Tag Archive: manufacturing

  1. Techprint Welcome’s Congresswoman Niki Tsongas

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    Niki Tsonges
    At Techprint we recently had the opportunity to welcome Congresswoman Niki Tsongas to our facility for a visit and tour. The U.S. Congresswoman for Massachusetts’s 3rd congressional district was visiting as a part of National Small Business week. Along with celebrating this national event the purpose of this visit was to continue her effort to engage local businesses in her district and learn more about them.

    What is National Small Business Week?

    National Small Business Week is a yearly event to recognize the contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. As a large portion of the American population either works for or owns a small business, it is vital to understand their importance and accomplishments.  Each year the President of the United States also issues a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week in an effort to bring attention to the importance of small business. Events and awards are given out around the country to honor these businesses and the people who make positive contributions to the economy.
    Congresswoman Tsongas took the time to visit the Techprint facility in recognition of National Small Business Week.  During the visit the Techprint staff took the Congresswoman on a tour and provided her with a basic overview of the business.  As a manufacturer of specialty graphics and printed electronic products, this was a great opportunity to show off the importance of these products. Our meeting with her also allowed us to discuss some of the challenges we face as a small business that is looking to be successful in a challenging marketplace, and also the responsibility we have as our own economic ecosystem that is supporting our employees and by extension the local economy around us.
    Everybody at Techprint would like to thank Congresswoman Tsongas for taking the time to visit us and discuss the challenges we face as a small business.

  2. The Manufacturing of Force Sensor Resistors

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    One of the breakthroughs of modern technology, Force Sensor Resistors or FSRs are used in many applications. From keyboards to musical instruments to portable devices in which the output has to be calibrated and produced according to the applied pressure, without FSRs many of the dynamic interactions that we have with our technology units would not exist.
    How Do Force Sensor Resistors Work? 
    The FSR produces a variable electrical output as force and pressure are applied. It can do this in two ways. One method relies on the printed ink layer compressing, and changing conductivity as force and pressure are applied. The active layer in this design is a low conductivity printed polymer ink, applied in different thicknesses, or in varying patterns to produce the desired result. A second approach is similar to a membrane switch construction, where a highly conductive layer mates with a less conductive one.  As the two surfaces meet, varying amounts of surface area make contact with each other in relation to the force applied.
    General Construction:
    –          A base substrate layer-usually 75-175 microns.
    –          A printed conducting layer-can be minimally or highly conductive.
    –          An adhesive/bonding layer-can be full or zoned, depending on sensor design.
    –          A top substrate layer- usually 75-175 microns.
    The construction described above produces variable resistance values which in turn are used to trigger different response to the receiving electronics. This capability allows design and electrical engineers to create more sophisticated, intuitive, and responsive systems for monitoring, alerting, or protecting the user or the equipment it controls.
    Sensor Resistors Work
    Techprint is an ISO 9001 certified market leader that brings only the best to its customers. We have made a name for ourselves manufacturing products as per custom requirements. To this end we have acquired considerable prowess in the sector of manufacturing top notch FSRs, testing them in house for faults and performance and then using them in keyboards and membrane switches for a tactile experience that is unparalleled.
    Contact us here to learn more about our FSR capabilities, and all of the services we offer.  Be sure to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest company news and information.

