Rapid Antigen Test Manufacturing in Australia

Rapid Antigen Tests Made in Australia

The COVID-19 has been very disruptive and now that vaccination rates are higher it is now mostly about managing our way forward. Testing is still a key strategy and Australia has led the way in Rapid Antigen Testing.

Unfortunately the federal governments has been reluctant to invest in practical local manufacturing capabilities in this area and that has seen the businesses moving to off shore manufacture.

Policy 101 shows us that if you want businesses to direct investment and effort in a particular direction, you need to put in place favourable conditions to encourage that. This isn’t always financial co-investment. But somehow we seem to be failing this topic badly.

Lack of “appetite” for local investment derails RATs manufacture

Currently locally made Rapid Antigen Tests are exported but that is going to change. We led the way in this technology area and the rest of the world gets it.

RAT - Rapid Antigen Test

RAT – Rapid Antigen Test

 

Making Rapid Antigen Tests for Australia

With support from the Victorian Government and Federal Labour, Lumos Diagnostics in collaboration with Planet Innovation will be making Rapid Antigen Tests here for use here.

Lumos Diagnostics

Lumos Diagnostics

Planet Innovation

Planet Innovation

This is a good example of how good policy can drive a good outcome. See:

OK, that is quite a lot of coverage. Which shows how important this initiative is.

I’m looking forward to this project going into full scale manufacture. We have learned several important lessons from this pandemic and I hope we don’t forget them:

  • you need to be able to make essential supplies locally
  • local jobs matter to the whole economy, not just the employed person
  • insecure work arrangements are a risk, not a business benefit
  • robust modern economies make things

Our congratulations again to Lumos Diagnostics and Planet Innovation for bringing the technology to the table and to the Victorian State Government for understanding the opportunity to invest in the future of Victoria.


Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years.

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This post is Copyright © 2022 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd

Product Development Case Study

Startup strategy

This is a classic startup tale where a small team do incredibly good work to get an idea into a demonstrable form and then build a team who can complete the package.

A Melbourne based business came to us with a mechanical prototype operated using 3 Arduino modules and hand wired actuators and drivers that had allowed them to prove the operating principle of their cell processing system. The system was managed by an Excel spreadsheet that allowed them to code the interactions they needed in the spreadsheet itself. This is one of the most impressive uses of Excel as a process controller I’ve seen.

Now they needed us to take that and make it into a robust version that could be transported.

This is a very good example of solving the problems you need to in order to take your next step. This minimise cost now, reduces time to the next step and reduces technical risk.

What we did was to create a set of PCBs that acted as custom shields for the Arduino modules and also provided mechanical support for the drivers, sensors and indicators. The hand soldered wires were replaced by crimped connectors and the whole assembly was now robust enough to put on a plane and allow them to demonstrate to industry experts and potential customers. This they did very successfully.

From Concept Prototype to Production

The next stage was to ditch the Arduino modules and create a more capable embedded system. But they also needed to put together a Control Interface for managing the instrument including in a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) environment with laboratory automation, and an editor for creating the programs (recipes) that defined the cell processing steps.

And lastly they also needs to get the manufacturing systems in place and the service support software.

To manage the risks they divided these tasks between 3 different businesses.

Product in action
Product in action

Another Melbourne developer did the control interface and also took control of the manufacturing processes. These processes require ISO 13485 Quality Management Systems which they had in place but we do not.

Successful Endeavours did the electronics, embedded software and the communications interfaces that ran on the tablet used for the Control Interface and the Service and Production Support software.

Contactpoint took on the Centrifuge Protocol Builder which is a web based tool that allowed creation of protocols and also simulation of them in use in order to refine them off the machine. This is very important because we are talking about processing human cells and if you mess up a batch you have to get more. Which could involve surgery. Contactpoint have an excellent Centrifuge Protocol Builder case study on their site which I recommend you also check out.

Protocol Builder
Protocol Builder

And getting to market

The final step of course is how you sell, distribute and support a product like this which is international in scope. Another great thing they did right was to aim global from day one. So they negotiated and closed a deal with an international distributor who already had the global presence in that market and were able to handle the logistics and presence to support the instrument. The product was launched at the Melbourne ISCT 2019 conference in May 2019.

Market Launch at ISCT 2019
Market Launch at ISCT 2019

We wish them every success with this Designed in Australia, Made in Australia, world first technology product. For us, this one just ticks every box we care about.


Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years.


You can also follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.


This post is Copyright © 2021 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Electronex 2019

Electronex

Electronex 2019
Electronex 2019

Electronex is the primary Electronics Manufacturing show for Australia. This year it is at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and you can get entry tickets for free at Electronex 2019 Online Registration.

Successful Endeavours @ Electronex Stand C38

Successful Endeavours @ Electronex Stand C38

We will have some new Made in Australia products to shows and I’ll be doing presentations on how to design an ultra-low-power IoT device and on the Innovation process. 

If you want more information you can download the Successful Endeavours at Electronex 2019 VIP Ticket


Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years.


You can also follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.


This post is Copyright © 2021 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Smart 100 2018

Smart 100

Each year Australian Anthill look select their Smart 100. This year the arcHUB Smart Cities Sensor Suite was selected as a Smart 100. This is an IoT (Internet of Things) device that is Designed in Australia, and Made in Australia.

 

Australian Anthill

Australian Anthill

You can read the full list of Smart 100 finalists 2018. Judging was done by the Smart 100 2018 Mavens and the winners are announced on 28th August 2018 at LaunchPad Evolve. You can get tickets at Smart 100 Awards 2018.

 

Anthill Smart 100

Anthill Smart 100

We will be there. We think the arcHUB is a revolutionary device and are pleased the judges selected it as one of the Smart 100 finalists 2018.

 

arcHUB trial at Fitzroy Gardens

arcHUB trial at Fitzroy Gardens

And an update. The Smart 100 2018 have been revealed in judges order with the arcHUB Smart Cities Sensor Suite developed for The Active Reactor Company coming in just outside the top 20.

 

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2018 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

Australian Manufacturing Increasing Trend

Australian Manufacturing PMI

The Australian Manufacturing PMI is a measure of the manufacturing economy in Australia. A score above 50 means it is growing and a score below 50 means it is shrinking. I recently reported in the post about out new location that we had been in growth for the past 17 months but according to one data source we missed out for a couple of months during that time. For the history see:

 

 

So I thought I would double check the data. I went to the Trading Economies Australian Manufacturing PMI and looked at the trend since 2012. Here is what I saw.

 

Australia Manufacturing PMI 2016

Australia Manufacturing PMI 2016

 

So my understanding of this graph is that after the Global Financial Crisis we saw Australian Manufacturing decline but since 2012 the decline has slowed and this past year it has grown.

 

As a result, I continue to be encouraged that Australian Manufacturing is Growing and we will continue to support that by developing modern electronics based products that are Made in Australia.

 

Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In Australia. Ray Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years. This post is Copyright © 2016 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.