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Roland DG and Hamamatsu University School of Medicine Collaborate on
Medical Instrument Safety and Maintenance Support System Project;
Selected as Proof of Concept by METI
Roland DG’s medical instrument marking technology and digitally-controlled cell-production system
to serve as a model of new solutions in medical instrument management
Hamamatsu, Japan, December 16, 2014 — Roland DG Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and 3D devices, announced that their medical instrument traceability and maintenance support system project, run in conjunction with Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, has been selected by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) as a proof of concept among the “2014 Industry-Academia Evaluation and Pilot Projects” and will receive a grant to further pursue this project.
Working with the Hamamatsu University School of Medicine and its affiliated hospitals and clinics, Roland DG is using its MPX-90M*1 medical instrument marking device to secure traceability. Also, its digital YATAI*2 production system together with years of experience and knowhow are being put to use to raise the accuracy and efficiency of work involving the disassembly, sanitation, disinfection and reassembly of medical instruments, such as scalpels, tweezers, forceps and endoscopes. The aim is to build a model offering solutions to common issues experienced at all medical institutions.
Seiji Yamamoto, MD, PhD, and head of the Collaboration Center for Medical Innovation at the Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, sees firsthand the issues inherent in maintenance and management of medical instruments at the university and its affiliated facilities. “Currently, all safety management for medical instruments is done according to a paper manual,” explains Yamamoto. “Each employee needs to have a wide range of experience and knowhow, which leaves large gaps in the quality of work and opens the door for human error. We are keenly aware of the need to improve our system to reduce the burden on employees and maintain a higher standard of quality for our work. Moreover, there are many facilities out there that are not aware of inventory amounts and use history of medical instruments due to insufficient management systems. This has led to cases of lost or damaged instruments, or even surplus purchases.”
Yamamoto, however, sees this project as a solution to these shortcomings. “The project we are working on with Roland DG will allow us to ensure the traceability of instruments and digitalize the maintenance processes, which we believe will increase the reliability of our work. In addition, we also hope to achieve more efficient and effective management of the hospital as a whole.”
Kohei Tanabe, general manager of Medical Market, Market Development HQ of Roland DG, also has high hopes for the project. “Our company’s mission is ‘Bringing new opportunities to society through digital technology.’ We have used our digital XYZ-axis control technology, which mimics the movements of the human hand, and delivered value through digitalization to a wide variety of industries. Our medical business, newly formed in October 2013, has been focused on the important task of applying our accumulated technology and knowhow toward aiding medical services in saving lives and improving health.”
“With this project, we are honored to be able to bring solutions directly to the hospital floor,” Tanabe continued. “The traceability of medical instruments, maintenance of high quality standards and the safety of patients are some of the most important issues facing the medical industry, and we believe they will only grow more important going forward. While we are working with Hamamatsu University School of Medicine to make sure this project succeeds, we also hope to develop a system that can be used industry-wide and eventually bring value through digital solutions to medical facilities around the world.”
Roland DG plans to complete a support system to be used by Hamamatsu University School of Medicine and its affiliated hospitals and clinics for the traceability and maintenance of surgical instruments by the end of March 2015. This will include imprinting 2D DataMatrix barcodes to ensure the traceability of medical tools and digital conversion of the paper manuals used for the cleaning and reassembly of endoscopes. Over the next year and beyond, Roland DG will continue to build the required knowhow regarding the application and commercialization of this project, and build a standard system for use on a wider-scale among other hospitals and facilities. In addition, the company will set up sales methods and channels, and starting in 2018, plans to develop a comprehensive system of solutions that can be sold to medical institutions, while continuing to present the results of the project through academic communities and industry publications.
As an evaluation model and pilot project, Roland DG’s initiative was built as a proof of concept. The main structure of the project is helmed by the university, which aims to build a PDCA cycle that outlines how to take issues identified by the university and solve them with the assistance of local industry, government and chambers of commerce and industry. The proof of concept model seeks to take the PDCA model and prove that the problem-solving functions of the industry-academia project can work for the average business. The process of proving this concept includes using the basis of preliminary benchmarks and the recognition of third-party organizations (such as industry-academia consortiums) to raise legitimacy and commercial viability.
