Selected Papers from the First International Electronic Conference on Processes: Processes System Innovation (ECP2022)

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 February 2023) | Viewed by 30837

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Guest Editor
Department of Drug Science and Technology, University of Turin, Via P. Giuria 9, 10125 Turin, Italy
Interests: green chemistry; process intensification; green extraction; enabling technologies (ultrasound, microwaves, hydrodynamic cavitation, ball milling, flow chemistry); sustainable chemical processes
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue comprises selected papers from the Proceedings of The First International Electronic Conference on Processes: Processes System Innovation (ECP2022), held on 17–31 May 2022, an online platform for hosting scholarly e-conferences and discussion groups (https://sciforum.net/event/ECP2022).

ECP2022 will present the latest studies in process/system-related research in chemistry, biology, material, energy, environment, food, pharmaceutical, and allied engineering fields. The goal is to create an advanced forum for new development, challenges, and opportunities in process systems engineering.

All processes/system-related scientists or researchers are welcome to join this event and share their findings around the following general and related themes including, but not limited to:

- Experimental, theoretical, and computational research on process development and engineering;

- Process modeling, simulation, optimization, and control;

- Integrated process design and scaleup;

- Sustainable and renewable systems engineering;

- Supply chain management;

- Circular economies;

- Eco-friendly processes and methods.

Prof. Dr. Giancarlo Cravotto
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Processes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

