring capital machines to market quickly and cost-effectively. In the next post of the series, this activity will be further detailed and discussed.
To see how MISUMI components can provide solutions for the Medical Capital Equipment industry, visit our dedicated page here.