duagon proves to be reliable supplier of medical hardware

25th November 2020
Alex Lynn

During the COVID-19 crisis, duagon was able to prove itself to be a highly reliable developer and supplier of medical hardware. On short notice, duagon produced around 40,000 electronic controllers within a few weeks for Hamilton Medical, a manufacturer of ventilation solutions for intensive care. 

Reliable computer components from duagon AG, developed and manufactured according to medical standards, have been in use in the medical industry for years. Several years ago, the company designed a customised board for the manufacturer Hamilton Medical, which is used to control ventilators with patient monitoring for invasive and non-invasive therapies for adults, children and infants.  

The ESM COM solution, based on COTS products and implemented specifically for Hamilton Medical, includes an application-specific I/O fully embedded in FPGA graphics, binary I/O, pulse width measurement, quadrature decoder, frequency counter and a custom carrier board developed by Hamilton Medical. In addition, the board has a highly robust design, which is necessary due to the mobile equipment and the load capacity in use.

The design also features long-term availability, and duagon maintains the complete life-cycle management process for the customer. The COM modules used are based on Power-PC and ARM architectures, which realise the connection to the host CPU by means of FPGA and PCI to withstand the tough real-time requirements.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for ventilators rose sharply worldwide and Hamilton Medical placed an order with duagon without advance notice for some 40,000 boards, with a delivery requirement of only a few weeks. An order of this volume is usually produced by duagon at its Nuremberg site within a period of more than one year.

Despite the difficult market environment due to the pandemic, in particular the challenging procurement of components, duagon was able to manage the entire supply chain. Also due to the support of the suppliers, duagon was able to deliver the ordered boards on time, in some cases even early.  

"Due to their very short-term and flexible support, duagon contributed significantly to our project success in the still challenging COVID-19 pandemic and exceeded our expectations by far. Against the background of our long-term partnership, duagon knew our products and requirements exactly and supplied us on time thanks to their local production in Europe," reported Marco Guarino, Team Leader Procurement at Hamilton Medical.  

The accomplishment of this time-critical volume order was realised not only by the performance of the employees, but also by the machinery at duagon AG. The company's continuous investment in production in Nuremberg was a key factor in this respect. At the same time, the internal focus on operational excellence as well as intelligent project and supply chain management enabled a smooth handling of the order.

The established task force planned and monitored in detail capacities and processes to be able to handle the additional order without delays or neglecting ongoing business. Flexible shift models and working hours as well as variable personnel planning formed the basis for the implementation. 

Dr Michael Goldbach, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer of duagon, added: "Set up as a duagon wide joint project we have gained valuable insights from this significant order. It will improve our design to manufacturing process, project management and our customers in the medical sector will benefit from it in future projects. We would like to thank Hamilton Medical for the excellent cooperation and the confidence placed in us and are pleased that we were able to support our long-standing partner in this challenge."

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