Upon proving the concept behind this project, it will be evaluated by medU-net, the Japanese Association of Medical University Network for Technology Transfer along with a consortium headed by the Hamamatsu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and if successful, receive their support. The ultimate goal is to energize cooperation between industry and academia, sparking continuous innovation that boosts local economies and eventually develops to boost the economy nationwide.
In recent years, efforts have been spreading to review medical instrument safety and management procedures in order to reduce the risk of infection inside hospitals and ensure the safety of patients. A worldwide trend is materializing among regulatory bodies that seek to have a comprehensive management system for special instruments in use at medical facilities. In America, the FDA began an incremental launch of UDI (Unique Device Identification) Regulation in September of 2014, which requires marking identifiers on medical devices, and Europe and Asia are expected to adopt the same kinds of regulation within the next few years. In anticipation of these trends, Roland DG released the MPX-90M in 2012. The MPX-90M allows medical facilities as well as medical instrument manufacturers and suppliers worldwide to utilize a 2D symbol imprinted on each instrument to see a complete history of that tool, including available stock, location and times used.
At the same time, we have always thought the process of providing a medical facility with the MPX-90M could include using proven work support systems in place at Roland DG factories to raise the level of quality and efficiency involving post-operation tasks. The disassembly, sanitation, disinfection and reassembly of medical instruments cover many situations highly dependent on the experience of the employee and include complicated maintenance work across a wide variety of surgical tools.
As discussions continued, Roland DG worked through the industry-medicine joint research programs hosted by the Hamamatsu Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discover issues at Hamamatsu University School of Medicine related to the safety and management of medical instruments. Since 2013, our company has engaged in collaborative research aimed at solving these problems. Now, our joint initiative with the university has been selected by METI as a pilot project and proof of concept, which will push our activities forward in a significant way. This will be the first time our company’s digital YATAI work support system is used in a field outside of manufacturing. There is no global precedent for our objective to introduce a traceability management system and build a work support system based on digital manuals. However, we will do our utmost to transform technology and knowhow into a comprehensive system of medical solutions.
*1 About the MPX-90M
The MPX-90M is a desktop-size dot impact printer designed for the direct marking of medical instruments with UDI (Unique Device Identification) barcodes that make tracking and traceability possible. The MPX-90M quickly creates 2D DataMatrix barcodes to GS1* standards and imprints them with great precision on the surface of medical instruments in areas as small as one square millimeter. The machine uses dot pin marking to protect marked surfaces from erasure and corrosion. A vice secures the instrument while a laser pointer indicates the area to be marked, meaning that no special training is required. For details, please refer to the following website:
* The GS1 DataMatrix is a standard for 2D symbols determined by the GS1 international body for barcodes, symbols and electronic data transfer, and it serves to give worldwide electronics manufacturers and medical facilities a way to display symbols on steel instruments. Information on item code, usage limits, lot number, serial number and more can be stored within 26 bytes and read using a special scanner.
*2 About Digital YATAI
Digital YATAI is a proprietary cell-based (one person, one cell) production system developed and in use at Roland DG. Workers confirm each assembly task on an electronic display, receive the necessary parts from an automatic rotating rack and assemble using the indicated electronic screwdriver. Measures are in place to ensure the correct parts and screwdriver are used each step of the way, and product quality checks are run at the completion of each task to guarantee quality of work. Digital technology is utilized to complement human memory and focus and achieving the utmost in quality and productivity. Log data from each cell is stored on a central server, allowing the floor manager to see work progress at a glance and analyze data to find ways to not only improve workflow in individual cells, but optimize productivity for the entire factory. For details, please refer to the following website:
Roland DG Corporation
Roland DG Corporation is a leading worldwide manufacturer of inkjet devices, milling and engraving machines, vinyl cutters and photo impact printers. Roland pioneered the development of Print&Cut technology and today is the number one brand of inkjet devices with more than 150,000 units* sold worldwide. More recently, the company entered the healthcare market with milling machines designed specifically for creating high-quality dental prosthetics, including copings, crowns, full bridges and abutments. Roland DG has also brought to market a new concept in 3D milling, the iModela mini 3D mill, which targets individuals in the growing hobby and craft markets. The company uses its proprietary production technology to manufacture products that are distributed worldwide. Roland products help businesses transform imagination into reality by adding value to creative processes.