  3. TechPrint Helps the Growing Wearable Medical Devices Market

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    In 2014, the wearable medical devices market took in around $2.7 billion dollars and is expected to grow in large proportions by the year 2023. Estimates are suggesting the market will reach $10 billion dollars by that year globally.
    Concept of connected health and fitness tracker and devices
    Although there are numerous devices that are manufactured in this market, the largest growth rate is found in heart rate monitors and many of the devices are used for home health care. Two of the main reasons the wearable medical devices market is expected to grow is because of the latest in innovation and the many people who use these devices. Although some devices can be prescribed by doctors, many people who take their health seriously use them in an effort to better understand and maintain their own bodies. This demographic tends to be tech-savvy, health conscious, and in the higher income brackets. Those people on the lower income side enjoy the same type of products, but typically tend to look for cheaper models.
    Also growing in popularity is non-invasive diagnostic devices.  These are a type of wearable used in the biosensor market to gather medical information from patients.  Examples of this include devices that can monitor and map areas of the body including cardiac monitoring and brain waves.  This technology is vital to managing the health of the aging population, and will only become more important as technology continues to improve.  The sensors and electrodes that gather this data is one of the most important parts of these diagnostic devices, and is an area where Techprint can assist manufacturers.
    Techprint is a custom designer and manufacturer of specialty graphics and printed electronic products. Our capabilities include the ability to design and produce custom printed electrodes and biosensor products, including those in the non-invasive diagnostic wearable medical devices market. TechPrint is able to design and produce the right product for most any device. Feel free to contact us to discuss your needs and learn more how we can help you with your wearable device development.

  4. Medical Device Development Assistance and Manufacturing Incubators

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    The medical care industry is rapidly expanding due to the largest segment of the population aging and requiring medical assistance.  This has led to many companies working on developing new medical devices that will improve care and allow patients to get the treatment they need at reasonable and affordable prices.  Developing these new medical devices can be very expensive though, so manufacturing incubators and development centers backed by investors and venture capitalists have formed to assist in the process.

    Who is helping?

    For companies who are working on new innovative medical devices, there are many options available to get assistance for funding and product development.  Manufacturing incubators are one option for help.  These incubators can provide the cash and expertise to manage the process of developing and releasing new medical devices.  By working with these incubator groups, costly mistakes in development can be avoided as they have the experience in getting new medical device hardware to market.  One example is Bolt, a venture capital firm and manufacture incubator that is designed to help medical device startups with their early stage hardware and software development.

    Another option is working with a university development center.  One such development center is M2D2 – the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center which is an UMass Lowell-UMass Worcester initiative that works with medical device developers to move medical device ideas from patent to production.  By working with M2D2 companies and entrepreneurs get access to state-of- the-art facilities and equipment that they may normally not be able to use.  They also provide access to experienced staffers who can provide guidance in prototyping and product development, and business feasibility among other areas.

    EnterpriseWorks is another university owned development center operated by the University of Illinois to help launch startup companies.  Its clients have been based in the biotechnology, chemical sciences, software development and materials sciences industries.  With a 43,000 SF incubator facility with labs, offices and common space, all the needs of startup entrepreneurs can be met.

    Northeastern University also has a student-led venture accelerator called IDEA that supports entrepreneurs in the Northeastern community.  Resources available include gap and prototype funding, as well as support from an entrepreneur in residence, and an investor network who are available to advise and finance ventures.  Clients they work with are from a variety of industries including software, food and beverage, and consumer products among many others.

    Techprint and Medical Device OEMS

    At Techprint we work with OEMS in the medical device market.  Medical device customers account for almost half of our business, giving us the experience and capabilities to provide custom products for all OEMS, both new startups and established manufacturers.  We have the in-house manufacturing equipment capable of building prototypes and all of the equipment for full-scale production.  From product concept development through the entire product lifecycle, we can provide the assistance you need to make it a success.  Contact us here for more information on the high quality products we can provide and the services we offer.

  5. Techprint Inc. Renews ISO 9001: 2008 Certification for Improved Customer Satisfaction

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    International standard bodies and their regulations help companies deliver the best possible end user experience to their clients through stringent quality management. At Techprint Inc. we understand the importance of this, and recently were recertified for ISO 9001:2008 certification. The #1 reason to be ISO certified is to achieve the highest customer satisfaction.