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Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 5344 KiB  
Article
Micro-Stepping Motor for Instrument Panel Using PWM Drive Method
by Pu-Sheng Tsai, Ter-Feng Wu, Jen-Yang Chen and Ping-Tse Teng
Processes 2023, 11(2), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11020329 - 19 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2426
Abstract
This study presents a pointer-driven controller for an instrument panel. The proposed pointer utilizes the permanent magnet (PM) stepping motor produced by the Japanese company NMB. This stepping motor is vibration-proof and tolerates noise jamming as well as wind and rain exposure. Moreover, [...] Read more.
This study presents a pointer-driven controller for an instrument panel. The proposed pointer utilizes the permanent magnet (PM) stepping motor produced by the Japanese company NMB. This stepping motor is vibration-proof and tolerates noise jamming as well as wind and rain exposure. Moreover, it has no mechanical structures and is low cost. Most importantly, it features accurate positioning; therefore, it can be used to measure vehicle speed, engine speed, fuel capacity, and temperature. However, the PM stepping motor of the NMB pointer requires 10 degrees for each step, and this low resolution results in roll hesitation as its steps. The aim of the current paper was to solve the problems of the large angle size and low resolution associated with this stepping motor. Based on two-phase excitation, we propose driving the motor using pulse width modulation (PWM). Specifically, we divided each 10-degree step into 100 equal parts. In other words, every step is 0.1 degrees. The resolution of pointer rotation can be increased by 100-fold by using the approach proposed in this paper. When applied to vehicle (or locomotive) instruments, the pointer can move very smoothly on the tachometer or oil gauge. Full article
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21 pages, 3030 KiB  
Article
Decentralized Multi-Performance Fuzzy Control for Nonlinear Large-Scale Descriptor Systems
by Che-Lun Su, Wen-Jer Chang and Chin-Lin Pen
Processes 2022, 10(12), 2578; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10122578 - 03 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 985
Abstract
This article addresses the decentralized multi-performance (MP) fuzzy control problem of nonlinear large-scale descriptor (LSD) systems. The considered LSD system contains several subsystems with nonlinear interconnection and external disturbances, and the Takagi–Sugeno fuzzy model (TSFM) is adopted to represent each nonlinear subsystem. Based [...] Read more.
This article addresses the decentralized multi-performance (MP) fuzzy control problem of nonlinear large-scale descriptor (LSD) systems. The considered LSD system contains several subsystems with nonlinear interconnection and external disturbances, and the Takagi–Sugeno fuzzy model (TSFM) is adopted to represent each nonlinear subsystem. Based on the proportional-plus-derivative state feedback (PDSF) scheme, we aim to design a decentralized MP fuzzy controller that guarantees the stabilization, mixed H, and passivity performance control (MHPPC), and the guaranteed cost control (GCC) performance of the closed-loop Takagi–Sugeno LSD (TSLSD) systems. Furthermore, we introduce the Lyapunov stability theory and the free-weighting matrix scheme to analyze the stability of the TSLSD system. The proposed sufficient conditions can be transformed as linear matrix inequality (LMI) forms through Schur’s complement, which can be easily solved with the LMI Toolbox. Finally, to illustrate the proposed approach, two examples and simulation results are presented. Full article
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13 pages, 2765 KiB  
Article
Polystyrene-Based Single-Ion Conducting Polymer Electrolyte for Lithium Metal Batteries
by Daria Voropaeva, Svetlana Novikova, Nikolay Trofimenko and Andrey Yaroslavtsev
Processes 2022, 10(12), 2509; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10122509 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1867
Abstract
Lithium metal batteries are one of the more promising replacements for lithium-ion batteries owing to their ability to reach high energy densities. The main problem limiting their commercial application is the formation of dendrites, which significantly reduces their durability and renders the batteries [...] Read more.
Lithium metal batteries are one of the more promising replacements for lithium-ion batteries owing to their ability to reach high energy densities. The main problem limiting their commercial application is the formation of dendrites, which significantly reduces their durability and renders the batteries unsafe. In the present work, we used a single-ion conducting gel polymer electrolyte based on a poly(ethylene-ran-butylene)-block-polystyrene (SEBS) block copolymer, which was functionalized with benzenesulfonylimide anions and plasticized by a mixture of ethylene carbonate and dimethylacetamide (SSEBS-Ph-EC-DMA), with a solvent uptake of 160% (~12 solvent molecules per one functional group of the membrane). The SSEBS-Ph-EC-DMA electrolyte exhibits an ionic conductivity of 0.6 mSm∙cm−1 at 25 °C and appears to be a cationic conductor (TLi+ = 0.72). SSEBS-Ph-EC-DMA is electrochemically stable up to 4.1 V. Symmetrical Li|Li cells; further, with regard to SSEBS-Ph-EC-DMA membrane electrolytes, it showed a good performance (~0.10 V at first cycles and <0.23 V after 700 h of cycling at ±0.1 mA∙cm−2 and ±0.05 mAh∙cm−2). The LiFePO4|SSEBS-Ph-EC-DMA|Li battery showed discharge capacity values of 100 mAh∙g−1 and a 100% Coulomb efficiency, at a cycling rate of 0.1C. Full article
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8 pages, 1909 KiB  
Article
A Post-Processing Method for Improving the Mechanical Properties of Fused-Filament-Fabricated 3D-Printed Parts
by Lorenzo Malagutti, Giulia Ronconi, Marco Zanelli, Francesco Mollica and Valentina Mazzanti
Processes 2022, 10(11), 2399; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10112399 - 15 Nov 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1421
Abstract
Fused-filament fabrication is one of the most popular 3D printing techniques for thermoplastic materials because it is easy to use and is low-cost. On the other hand, it has the great limit of being suitable only for developing prototypes, because the printed object [...] Read more.
Fused-filament fabrication is one of the most popular 3D printing techniques for thermoplastic materials because it is easy to use and is low-cost. On the other hand, it has the great limit of being suitable only for developing prototypes, because the printed object generally has low mechanical properties, and this prevents its use in structural applications. To solve this issue, the scientific literature has mainly focused on the optimization of the printing parameters and on performing some post-printing treatments, e.g., annealing, but despite some results being very promising, the topic has not yet been exhaustively investigated. In this paper, a post-printing treatment was studied that was based on two subsequent stages of remelting and compaction within a mold made of a granular material. The material chosen for this study was a green composite made of poly-(lactic acid) and poly-(hydroxyalkanoate) filled with wood fibers. The density, mechanical properties in terms of tension and microscopic observations were used to evaluate the treatment effectiveness. The main results were that voids were reduced, and the quality of the interlayer welding was increased, and this improved the mechanical properties, both in terms of stiffness and strength. In particular, the initial specimens displayed remarkable anisotropy, being stronger and stiffer in the longitudinal direction. After the post-processing treatment, despite the longitudinal properties having a very limited increase, the transversal properties increased significantly until they reached the longitudinal properties, thus leading to a more isotropic material. Full article
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15 pages, 1712 KiB  
Article
Fast Degradation of Tetracycline and Ciprofloxacin in Municipal Water under Hydrodynamic Cavitation/Plasma with CeO2 Nanocatalyst
by Vladimir Abramov, Anna Abramova, Vadim Bayazitov, Svetlana Kameneva, Varvara Veselova, Daniil Kozlov, Madina Sozarukova, Alexander Baranchikov, Igor Fedulov, Roman Nikonov and Giancarlo Cravotto
Processes 2022, 10(10), 2063; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10102063 - 12 Oct 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2107
Abstract
Although water contamination with drug residues is a threat to public health, there are currently barely any effective methods of purifying water from pharmaceutical substances. In this study, continuous-flow sonoplasma treatment was used for the complete degradation of tetracycline and ciprofloxacin in polluted [...] Read more.
Although water contamination with drug residues is a threat to public health, there are currently barely any effective methods of purifying water from pharmaceutical substances. In this study, continuous-flow sonoplasma treatment was used for the complete degradation of tetracycline and ciprofloxacin in polluted municipal water. The addition of CeO2 nanoparticles as catalysts significantly increased the degradation rate of the antibiotics, and a degradation degree of 70% was achieved. The presence of reactive oxygen species in the CeO2-nanoparticle-containing sonoplasma-treated system was experimentally proven for the first time using the chemiluminescence technique. Full article
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13 pages, 2524 KiB  
Article
Effect of Sulfate, Citrate, and Tartrate Anions on the Liquid-Liquid Equilibrium Behavior of Water + Surfactant
by Otto A. Q. Jimenez, Josiel M. Costa, Bruno R. de Souza, Abimael C. Medeiros, Edson G. Monteiro-Junior and Rodrigo C. Basso
Processes 2022, 10(10), 2023; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10102023 - 07 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1524
Abstract
Cloud point extraction is a versatile method aimed at separating compounds from complex mixtures and arouses great technological interest, particularly among the biochemical industries. However, one must have deep knowledge of the liquid–liquid equilibrium behavior of systems to properly use the method. Thus, [...] Read more.
Cloud point extraction is a versatile method aimed at separating compounds from complex mixtures and arouses great technological interest, particularly among the biochemical industries. However, one must have deep knowledge of the liquid–liquid equilibrium behavior of systems to properly use the method. Thus, we used thermodynamic parameters to evaluate the effect of citrate, sulfate, and tartrate anions on the phase separation of water + Triton X-114® mixtures at 283.2 K, 293.2 K, and 303.2 K. In these systems, increasing the temperature and the anion molar fraction expanded the biphasic region in the following order: C6H5O73-> SO42- >  C4H4O62. Unlike other studies based on the Hofmeister series, the Gibbs free energy of micellization correlated the anion effect on the biphasic region with the spontaneity of the micelle formation. The water molecules structured around these anions were evaluated according to the shell volume of the immobilized water by electrostriction, volume of water around the hydration shell, Gibbs free energy of hydration, and Gibbs free energy of electrostriction (ΔGel12). The citrate anion presented a higher ΔGel12 of −1781.49 kJ mol−1, due to the larger number of electrons around it. In addition, the partition coefficient of the surfactant in the two liquid phases revealed a linear dependence upon the anion mole fractions by following the previous anion sequence and temperature in the phase separation. Full article
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13 pages, 3690 KiB  
Article
The Use of Novel, Rapid Analytical Tools in the Assessment of the Stability of Tablets—A Pilot Analysis of Expired and Unexpired Tablets Containing Nifuroxazide
by Beata Sarecka-Hujar, Beata Szulc-Musioł, Michał Meisner and Piotr Duda
Processes 2022, 10(10), 1934; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10101934 - 25 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1908
Abstract
In the analysis of finished pharmaceutical products, numerous innovative analytical techniques are often used, i.e., Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, computer microtomography, directional hemispherical reflectance, and hyperspectral analyses. These techniques allow for the identification of changes in solid phases. Many advantages over other [...] Read more.
In the analysis of finished pharmaceutical products, numerous innovative analytical techniques are often used, i.e., Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, computer microtomography, directional hemispherical reflectance, and hyperspectral analyses. These techniques allow for the identification of changes in solid phases. Many advantages over other techniques can be attributed to these techniques, e.g., they are rapid, non-destructive, and comprehensive. They allow for the identification of changes occurring in solid phases. However, the above-mentioned methods are still not standard procedures in pharmaceutical research. The present study aimed to assess the possible usefulness of total directional hemispherical reflectance (THR), hyperspectral imaging, and computer microtomography to evaluate the stability of tablets containing nifuroxazide during storage. In the study, expired and unexpired coating tablets containing nifuroxazide (n = 10 each) were analyzed. In addition, four unexpired tablets were stored at 40°C over 3 months (stressed tablets). Reflectance was determined with seven wavelength bands from 335 nm to 2500 nm using an SOC-410 Directional Hemispherical Reflectometer (Surface Optics Corporation, San Diego, CA, USA). A Specim IQ hyperspectral camera (Spectral Imaging Ltd., Oulu, Finland) was used with a wavelength range of 400–1030 nm. Tablets were also scanned using X-ray microtomography (Phoenix vǀtomeǀx, GE Sensing & Inspection Technologies GmbH, Wunstorf, Germany). The results indicated that total reflectance was lower in expired tablets than in unexpired tablets in all spectral bands, except for 700–1100 nm and 1700–2500 nm. In turn, the stressed tablets showed higher THR values than expired tablets in all spectral bands, except for 1000–1700 nm. In addition, hyperspectral analysis of the homogeneity of the tablets, as well as X-ray microtomographic analysis of tablet density and coating thickness, indicated that these parameters differed significantly between the analyzed tablets. Full article
