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ATS Automation Provides Manufacturing Quality, Agility and Scale Amidst COVID-19 Medical Device Shortage
ATS Automation Posted 04/14/2020
CAMBRIDGE, Ontario (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (TSX: ATA), an industry-leading automation solutions provider, today highlighted key developments in the way the Company is utilizing its specialized life sciences capabilities to expedite the production of medical equipment to address the COVID-19 healthcare crisis.
“Around the world, organizations needing to overcome capacity constraints and supply chain shortages are turning to ATS to scale up production of critical medical devices and quickly pivot manufacturing output,” said Andrew Hider, CEO. “We’re enabling customers to manufacture important products such as ventilators and respirators, that are desperately needed to treat patients, protect healthcare workers and contain the coronavirus pandemic. We are proud to play our part and ready to do more.”
Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFR)
ATS is working with a large automaker in the United States to reconfigure its manufacturing facility, and has delivered equipment to enable the wide scale production of FFR masks. Launch of the project to delivery of equipment was completed in 17 days.
The ATS Life Sciences team is working with O-Two Medical Technologies in Canada to assemble critical ventilator components at ATS’ facilities. In the U.S., the ATS team is supplying ventilator production test equipment to two key ventilator manufacturers. The equipment enables the calibration and testing of ventilators before shipment to hospitals and medical facilities.
Automated Bio-Decontamination System
In Italy, Comecer (an ATS company that designs and manufactures high-technology systems in the fields of aseptic processing and containment for radiopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical industries) is developing an automated bio-decontamination system for hospitals based on the same technology used in Comecer’s aseptic isolators. This would allow fast decontamination of hospital rooms and equipment, and potentially enable reuse of devices such as N95 masks, which would otherwise be disposable, thereby helping to mitigate shortages.
COVID-19 Test Kits
In Germany, the ATS team is developing a solution for a manufacturer of COVID-19 test kits to help them ramp up production to meet the unprecedented demand.
Hygiene Product Filling
At IWK in Germany (an ATS company that manufactures high-speed, high-precision packaging solutions for pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food and related industries), the team has developed a rapid deployment tube-filling solution suitable for hygiene products including hand sanitizer. The machine will fill up to 70 tubes per minute.
“A severe disruption in supply chains combined with an ever-growing demand for critical medical devices has left manufacturers looking for creative yet trusted solutions to meet demand,” said Mr. Hider. “And while the speed of manufacturing these medical devices is certainly important, there has never been a time where product quality has mattered more. Fortunately, ATS has the capabilities, expertise, and certifications to deliver both speed and quality.”
ATS Automation operates 23 manufacturing sites globally, and more than 50 engineering and service sites. Contract manufacturing for medical devices capacity exists in ATS’ facilities in Cambridge, ON and Chicago, IL. The Company’s life sciences, pharmaceutical and medical supply experience, along with the regulatory knowledge and certifications necessary to manufacture FDA and Health Canada registered products, can be put to use immediately.
Post-crisis, ATS can help companies ramp back up again to full production once manufacturing restarts and prepare for future disruptions to supply chains by bringing production back onshore.
ATS has been registered to the ISO 9000 generation of standards for more than 15 years. A central component of the ATS quality management system is based on the PDCA model. ATS maintains a global registration to 9001 and has expanded to ISO 13485, ISO 14001, ISO 27001 and VDA registration for several key divisions. With ISO 13485, customers can trust that ATS represents the highest quality standard available in the Life Science automation industry. Advantages include stringent controls related to design, special processes, supplier quality, requirement traceability, risk management and an increased focus on maintaining the effectiveness of the Quality Management System. In addition, ATS has incorporated a quality management system compliant to CSA N299, CSA N285, CSA B51 and CSA N286 within the Nuclear Cambridge Division.
ATS is an industry-leading automation solutions provider to many of the world's most successful companies. ATS uses its extensive knowledge base and global capabilities in custom automation, repeat automation, automation products and value-added services, including pre-automation and after-sales services, to address the sophisticated manufacturing automation systems and service needs of multinational customers in markets such as life sciences, chemicals, consumer products, electronics, food, beverage, transportation, energy, and oil and gas. Founded in 1978, ATS employs approximately 4,500 people at 23 manufacturing facilities and over 50 offices in North America, Europe, Southeast Asia and China. The Company’s shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATA.