Manncorp Assists Northwestern University’s Efforts Against COVID-19


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In the fight against the COVID-19 virus, Manncorp is behind the scenes, helping keep things going. Even in this time of social distancing, Manncorp is still dedicated to helping establishments, especially those on the front lines, by providing equipment and service for bringing production in-house.

On March 19th and 20th, the governors of California, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, instituted shut-down orders that restricted business and travel to only essential activities. Manncorp, having locations in PA and CA, immediately put scheduled equipment installations on hold for the safety of employees and customers in compliance with state and local government orders. However, this put our Illinois customer, Sibel Inc., in a difficult position.

As an FDA-registered, clinical device manufacturer, Sibel had recently developed a wearable, ICU-grade, remote monitoring system. When the Illinois shut-down occurred, they had just received a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to produce their critical technology related to the COVID-19 crisis in partnership with Northwestern University. However, they needed a production line in order to do that.

Sibel immediately sent Manncorp an official emergency installation request with the hope of them being able to install the equipment needed as soon as possible. The request was sent on Friday, March 20th. Manncorp President, Henry Mann said, “On Sunday morning, despite all the flight cancellations and travel difficulties related to the virus, our head technician arrived in Illinois. By Monday, the production line was up and running.”

The Manncorp technician, Andreas Scheer, urgently installed an MC385 Pick and Place Machine with a high-resolution vision system for 01005 components, an MC110 Stencil Printer, and a Vapor Phase soldering machine (to eliminate the possibility of overheating delicate medical devices). When Andy returned to Pennsylvania, he then had to self-quarantine for 14 days. But the team says it was worth it to be able to help this critical project happen.

The medical devices being manufactured by Sibel and Northwestern University measure heart rate, respiratory rates, and temperature with ICU-grade accuracy. Soon, the devices will also measure blood oxygenation levels, a vital aspect of early diagnosis.

Due to the design of this device, the component size, its density, and the materials used in its production, it would be extremely difficult to manufacture this product without precise machinery. Also, entrusting the manufacturing of this product to contract manufacturers would put Northwestern at risk of losing their proprietary knowledge and design.

These issues were prevented by bringing production in-house. The machines from Manncorp provide well-rounded precision, from the solder paste application to the component mounting. By using a Manncorp production line, Northwestern University now has the capability of producing hundreds of these devices per week without relying on outside assistance.

Anthony Banks, Director of Research at Northwestern, says, “Having our own in-house manufacturing tools from Manncorp allows us to produce wearable devices that continually track early COVID-19 symptoms, from the hospital to home.”

Northwestern has benefitted from the new equipment so much that they decided to order a second production line from Manncorp. This line will soon be up and running in a secondary facility, allowing them to increase their medical device output.

Skilled technicians at Manncorp have installed thousands of machines that are now being used to produce just about every type of electronic product imaginable, from consumer, to medical, to military, and more. Keeping their service team available and providing reliable equipment to necessary businesses—this is how Manncorp is doing their part.

To contact Manncorp for more information on the Northwestern University production line, or to inquire about installing an electronics assembly line at your own business, call 215-830-1200 or email at sales@manncorp.com.

About Manncorp

Manncorp is a machinery supplier with over 50 years in the tech industry. They are the parent company to ELEDLIGHTS, which is a supplier of LED lighting, and LED Living Technology, which is an American lighting manufacturing company. Together, the family of companies creates products, supplies goods, and offers services for commercial entities across the nation.

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