In case you didn’t already know, Memtronik decided to end 2019 on a high note: we got ourselves a brand-new factory that is even more modern than the previous one.

In addition to reaffirming our desire to offer the very best for our clients, this investment has increased our productivity within a market that is near and dear to us: the medical field.

The membrane switch remains a premier choice for human-machine interface (HMI) design for medical equipment, and many other components, such as printed electronics, are slowly becoming more prominent in the industry. Since these machines are frequently in direct contact with patients and medical staff, their quality is of the utmost importance. For obvious reasons, manufacturers in this space are subject to very stringent standards.

While our previous factory – which was already very modern – allowed us to meet these standards, our new facilities will increase our production capacity. Our goal to develop an ISO 8 environmental control system is set to regulate everything. Heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and air filtration are all controlled to avoid dust, odour, and humidity particles from circulating, helping us better manage print quality during the parts manufacturing process.

Now, all of our customers can enjoy the efficiency and benefits of the 100% traceable processes required by medical manufacturers.

What does it take to produce human-machine interfaces (HMI) for the medical industry?

To land itself in the hands of a paramedic or inside of a hospital, each device must adhere to a host of standards related not only to its efficiency, but also to the safety of its users. Every single one of its components must be compliant, from its packaging down to the last electrical circuit.

The Standards Council of Canada, the country where our HMIs are manufactured, clearly outlines the degree of rigour that is expected from players in this space: “there is no acceptable margin of error when it comes to the design and manufacture of medical devices.” It is for this reason that manufacturers in this industry adhere to a standard ISO developed specifically for their operations, in order to guarantee control and quality at each production stage.

For example, here are a few factors that companies like Memtronik must consider when manufacturing products like a custom membrane switch. We must:

  • Be able to provide tangible proof that every material that enters the factory and every product that leaves it meets the applicable norms for the market in question.
  • Be able to identify all potential risks associated with the use of the product, and reduce their impact as much as possible.
  • Minimize the risk of potential failure during the development phase.
  • Ensure that, in the event of degradation, the product will not endanger the safety of patients or medical staff.
  • Verify that none of the materials used will cause issues for users that are either in direct contact with it, or will be exposed to it for a prolonged period of time.
  • Reduce the presence of contaminants or chemical residues to a bare minimum during production.

A process that avoids the unexpected

The challenges faced by manufacturers in the medical industry makes it one of the most complex sectors to work with. We must regularly reconcile design constraints and safety standards to create an efficient, easy-to-use, extremely reliable membrane keyboard … all for a reasonable price.

The key to success lies not only in the performance of our facilities and the processes we have in place, but also in the effective use of available data. Maintaining a strict log of the materials and operations we use allows us to ensure our products’ compliance and react quickly if an error is made – whether we need to recall a product or prevent it from being reproduced.

It’s safe to say that applying these standards to our entire new production line, allowing all of our clients to reap the benefits, is a fantastic idea!

Are you looking for a tech-driven, strictly-controlled, high-performing manufacturing plant for your membrane switches or printed electronics projects? Make an appointment to visit our facilities!