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RFID for Autoclaved Devices

A medical device manufacturer needed to keep up-to-date inventory of autoclave-sterilized joint replacement components – without costly, time-consuming manual barcode scanning processes. Vizinex RFID was there to help.Sterilizer

The Challenge

A major medical device manufacturer provides – though a network of distributors – joint replacement kits used by thousands of hospitals nationwide. Each kit contains a number of components, which are chosen individually by surgeons to create the proper fit for each patient.

The unused portion of each opened kit is returned to distributors who must re-stock the unused items quickly and accurately. Tracking the parts moving to and from customers and then back into available inventory stocks required a precise and automated identification method. RFID provides a high throughput, low error solution for these distributors.

The Vizinex RFID Solution

The manufacturer needed to provide distributors with a streamlined method of inventory tracking. The process needed to:

  • Not require kits to be shipped to distributors, then opened and counted
  • Consistently provide accurate, up-to-date results
  • Utilize components capable of withstanding multiple autoclave cycles

The manufacturer turned to Vizinex RFID and its software partner to provide an asset tracking solution meeting all of the above criteria. In turn, Vizinex produced a durable, autoclaveable RFID tag solution integrated with a scale, capable of determining which components were present in each kit, based on weight.

The Vizinex RFID tag itself – hardened to withstand steam, chemicals and elevated temperatures – is mounted to the metal tray housing each kit.

The tags’ theoretical lifespan of 400 autoclave cycles has been proven in the field: In the two years since deployment, none have faltered – significantly outperforming the manufacturer’s previous RFID tag solution.

Results

RFID technology helped the manufacturer create significant efficiencies, saving money and reducing non-value-add work both internally and at partner distributors. Perhaps most importantly, the RFID-based asset tracking system helps ensure patient safety and reinforce the trust hospitals and surgeons place in the manufacturer’s solution.

Have a challenging asset tracking application? Vizinex’s team of experts can deploy modern RFID technology to help you solve it quickly and affordably. Contact us at 215-529-9440 or sales@vizinexrfid.com to learn more.

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