Post 3 in a 6-part series: Why Partner with a Medical Design & Manufacturing Services Company
Choosing the right partner can provide a safe pair of hands to enable medical and pharmaceutical companies to innovate with confidence and increase their competitive advantage. Gaining instant access to expertise is among the top reasons to work with a medical manufacturing partner.
Medical industry trends – including miniaturization, non-surgical/minimally invasive devices and home healthcare delivery – demand more sophisticated, smaller and easy-to-use electronics, which may not be a core competency of medical device companies. A design and manufacturing services company can supply specialized knowledge, expertise and facilities to support a novel application without the delays and costs of acquiring them in-house.
For example, medical companies interested in the growing market for combination products like drug delivery devices may not be set up to apply the specialized technologies required for manufacturing. Instead, they can leverage a manufacturing partner’s experience with technologies, including pharmaceutical formulation, fluid engineering, nanotechnology and specialty plastic molding.
This approach also provides a competitive advantage by giving them a source of strong institutional knowledge about innovative technological possibilities for upcoming devices, such as wireless technology for blood glucose meters.
Further, while a device manufacturer may be focused on one narrow area, a manufacturing partner likely has had in-depth and diverse experience with a range of challenges, materials, technologies and processes, helping the healthcare OEM avoid protracted efforts or mistakes.
Healthcare OEMs must ascertain whether prospective electronics manufacturing partners are staffed with a skilled design engineering group proficient in the use of new technologies such as flex circuits. Some basic questions: Do they have software experience in of programming, coding and embedded controls? Can they provide electrical engineering design, simulation, RFI shielding, and testing? Do they have full system integration experience?
Design and manufacturing services companies complement these core skills by displaying expertise in plastics molding, tooling, and providing the OEM with a one-stop shop that understands how all the pieces fit together to make a quality product.
When sophisticated electronics are included in the composition of a drug delivery device, for example, the complexity increases significantly. Typically, a device that requires electronics will contain a printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) and some other electronic components such as a display and batteries. A partner whose scope is limited to PCBA will supply an assembled and fully tested PCBA only. However, a fully resourced design and manufacturing company that is defined as and registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a finished device manufacturer combines manufacture/supply of the PCBA with final assembly of the drug delivery device.
Ask yourself just what vital technological knowledge and manufacturing skills do you need internally to take your product development to the next level?
Our next post in this series will cover –How a manufacturing partner’s capability to utilize value engineering in the optimization of a design ensures smooth manufacturability of the product.