Many of the products we use in our everyday lives come with printed Instructions for Use, from toys and electronics to tools and prescriptions. IFUs are a crucial part of regulatory compliance, so legibility and durability are important.
But reducing production costs can be challenging, especially for medical device packaging teams. The following tips may help.
1. Automate Your Folding
While it’s important to abide by all content guidelines when creating an IFU, it’s equally vital that you pay attention to the structure of the document as well. IFUs that lack a clear and logical organizational flow can confuse novice users who struggle to locate the information they need within the document.
Manufacturers rely on IFU experts like Bob Loch to make sure that the instructions for use they put in customers’ hands or hang off their medical equipment are produced clearly, durably and cost-effectively. From multi-language, 39-panel IFUs to product boxes and folded booklets, he knows exactly how to produce them all.
And with our next-generation folding system, he can do it even faster and more accurately. The machine remembers all of the exact, precise folding specifications for each job that’s run on it—along with critical alignment requirements—so that every piece matches up perfectly every time.
2. Speed Up Your Printing
Manufacturers know that a high-quality Instructions for Use (IFU) can help new users become capable of using their devices and can help companies pass human factors validation tests. However, printing IFUs can be time-consuming. There are several ways that manufacturers can speed up their printing processes.
One way is to reduce the print resolution. Higher resolutions can take longer to print, but lower resolutions are more efficient. Another way to reduce the printing time is to reduce the infill. Infill is the solid material that gives prints strength and stability, but it can also add weight and time to a print.
Finally, you can try to improve the jerk and acceleration settings on your printer. These settings are important to print your objects quickly without sacrificing quality.
3. Streamline Your Binding
Manufacturers often struggle with delivering high-quality Instructions for Use (IFU) in a cost-effective and durable manner. Whether the IFUs are in print form or an electronic version, it’s important that they be well designed with simple navigation and clear, consistent language. They also need to include relevant warnings, embed them within associated task instructions and follow other best practices.
That’s why Bob Loch, an AlphaGraphics IFU expert, recommends working with a professional graphic design firm to create IFU layouts.
5. Automate Your Printing
As a medical device manufacturer, you need to make sure that your IFU is clear and accurate for all users. And while a printed IFU must come with the product (it’s a regulatory requirement), an eIFU is more convenient for your customers and has a faster turnaround time.
We can help you produce a high-quality, cost-effective, IFU manual that’s readable in 15+ languages. Our IFU experts will guide you through a range of decisions such as paper size, folds and binding type.
We offer print on demand and work hand-in-hand with our customers to anticipate and schedule new and repeat IFU insert printing projects, review inventory, maintain artwork and provide ongoing communication. We can also automate your print tasks with FolderMill’s “watch folders” to streamline your workflow.