* The total number of inkjet devices shipped from the company as of September 30, 2014.
Roland DG Corporation
Marketing Communications Section
Roland DG Sponsors FAB10
the 10th International Fab Lab Conference
Hamamatsu, Japan, August 22, 2014 — Roland DG Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and 3D devices, recently sponsored FAB10, the 10th International Fab Lab Conference held over the week of July 2 to July 8 in Barcelona, Spain.
A fab lab (fabrication laboratory) is an open workshop offering digital fabrication with the aim to make “almost anything.” Currently, there are over 250 fab lab locations in over 50 countries that support personal fabrication, giving individuals the unprecedented ability to design and then produce their own customized products. Each local fab lab is connected to a global network in order to share information, brainstorm ideas, and collaborate on solving problems and accomplishing projects. The conference takes place once a year in a different city around the world, and serves as a global forum for fab lab managers, core members and practitioners.
The theme of this year’s conference was “From Fab Labs to Fab Cities.” The ambitious objective focused on improving productivity for entire cities, solving issues inherent to city life, and overall raising the quality of life in emerging countries.
“We were able to confirm how an infrastructure of fabrication with fab labs at the center can get colleges, government institutions, businesses and entrepreneurs to involve citizens and students in a collaborative system that changes everyone’s life for the better,” said Toshiyuki Okino, assistant manager of marketing communications for Roland DG.
During the conference, Roland DG showcased its desktop fabrication tools including the latest additive and subtractive rapid prototyping and manufacturing machines. “We were able to demonstrate our products to fab lab managers and those seeking to use digital fabrication tools to the fullest,” Okino said. “In addition, we were able to show the appeal of our products at our workshop, where participants enjoyed making portraits using our cutting machines, which were equipped to use pens instead of blades, and to produce custom chocolates with our milling machines.”
Thanks to the sponsorship opportunity, our company was able to deepen its relationship with managers and practitioners from around the world,” Okino continued. “The need was apparent for 3D desktop tools that can be used to benefit fabrication activities everywhere.”
The following are some of the main activities which took place at FAB10
Before the opening of the conference, main sponsors joined the hosts for a press event where Barcelona mayor Xavier Trais gave the opening remarks, detailing his expectations for FAB10. “Barcelona was one of the main cities which ushered in the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. Now, in the 21st century, we believe the Internet combined with digital tools can bring a new revolution beyond anything we have seen. Through the cooperation of government, business and the people, we can realize a better living environment for our citizens, and I want to see Barcelona stand as a model of the future of urban growth.”
Tomas Diez, director of Fab Lab Barcelona and host of FAB10, also shared his thoughts: “We strongly believe that digital fabrication is going to change how cities are organized and how people interact within the cities. Fab labs are bringing digital fabrication to everyone. And it is going to help to change the reality into cities make them more self-sufficient and productive again.”
Prof. Dr. Neil Gershenfeld, the Director of the Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) praised Barcelona and its fab labs, saying, “The city has turned into an amazing laboratory thanks to the leadership of Barcelona mayor Xavier Trais and Tomas Diez and colleagues. Barcelona is being equipped with facilities for digital fabrication. You expect the city to provide electricity and clean water. This is a new notion of infrastructure which has tools for invention. The idea is anybody in Barcelona should be able to make anything. You can use it for education, for play, for business, for all those purposes. Barcelona is a world leader of new revolution. It leads up to an amazing vision of the city which is globally connected for knowledge, but self-sufficient locally. In the coming years, I think Barcelona will become the world’s first globally connected and locally self-efficient city.”