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14 pages, 534 KiB  
Article
Digital Food Twins Combining Data Science and Food Science: System Model, Applications, and Challenges
by Christian Krupitzer, Tanja Noack and Christine Borsum
Processes 2022, 10(9), 1781; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10091781 - 05 Sep 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3518
Abstract
The production of food is highly complex due to the various chemo-physical and biological processes that must be controlled for transforming ingredients into final products. Further, production processes must be adapted to the variability of the ingredients, e.g., due to seasonal fluctuations of [...] Read more.
The production of food is highly complex due to the various chemo-physical and biological processes that must be controlled for transforming ingredients into final products. Further, production processes must be adapted to the variability of the ingredients, e.g., due to seasonal fluctuations of raw material quality. Digital twins are known from Industry 4.0 as a method to model, simulate, and optimize processes. In this vision paper, we describe the concept of a digital food twin. Due to the variability of the raw materials, such a digital twin has to take into account not only the processing steps but also the chemical, physical, or microbiological properties that change the food independently from the processing. We propose a hybrid modeling approach, which integrates the traditional approach of food process modeling and simulation of the bio-chemical and physical properties with a data-driven approach based on the application of machine learning. This work presents a conceptual framework for our digital twin concept based on explainable artificial intelligence and wearable technology. We discuss the potential in four case studies and derive open research challenges. Full article
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17 pages, 860 KiB  
Article
Process Model Inversion in the Data-Driven Engineering Context for Improved Parameter Sensitivities
by Subiksha Selvarajan, Aike Aline Tappe, Caroline Heiduk, Stephan Scholl and René Schenkendorf
Processes 2022, 10(9), 1764; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10091764 - 02 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2166
Abstract
Industry 4.0 has embraced process models in recent years, and the use of model-based digital twins has become even more critical in process systems engineering, monitoring, and control. However, the reliability of these models depends on the model parameters available. The accuracy of [...] Read more.
Industry 4.0 has embraced process models in recent years, and the use of model-based digital twins has become even more critical in process systems engineering, monitoring, and control. However, the reliability of these models depends on the model parameters available. The accuracy of the estimated parameters is, in turn, determined by the amount and quality of the measurement data and the algorithm used for parameter identification. For the definition of the parameter identification problem, the ordinary least squares framework is still state-of-the-art in the literature, and better parameter estimates are only possible with additional data. In this work, we present an alternative strategy to identify model parameters by incorporating differential flatness for model inversion and neural ordinary differential equations for surrogate modeling. The novel concept results in an input-least-squares-based parameter identification problem with significant parameter sensitivity changes. To study these sensitivity effects, we use a classic one-dimensional diffusion-type problem, i.e., an omnipresent equation in process systems engineering and transport phenomena. As shown, the proposed concept ensures higher parameter sensitivities for two relevant scenarios. Based on the results derived, we also discuss general implications for data-driven engineering concepts used to identify process model parameters in the recent literature. Full article
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12 pages, 3741 KiB  
Article
Preparation and Selection of Best-Performing Fluorescent-Based Tracers for Oil and Gas Downhole Applications
by Vladimir Khmelnitskiy, Nouf AlJabri and Vera Solovyeva
Processes 2022, 10(9), 1741; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10091741 - 01 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1675
Abstract
Cost-efficient tracers with fast and simple detection and quantification methods at low detection limits via on-site detection is a current industrial target for state-of-the-art tracer tests. To bridge the gap between the desired tracer properties and detection limits, we developed a broad spectrum [...] Read more.
Cost-efficient tracers with fast and simple detection and quantification methods at low detection limits via on-site detection is a current industrial target for state-of-the-art tracer tests. To bridge the gap between the desired tracer properties and detection limits, we developed a broad spectrum of robust and cost-efficient fluorescent tags to innovate the current reservoir management practices. We engineered new tracers and extended tracer test applications for on-site real-time well-drilling monitoring to label drill cuttings as they are made at the drill-bit face to improve drill-cuttings depth correlation. These developed fluorescent tracers not only have the low detection limits of fluorescent spectroscopy techniques but also allow for automated detection at minimal concentrations of 0.025–0.037 mol.%. These developed tracers allow us to detect the real-time drilling depth, thereby enhancing hydrocarbon recovery. Thus, the reported innovative fluorescent-based tracing approach would (1) reduce drilling depth correlation uncertainty, (2) optimize well placement, and (3) maximize oil production. Full article
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Review

