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How Design Changes Affect Your Medical Cart Project

Posted by Brittany Beckmann on February 11, 2016

When designing a medical cart, it’s important that all of the right people are involved from the project outset to minimize miscommunication and resulting mistakes, and to create a realistic timeline. But, even if all the right people are aboard, design change is typically necessary to ensure delivery of the best cart for your device and end-users.

 The Impact of Design Changes

Design changes occur for a number of reasons like new function requirements, branding changes or tooling and material issues. Regardless of why a design changes, it’s essential to understand how the project is impacted in three critical areas: 

1. Testing
Design changes could result in testing requirements and testing time that wasn’t anticipated when the project was initiated. For example, if casters or the size of the medical cart base is altered, additional IEC 60601-1 testing may be required or FDA and other approvals may need reissuance. This ripple effect reinforces how important it is to have the project’s test regulator involved in any and all design changes. 

2. Cost
Changing a medical cart that has already reached the fabrication stage can be costly. There may be additional fees charges to cover materials used and any extra parts. 

3. Timeline
Should the alteration require a change of material, parts or tooling, it will extend your timeline to accommodate for ordering, delivery and implementation.

Change Management

Every medical cart manufacturer has procedures in place to efficiently handle – or possibly prevent – project design change. HUI best practices include:

  • Open communication and touch points in the concept stage to establish and thoroughly understand our customer’s needs early on in the project. 
  • Full-scale drawings can be created before making a prototype for time- and cost-effective incorporation of customer feedback into design refinements. 
  • After the drawings are customer-approved, we produce two prototypes – one for our customer and one for our facility. This allows for hands-on prototype assessment that minimizes miscommunication and allows for accurate adjustments.

At HUI, we anticipate change instead of reacting to it, which is the key to successful medical carts and manufacturing partnerships. Contact us today to discuss the design and production of your next medical cart.

HUI 60601-1 Third Edition Cheat Sheet


Topics: Medical Cart Design

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