DAIC Editor Dave Fornell recently took a tour of the Abiomed Impella production line at its headquarters in Danvers, Mass., just outside of Boston. Below is a photo essay with a look at the Abiomed production and training facilities.
The Impella series of percutaneous hemodynamic support pumps are built in a large, cleanroom factory.
Workers undergo about three months of training building Impella catheters in a practice cleanroom. During that time, they practice building hundreds of non-clinical grade catheters. They learn soldering microcircuitry under microscopes, how to use a laser welding machine, and how to assemble and test all the components of the catheters. When they have achieved proficiency in both clean room protocol and device assembly, they move on to building clinical grade Impella devices in the main cleanroom.
The factory floor has a glass wall on one side so visitors can watch the devices being built, tested, sterilized and packaged.
The large Abiomed HQ office houses about 600 employees. It has a training center with four classrooms, including two with patient simulators and augmented reality simulators. There is a research and development area with its own labs and testing area. Abiomed also has a monitoring center for Impella Connect systems, where company technicians can remotely access Impella consoles in use to troubleshoot technical issues.