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25 pages, 7048 KiB  
Review
FDA-Approved Trifluoromethyl Group-Containing Drugs: A Review of 20 Years
by Aathira Sujathan Nair, Ashutosh Kumar Singh, Astik Kumar, Sunil Kumar, Sunitha Sukumaran, Vishal Payyalot Koyiparambath, Leena K. Pappachen, T. M. Rangarajan, Hoon Kim and Bijo Mathew
Processes 2022, 10(10), 2054; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10102054 - 11 Oct 2022
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 6886
Abstract
As people around the world regard 2020 as the year of COVID-19, the medical community considers this year to be the second-best year, shared with the year 1996, with respect to the number of drug molecules approved by the US Food and Drug [...] Read more.
As people around the world regard 2020 as the year of COVID-19, the medical community considers this year to be the second-best year, shared with the year 1996, with respect to the number of drug molecules approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both years, 2020 and 1996, had a record of 53 new drug molecules approved by the FDA. In the year 2020, 53 new chemical entities and 13 biological medicines were approved, including 10 monoclonal antibodies, 2 antibody-drug conjugates, 3 peptides, and 2 oligonucleotides. Among them, most of the compounds were found to have fluorine or fluorine-containing functional groups exhibiting numerous pharmacological activities. Herein, we summarized the trifluoromethyl (TFM, -CF3)-group-containing FDA-approved drugs for the last 20 years. This article specially features and details the previous 20-year literature data, covering CF3-incorporated potential drug molecules, including their syntheses and uses for various diseases and disorders. The review covers the detailed chemistry of 19 FDA-approved drugs in the past 20 years, which contains the TFM group as one of the pharmacophores. Full article
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22 pages, 2439 KiB  
Review
A Review of Lean Methodology Application and Its Integration in Medical Device New Product Introduction Processes
by Owen Slattery, Anna Trubetskaya, Sean Moore and Olivia McDermott
Processes 2022, 10(10), 2005; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10102005 - 04 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2793
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to review the Lean tool application and its utilisation in medical device design and the new product introduction process to establish the benefits and best practices for its integration with existing new product introduction processes. A review [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to review the Lean tool application and its utilisation in medical device design and the new product introduction process to establish the benefits and best practices for its integration with existing new product introduction processes. A review of the literature on the current state of medical device New Product Introduction (NPI) processes is completed along with a comprehensive review of the literature on the history and development of Lean NPI. The review indicates that Lean can be combined with the predominant NPI execution tools, Stage-Gate and Concurrent Engineering within the medical device industry to achieve a best-in-class continuous improvement methodology within the NPI process. This integration eliminates waste, focusses on customer value, and ultimately reduces cost and lead time to market. This review highlights for the first time the main challenges and issues with Lean in the medical device sector NPI processes, identifying possible future strands of research. Limitations of the current review are that despite the heavy emphasis placed on Lean manufacturing processes, comparatively little emphasis is placed on the use of Lean in the medical device NPI process. Future longitudinal case studies on case study application of Lean in medical device NPI processes would be useful. This study has implications for identifying best practices for Lean in NPI in the device industry, improving what is considered state-of-the-art for the introduction of devices into the public domain. Full article
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