Closed-loop manufacturing is critical in the medical device industry

By Christina Rucinski

Siemens Digital Industry Software launched “The Voice of Smart Digital Manufacturing.” This 10-part podcast series is dedicated to the industry of tomorrow and the impact that smart digital manufacturing is having and what to expect from it in the future. We interviewed experts from different industries – from medical devices to electronics – to share their experiences with digitalization and how it helped them overcome their challenges. This series will shine a light on the road ahead for industries that are willing to embrace change brought on by digital transformation.

In this episode, we focus on closed-loop manufacturing. Learn more about what the digital enterprise entails and the impact it has on the medical device industry. Discover the benefits that come with digitalizing the manufacturing floor. Let’s dive into the concept of closed-loop manufacturing and how it relates to the digital enterprise and the digital twin.

Meet the expert

Let’s meet our industry expert for this episode – Dr. James B. Thompson.

Dr. Thompson is the Senior Director for Industry Strategy for Medical Device and Pharmaceuticals at Siemens Digital Industries Software. He is responsible for charting the future direction of Siemens’ products and technologies for the medical device industry within Siemens. Dr. Thompson has been working in this role for over 17 years. He has experience in the engineering software business for over 30 years. Prior to working at Siemens, he worked for IBM and GE as a mechanical engineer.

Dr. Thompson received a doctorate, a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Connect with Dr. James B. Thompson on LinkedIn.

Why is the digital enterprise a must-have?

The digital enterprise is the way that the medical device industry can innovate and respond to challenges, such as chronic diseases, costly care and health care accessibility. Digital enterprise allows medical device companies to overcome the complexity of designing and manufacturing their products in a way that actually matches the varied global needs for delivery of health care – making medical devices more affordable and accessible.

How can medical device companies avoid manufacturing errors?

With current, traditional manufacturing processes, there is a tendency to rely on increased quality inspections. This is typically not good enough to adequately reduce the risk of error or the possibility of a recall associated with an adverse event. When it comes to the medical device industry, an error on the shop floor can be very costly to people’s lives and safety.

You can’t inspect quality and reliability into a product.

James B. Thhompson

Manufacturers need a more holistic and systematic approach to fully address a product’s risks. The digital enterprise approach gives manufacturers that holistic and systematic method to deal with challenges and achieve an integrated product lifecycle. The digital enterprise does this through the digital twin – a digital model of the manufacturing process and the product.

Why is closed-loop manufacturing critical?

The digital enterprise establishes the foundation for continuous improvement and change and closed-loop manufacturing is a key element of this approach. Closed-loop manufacturing seeks to increase efficiency in resource usage and data flow throughout the production line. It promotes a faster flow of information that is aimed at increasing the quality of products and production efficiency. Closed-loop manufacturing is critical in the medical device industry – an industry that works under a strict regulatory framework.

What you’ll learn from this episode

  • The role of the digital enterprise in the medical device industry
  • How the digital enterprise helps reduce the risk of errors in manufacturing
  • What is a digital twin?
  • The benefits of closed-loop manufacturing

Interested in more episodes from “The Voice of Smart Digital Manufacturing”? Listen here.

For more podcast episodes in the medical device industry, listen here.

Leave a Reply

This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at