Executive officer and president of Roland DG EMEA, S.L., Eli Keersmaekers, gave remarks on behalf of Roland DG: “At Roland DG, the products we develop are based on the ideal that anyone can easily turn their dreams and ideas into reality. For us who wish to spread the possibilities of desktop fabrication to all, we take great pride when our products are used by people overflowing with originality in fab labs to pioneer the future. In order to continue seeking new possibilities, we will continue working with everyone involved to develop new products and solutions."
Eli Keersmaekers addresses the press event
Fab Lab House
Along the path leading up to the FAB10 event hall, Fab Lab House, a digitally fabricated house, was constructed and completed during the event. In 2010, Fab Lab Barcelona introduced the Solar Fab House, which harnessed the environment to produce twice the energy as needed to function. In 2013, they began development on the Smart Citizen Kit, which is a sensor that allows individuals to measure temperature, humidity, ambient noise, light quantity and air quality and upload the information to an online server, pioneering a city-wide management system for Barcelona run by its citizens.
The Fab Lab House acts as a landmark pavilion that celebrates the global spread of fab labs while acting as a symbol of their functions and characteristics. It was comprised of 20 modules, all created at Fab Lab Barcelona. The design and construction of the Fab Lab House was headed by Daniel Ibanez, and the pavilion roof showcased a world map with marks indicating the cities equipped with fab labs. According to Ibanez, construction was done based on local consumption for local production. “All construction materials are found naturally within Barcelona. “The most important goal of this Fab Lab House is to show the potential of Fab Lab Barcelona as a digital tool. In the future, we hope to take this concept of self-sufficiency, where individuals can design and create on their own, and apply it to making cities.”
The Global Fab Awards
The Global Fab Awards was held for the first time at FAB10, organized by the Fab Foundation, which supports the global network, in association with the World Bank and American International Development Agency. The goal of the awards is to recognize efforts to use technology to raise the quality of life in emerging countries as well as support realistic methods for global development through the cooperation of government, businesses and investors.
The first creation to receive the honor of top prize was a 3D printer developed by WOELAB of the Republic of Togo. The printer was made entirely of discarded PCs and electronics. For example, the body was made from a PC case, and the motor to move the heads was recycled from a home printer.
The founder of WOELAB, Sénamé Koffi Agbodjinou, who is an architect and anthropologist, granted an interview to explain the larger purpose of their creation. “This machine works not only to output parts we need for fabrication, but to solve the issues of local people by outputting the replacement parts for broken devices. We import personal computers as well as plastics and other materials from Europe and America, but if we can effectively reuse these, we believe we can create and expand a culture that, as much as possible, gets everything it needs locally. In the near future, we want to have multiple fab labs installed in the Togo capital of Lome and be on the road to fully realizing a smart city.” For their achievement, WOELAB received 3,000 euros and Roland DG’s latest 3D subtractive manufacturing device.
an interview at FAB10
Roland 3D milling machine
Also held at FAB10 was a digital workshop titled Fab Kids, where elementary and junior high students from around Barcelona could learn how to give physical form to their ideas. Children experienced the possibilities of digital fabrication firsthand as they used 3D CAD and 3D printers to create objects like earphone holders and laser cutters to fashion animals and shapes from cardboard, all with the support of Fab Lab Barcelona personnel. One workshop focused on creating X’s and O’s for the popular children’s game Tic-Tac-Toe using Roland DG’s 3D subtractive manufacturing machines.
In his book, Fab, The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop - From Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication, Neil Gershenfeld writes, “I believe that the best place to read about the future of personal fabrication is in the faces of a new generation getting access to prototype versions of these capabilities in fab labs.” Fabrication is the process of expressing one’s imagination; it unleashes knowledge and emotion and turns it into real power, and you can see this on the faces of the children. Children are not bound by our conventions and dream up fresh and original things, which through the power of desktop fabrication, they can realize to change our lives, cities and societies for the better.
