For all practical purposes, supply chains are extensions of an OEM’s capabilities and services. Injection molders on an OEM’s approved supplier list must demonstrate certain core competencies that help address — and alleviate — OEM concerns around quality, cost, reliability and a host of other factors that could influence outcomes and, ultimately, their reputation and bottom line.
Manufacturers are always looking for practical ways to streamline product design, engineering and production, leading many to supplier consolidation. Reasons for this make good business sense, and include reduced development time and associated costs, improved logistics, and a single point of contact.
In the case of custom injection molding, however, even these compelling business reasons may not be enough to overcome the difficulty of finding a single supplier that possesses the injection molding expertise and capabilities to optimize your process and meet your needs.
Always have a Plan B. That’s something we’re taught early-on in life, but the truth is, it’s easy to become complacent and not have a backup plan. For manufacturers, this can be particularly risky since, so often, unanticipated events out of their direct control on the supply side of production can cause turmoil.
The medical industry is a complex network of skilled professionals, facilities and equipment that provides ongoing, immediate — and, at times, emergency — services to preserve and protect human health. It carries a unique importance, and medical device and equipment manufacturers share in shouldering that responsibility by taking all necessary precautions to help ensure the critical-use products they provide are defect-free and consistently reliable.
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.
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.
For the first time in over a decade, the United States Army is winding down contingency operations. Army Material Command (AMC) executives are assessing supplier relationships and strategically choosing to continue those that can provide necessary components for ground and weapon systems, communications equipment and armed forces gear without disrupting the Army’s supply chain.
Central to new product development is the budget, and exploring economic efficiencies often leads to offshoring options. This is especially true when the new product development program (NPD) involves injection-molded plastic components for industrial/consumer applications, as overseas costs are particularly attractive compared to domestic production.