vPoke Mechanical Assembly

Mechanical Assembly

Manufacturers operating in low-volume environments have faced many challenges trying to design sophisticated solutions that work consistently for complex medical devices and life science instruments. High-volume manufacturers, such as the automotive industry, have been very successful in virtually eliminating manufacturing defects through the use of poka-yoke, a Japanese term loosely translated as “mistake-proofing”. Poka-yoke uses techniques like locking keys, fixtures, and robotics to help human operators avoid making mistakes and, in some cases, reduces the need for operators altogether. Paramit has developed vPoke — a patented, computer-directed assembly technology core to our zero-defect approach — that provides a dramatically higher level of control and validation for mechanical assemblies in low volume environments.

The vPoke system is a programmable computer system that contains assembly sequences and images of parts, tools, and completed examples. It utilizes custom parts trays that hold the precise parts, in sequence, required for a single unit. No slot in the tray is left empty so operators can be confident there are no missing parts at the start of the job. When the operator successfully completes a step, vPoke validates the work and creates a visual image, automatically storing the information electronically for use in the device history record. vPoke allows the operator to continue with the assembly process only when the current sequence is successfully completed and the computer audibly confirms validation. By engaging the operator through interactive activities and multiple senses of sight, sound, and touch, vPoke improves the operator’s concentration and enhances their involvement.

vPoke Advantages

  • Simplifies complex assembly into hundreds or thousands of individual steps. Sophisticated computer and video technology prevents operators from moving to the next step unless the previous step is completed, validated and recorded.
  • Ensures each unit is built the same way as every other unit using the same sequences, the same tolerances, the same parts—regardless of the operator.
  • vPoke exercises control on all inputs into a basic element of work, forces conformance to established criteria and sequences, automatically and securely documents everything for easy future reference during internal reviews and FDA inquiries. It also provides 100% traceability of components.
  • Precisely repeatable sequences are infinitely scalable for volume and product complexity. The system can be configured as an inline process, a single workstation process, or an in-place system fed by subsystem processes.
  • vPoke allows supervisors to train and certify operators online and at-station in real time.

vPoke in Action

Billoo Rataul, CEO of Paramit, on vPoke’s unprecedented mistake-proofing and 100% traceability for complex medical device and life science system assemblies.