Roland DG Corporation
Roland DG Corporation is a leading worldwide manufacturer of inkjet devices, milling and engraving machines, vinyl cutters and photo impact printers. Roland pioneered the development of Print&Cut technology and today is the number one brand of inkjet devices with more than 140,000* sold worldwide. More recently, the company entered the healthcare market with milling machines designed specifically for creating high-quality dental prosthetics, including copings, crowns, full bridges and abutments. Roland DG has also brought to market a new concept in 3D milling, the iModela mini 3D mill, which targets individuals in the growing hobby and craft markets. The company uses its proprietary production technology to manufacture products that are distributed worldwide. Roland products help businesses transform imagination into reality by adding value to creative processes.
* The total number of inkjet devices shipped from the company as of March 31, 2014.
Roland DG Corporation
Marketing Communications Section
22-Aug-2014 Roland DG Sponsors Photographic Exhibition and Concert Celebrating 400 Years of Japan/Spain Relation
Barcelona, Spain, August 22, 2014 — Roland DG Corporation, the world's leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and 3D devices, announced the firm's sponsorship of the recent Hasekura no Michi (The Road of Hasekura) photographic exhibit held in Madrid, Spain as well as the concert finale which concluded the year-long celebration of 400 years of Japan/Spain relations.
2013 marked the 400th anniversary of the Keicho Embassy, a voyage from Japan to Spain that initiated mutual relations between the two countries and was headed by Hasekura Tsunenaga, a samurai retainer of Date Masamune, ruler of the Sendai Domain. As a joint celebration between Japan and Spain, both countries hosted a variety of cultural activities from June of 2013 through July of this year, with efforts spanning the fields of culture, government, economy, science, tourism and education.
For the Hasekura no Michi photographic exhibition, photographer Teruo Sekiguchi revisited the journey taken by Hasekura 400 years ago, from Ishinomaki to Mexico, Spain and Italy. The exhibit toured Japan from October 2013 to June 2014, including receptions held in Sendai, Ishinomaki, Nagoya and Tokyo. From July 15 to August 15, the exhibit was held in the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid. All photographic works and display banners were printed on Roland digital inkjet printers, including the SOLJET PRO4 XR-640.
The closing concert was attended by distinguished guests from both Japan and Spain at the Teatro Real Opera House in Madrid. The theme of the concert was "The Grand Dream of Samurai Hasekura" composed of three acts: "Homecoming," "Death and return to heaven," and "The Samurai's Great Dream." Pianist Mine Kawakami performed along with flamenco guitarist Canizares and the Coro Santa Maria de Coria del Rio.
Jorge Calvo, Executive Officer of Roland DG Corporation and Director of Spain subsidiary Roland DG EMEA, S.L. commented on the occasion, "It has been a great honor to provide our printing technology for this special event to further benefit the development of relations between our two countries."
Note on the order of Japanese names: For the historical names, such as Date Masamune and Hasekura Tsunenaga, we have followed the common practice of listing the family name first and then the given name. In the case of modern-day Japanese names, the given name is written first followed by the family name.
Roland DG Corporation
Roland DG is a leading worldwide manufacturer of inkjet devices, milling and engraving machines, vinyl cutters and photo impact printers. Roland pioneered the development of Print&Cut technology and today is the number one brand of inkjet devices with more than 140,000* sold worldwide. More recently, the company entered the healthcare market with milling machines designed specifically for creating high-quality dental prosthetics, including copings, crowns, full bridges and abutments. Roland DG has also brought to market a new concept in 3D milling, the iModela mini 3D mill, which targets individuals in the growing hobby and craft markets. The company uses its proprietary production technology to manufacture products that are distributed worldwide. Roland products help businesses transform imagination into reality by adding value to creative processes.
* The total number of inkjet devices shipped from the company as of March 31, 2014
Roland DG Corporation
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