In the spring of 2020, the ARM Institute worked with the U.S. Department of Defense to issue a special Project Call for COVID-19 solutions. This project was funded through this call to respond to supply chain disruptions.
The ARM Institute rapidly responded to the Department of Defense’s need to address COVID-19 by forming numerous national teams, drawing from diverse industries and technologies to address the myriad of supply chain shortages. This is highlighted by a few of the key statistics listed below:
- Rapid contracting with 45 days from the Project Call release to project start
- Projects executed in 12 months
- 13 states and Puerto Rico engaged
- 23 unique organizations participated across the nine projects
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed weakness in U.S. supply chains. This project sought to create an automated solution to manufacturing masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE).
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed critical vulnerabilities in the global health care supply chain. At the beginning of the pandemic, U.S manufactures were unable to meet the significant demand for Personal Protective Equipment, resulting in shortfalls and long lead times. This project improved existing automated mask production in the US by including robotic automatic visual inspection, picking-and-sorting, and end-of-line packing and palletizing.
The outputs from this project reduced the number of human operators needed and increased efficiency, reduced cycle time, increased production throughput, improved robustness via vision-based fault detection and vision guided robotic operation and use of an Edge AI based module as a service to reduce upfront cost of buying equipment.
Principal Investigator: Siemens Corporation Corporate Technologies
Project Team: Henderson Sewing Machine Company, Yaskawa Motoman, HomTex Inc