    ISO 9001 certified stampISO 9001:2008

    A body of guiding principles and specific requirements, the ISO 9001:2008 happens to be the gold standard of quality management practices. It is a coveted certification which is handed out only to the organizations that display the ability to:

    • Consistently deliver stellar customer experiences
    • Accurately document processes that impact a buyer’s interactions with the company
    • Improve these documented processes over time so that the business is always updated and relevant in the context of eliminating consumer problems and offering them a rewarding experience

    How Can a Company Apply for and Secure the ISO 9001:2008 Certification?
    It is important to take note of the fact that for a company to be ISO certified all the fundamentals and provisions specified in the body of literature supporting a particular standard must be met. These guidelines are non-negotiable. If a company can’t follow anything in particular because of its business model, then it can’t claim ISO 9001:2008 conformance.

    • A gap analysis should be conducted where the present quality Management System (QMS) is evaluated against an ISO compliant QMS. The shortcomings must be rectified.
    • A plan is needed to work on the gap revealed. ISO 9001 has a step by step workbook that lists different approaches to bridging this gap.
    • Next the employees have to be trained in the provisions of the ISO 9001.
    • The QMS processes now need to be documented and the system implemented in the organization.
    • Before the certification providers are called in to carry out their own audit, an in-house audit is necessary to ensure greater probability of approval.

    It is a rigorous and exhaustive journey. But the tangible benefits include better market reputation, strict quality management, consistent and excellent performance, reduced defect rates, documentation and automation of processes for ongoing evaluation, easier growth and most importantly increased revenue from the elimination of obsolete practices.
    Techprint Inc. offers numerous manufacturing capabilities for a variety of industries. For more information on our capabilities and how our ISO 9001:2008 certification demonstrates our company wide commitment to quality contact us here.

  6. National Safety Month

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    It has been estimated that every year almost 4.1 million workers are seriously injured on premise or pick up some form of infection that leads to illness. This statistic translates into loss of productivity for the employer; and high risk for the employee.

    In the competitive market where organizations look to increasingly unique ways to optimize the ROI of their investments, taking precautionary measures and educating employees, especially those who work on factory floors, construction sites, heat transfer systems and in units where toxic chemicals are handled in large volumes is an often over-looked and effective way to boost performance and avoid employee injury.

    June is National Safety Month:
    The National Safety Council has teamed up with thousands of companies and businesses across the nation in a joint effort to raise occupational safety awareness. It works with guidelines developed by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and mobilizes the National Safety Month movement. Useful tip sheets, trainings and checklists covering best practices, gear recommendations and structural enhancements are disseminated to reinforce safety at work.

    Techprint’s Role in Work Safety:
    Techprint Incorporated is a respected name in the market of custom labeling and digital printing. It is well known for its flexographic products, finishing services like lamination, sheeting and die cutting and its ability to work with myriad substrates, dyes and technologies.

    However Techprint also prides itself on being an occupational safety enhancer. As per the mandates of OSHA, labeling is one of the primary precautions that a business can take to ensure that equipment and chemicals are not handled in a way that leads to physical harm to the user.

    In this regard, Techprint supplies:

    • Detailed manufacturer labels that are tear, stain and fade proof. They inform employees about the features of the product they are using and are rather exhaustive in the safety data they convey.
    • Worker labels which prove to be useful especially when chemicals have to be decanted from manufacturer containers into smaller units for easy dispensing. Unlabeled bottles are a recipe for disaster.
    • Danger, warning and caution labels that go on everything from tools and mobile equipment like cranes and forklifts to chemical vats and containers, communicating to users the risks associated with the product through short text, commonly accepted symbols and data sheet values.
    • Unique Device Identification (UDI) labels which are a recent requirement but which can be scanned by workers and employees to access online equipment operation instructions, caveats and precautions.

    Being informed is the first step towards unequivocal work place safety. When people understand how high the stakes are, they automatically become more accountable for their own well-being. Techprint Incorporated is happy to contribute to this awareness in a significant way.

