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An approved vendor list isn’t meant to be static, and if you’re treating yours like it’s written in stone, you may be doing yourself and your business a disservice.
Critically evaluating vendor performance on a regular basis not only helps you identify and weed out those that aren’t consistently meeting expectations, it also provides an opportunity for vendor consolidation.
Medical grade polymers are quickly becoming the preferred material for a broad range of surgical devices. In certain applications, the robust mechanical properties of medical molding polymers allow complete removal of metal from the surgical device design. In other instances, plastic and metal components can combine to create an enhanced product, with attributes that would not be possible in either an all-metal or an all-plastic device.
When working on an innovative medical device that could potentially save lives, it’s often crucial to get that device to market as quickly as possible. Every day you save in product development is an extra day people who need your device will have access to it. In addition, development timelines impact your company’s competitive advantage — if a competitor releases a similar device before you, they reap the rewards of being the first on the market. Lack of product development experience, overextending timeline and budget, and compliance with industry regulations are just a few reasons why medical devices and products often go over their projected timeline, but many of these issues can be avoided with the proper planning and manufacturing partnerships.
Though most commonly known for use in retail operations, radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology has also made a big breakthrough into pharmaceutical circles—and more recently, with medical devices. In 2016, there were more than 8 billion ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags sold worldwide, with only 60% going towards retail. RFID tags typically operate like barcodes, sending out radio frequencies to special reader devices, where data from the tag is captured and stored in a database. With medical RFID applications, however, the uses go way beyond the barcode, and can help medical device manufacturers improve processes and deliver a better final product.
Innovations in technology have significantly impacted the healthcare industry in recent years, and that trend isn’t slowing anytime soon. Various software systems have improved processes such as patient registration, maintaining health records, dispensing medication, and more, minimizing errors and improving care.
Baby Boomers personify the dilemma of caring for an aging America. Those born between 1946 and 1964 will reach retirement age by the year 2029, and the number of Americans 65 or older will climb to more than 71 million — a projected 73% increase, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics.
Injection-molded plastic components and devices have long been the choice of medical manufacturers for projects requiring tight tolerances, complex product geometries and lightweight versatility. This level of confidence is credited to things like trusted designs, past performance and partnerships with experienced injection molders, but one key contributor to production consistency that is often overlooked is moldflow analysis.
The complexities of your critical use medical application require you to assemble and manage a supply chain that optimizes expertise and efficiencies from a number of sources. Focusing on singular areas, like injection molding, is important to the successful performance and reliability of your medical components, but a broader view of the project must also be taken to leverage the expertise of your suppliers in order to streamline processes and achieve a faster time to market.
There is no room for error when designing critical-use medical devices and equipment. Taking a holistic view of the part/component during the design phase—including assembly implications—allows for a thorough understanding of how all of the factors involved impact the end product. It also helps injection molders identify and correct injection molding defects in engineered plastic components during early project phases, which ultimately saves money and reduces time to market.