24 August 2020
When Medtronic plc openly shared their Puritan BennettTM 560 (PB560) ventilator plans to help boost global ventilator production, the blueprints were downloaded more than 200,000 times across the globe, but one Australian company answered the call in a unique way.
Victorian based, JigSpace Inc, worked with the medical technology company to create 3D assembly and maintenance training guides known as ‘Jigs’.
These Jigs reduce the time it takes manufacturers to learn how to assemble, operate and maintain the ventilator specifications provided through the blueprints – an important consideration given the global ventilator demand and the complexity of the technology.
According to CEO and co-founder of JigSpace, Zac Duff: “What we saw with the public sharing of the ventilator design specifications was that for rapid ventilator manufacturing at scale, manufacturers needed a consistent 3D knowledge sharing solution. Our goal was to transfer knowledge as quickly as possible to help doctors and patients dealing with COVID-19. Since developing the technology, we have seen companies like Tesla and Mayo Clinic use our platform.”
The 3D Jigs are viewed in augmented reality via an iPhone or iPad and allow manufacturing or healthcare partners to visually guide themselves through assembling specific components or operations in-situ with their relevant factory, lab or work environments.
“We understand the urgent need, across the globe, f or ventilators as a life -saving device in the management of COVID-19 patients,” said Liz Carnabuci, vice president, Medtronic Australasia. “No single company can meet the global ventilator demand alone. We are pleased to work with JigSpace to increase global ventilator manufacturing capabilities.”
About 7,000 manufacturers who downloaded Medtronic’s PB560 design plans are now using or going to use various AR training guides in Jig Workshop, with part of this success down to an easily accessible app, and not requiring additional hardware, unlike other expensive technologies. This has led to extensive usage in developing countries, as well as traditional manufacturing centres in OECD countries.
Says Mr Duff : “We are seeing a maturation of how AR technology is applied due to COVID-19. Typical knowledge transfer processes have proved to be brittle in this new environment. JigSpace represents the future of how durable manufacturers collaborate, adapt and scale up complex supply chains.”