  7. THE MEDICAL DEVICE TECHNOLOGIES MARKET IS GROWING GLOBALLY

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    Growth in the medical devices market always stirs with conflicting emotions. On one hand it stands for the fact that the use of these technologies is becoming more rampant pointing to the rise of chronic and acute diseases. On the other it reflects advancements in medicine and the promise of better care and healing for patients.
    The global market for medical device technologies is expanding at a fast pace. By 2020 this space will boast a cumulative value of $428,970 million. Of this the United States lays claim to a large chunk of 39% making it a significant market player.
    The Top 10 Medical Device Technologies:
    Segmented by type, the following technologies comprise the Top 10 Devices list:

    • IVD devices or calibrators, reagents and kits that facilitate medical procedures in receptacles or test tubes outside the patient’s body.
    • Cardiology devices related to heart centric medical procedures covering both tests and surgeries.
    • Diagnostic imaging devices like X-Rays, CAT and PET scan equipment and MRI set-ups.
    • Orthopedic devices that diagnose and treat defects and problems with the musculoskeletal system.
    • Ophthalmology devices that cover the gamut from lenses and glasses to lasers and surgical instruments for delicate eye related operations.
    • Endoscopy devices that allow surgeons and doctors to probe into the inner cavities and passageways of the human body without surgery.
    • Diabetes care devices that help diabetics monitor their blood sugar and glucose levels and administer the required, measured insulin dosages without seeking medical assistance.
    • Wound Management devices that help sterilize, treat and heal superficial wounds. These generally come packaged in kits.
    • Kidney/dialysis devices that take care of a wide range of nephrology issues.
    • Anesthesia & respiratory care devices which include asthma inhalers, bi-pap machines and ventilators.

    Why This Growth Spurt?
    According to experts there are many reasons that have driven this sudden and phenomenal growth in the medical device technologies market. Stressful lifestyles are leading to an epidemic of hypertension, thyroid, diabetes and other chronic diseases. The ageing, geriatric population requires constant care and attention boosting production of at-home monitoring equipment.
    At Techprint Incorporated we have the capabilities to provide custom products for OEMS in the medical device market. Take a look at our website to see our full capabilities list, or connect with us at 800-225-2538 to learn more about our services.

  8. What Does the Suspension of the Medical Device Tax Mean for the Industry?

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    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act implemented in 2013 included a medical device excise tax which imposed a 2.3% tax on domestic sales of medical devices. The tax, paid for by the manufacturers or importers, was expected to generate billions of dollars to support healthcare but the revenues fell short and the tax took its toll on manufacturers and the industry.
    tax
    The tax was suspended in December with the signing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2016 and a 2-year moratorium on the tax is in effect from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2017. Now that the tax is on hold, how will the industry react?
    Research and consulting firm GlobalData took a look at this and believes that small and mid-sized companies will benefit greatly from the suspension. The tax was very costly to smaller companies who cut research and development efforts, laid off workers, and reduced plans for expansion. Funds companies would have invested into product development and innovation were redirected to pay the tax.
    Now that this issue is on hold, the industry is already seeing investments being put back into product portfolios and building businesses back up to pre-tax levels. Medical device companies in all sectors are looking to hire new workers to fill newly created jobs.
    The money manufacturers would have paid to the tax is now an investment in adding jobs, improving product research, and increasing sales. With additional money being directed to Research & Development, the industry and the consumer benefit. To develop life-saving medical technologies, companies require operating revenue to grow and advance new technologies.
    The positive reaction from industry leaders and government officials may lead to a permanent repeal of the tax once the suspension period is over. With additional funds available, we can expect to see medical device companies returning to the business of innovation and technological advancements that benefit us all. At Techprint, we are looking to take advantage of this by providing custom products for OEMS in the medical device market. Medical device customers account for 40% of our business so we are glad to see this tax suspended for our customers. Take a look at our website for our full capabilities.

  9. The Exciting Future of Printed Electronics

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    The world of printed electronics is one of the fastest growing, technologically advanced industries out there. Every day, advancements are being made, creating a world of possibilities and endless opportunities.

    The big news for 2014 and beyond will be the Internet of Things. This term has been receiving increased attention in the news, and is likely to have strong advances in the New Year. The Internet of Things is the concept that our daily lives will be interconnected in more ways than ever before. Thanks to devices like our smartphones, RFID tags, GPS, and other electronic equipment, consumers and manufacturing companies will have the ability to interconnect.
    Examples of the Internet of Things include products used throughout your home. Smart refrigerators that send you notifications when items like milk or eggs are no longer fresh, or out of stock. Washing machines that send out signals when it is time to move the wash into the dryer. Devices that combine Wi-Fi enabled plug sockets with household light switches.

    Smarter thermostats that monitor and adjust your home’s heating and cooling automatically. Smartphone apps that provide a homeowner with the ability to control their home’s use of energy. Connected homes will reduce energy usage in order to save money and resources.
    Another major trend attracting big buzz in the industry is the field of wearable electronics. In fact, this industry, worth $8 billion in 2013, is projected to be worth $20 billion by 2017.* From clothing with integrated electronics, to wrist bands, watches and athletic gear that monitor a user’s health and physical activities, wearable devices will continue to evolve and create further growth in the field of printed electronics.

    What else can we expect from the industry? It seems smart packaging is something to keep your eyes on. Printed electronics are, and will continue to be, integrated into materials and packaging that will do everything from create labels that reduce shipping costs, to drug packages that register when a pill was taken, to food wrappers that tell you when your food has spoiled. It’s a remarkable area that is sure to impact our economy and our lifestyles for the better.
    As the New Year moves forward, we see a positive trend in the reshoring of jobs back to the United States. With new sources of energy from tar sands and shale rock, the country is almost a net producer of energy. This will continue to drive overall manufacturing costs down and give a much needed competitive edge to U.S. manufacturing. In addition, the innovation we see in wearable devices and the Internet of Things shows just how inventive our American culture allows us to be. The creativity of today will provide solid jobs and manufacturing for America in the future. It all is quite appealing and exciting.
    As we move forward, Techprint will continue to stay on top of these latest advancements, whether it’s through attending trade shows, seminars or reading and reporting on the latest surveys and studies. We will continue to keep our readers and customers informed. It’s such an exciting industry, and we love being a part of it – click here to learn more.

  10. HMI: It’s technical, and why it’s so important

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    Human Machine Interface (HMI) systems is an important technology right now, and that is especially true for medical devices. With rising healthcare costs and an increasing need for affordable, easy to use medical devices, HMI for medical equipment is becoming an ever-important trend in product design development.
    Simply put, HMI systems provide the controls that allow a user to operate a machine or instrument. When done well, they create easy, reliable accessibility and make the function of technology simple and effective. According to this article in Product Design & Development, “the effectiveness of the HMI can affect the acceptance of the entire system; in fact in many applications it can impact the overall success or failure of a product.” Designing a good HMI system entails understanding the needs of everyone who will use it, knowing the key functional requirements, and integrating the best equipment and technology.
    These days, our customers are coming to us for full design and manufacturing services, looking for a one-stop solution, and one of the many services we provide our customers with is custom design of keyboard interface devices, using HMI. This may include a touchpad, a tactile switch or any number of other unique key input technologies. We design LED back-lighting solutions to provide visual feedback to the input device. We first listen to our customer’s application requirements and then with our experience we can help recommend the correct technology. We are a supplier of EAO Switch, a leading provider of HMI products, for our custom keyboard products.
    With our 40 years of knowledge and in-house engineering services, our capabilities include prototyping, 3D modeling, concept development as well as full production manufacturing. We also work as a UL agent for our clients requiring UL approval. Our emphasis on the latest technology and innovations, including HMI, means new product development for our customers is reliable, cutting edge and modern, making their products not only of the highest quality, but highly competitive and forward thinking.