In today’s competitive environment, companies are looking for opportunities to reduce manufacturing costs while maintaining product quality – and that is the case with medical devices. While there are a number of factors that contribute to the cost of medical devices, we will focus on 3 key ways to reduce manufacturing costs: consolidation of suppliers, efficient design of the device, and process automation.

Supplier Consolidation

The only constant in the manufacturing world is change. Over time, OEMs often find they have acquired a large supply chain that can be challenging and time-consuming to manage. One cost-cutting measure is to consolidate the supply base into one or two strategic supply partners. When partnering with a single-source provider, such as Desin, customers receive a complete manufacturing solution that strengthens their supply chain. Additionally, since every step in the manufacturing process builds upon the next, it is cost-effective to partner with a supplier that can start and end the project with you – from the concept and design phase through production and secondary operations! There are many benefits to supplier consolidation including:

  • More purchasing power: by consolidating your supply chain, you will gain purchasing power. This can be in the form of negotiating lower manufacturing and transport rates due to higher annual spend, or lower raw material expenses due to more volume purchased.
  • Improved communications: by consolidating your suppliers, your points of contact are greatly reduced, possibly down to a single point of contact at your key supplier. This allows for a central, more customized level of support. This will also inevitably improve and simplify your supply chain communications, resulting in a better final product.
  • Easier to manage: a smaller supplier base is simply easier. There are less suppliers to setup and manage within internal systems, and the relationship is easier to manage.

When determining which partners should be part of your strategic supply base, consider the supplier’s cost, quality, communication, core-competencies, and use of technology. If you are satisfied with the supplier’s performance in these key areas, then the supplier should likely be part of your strategic supply base!

Leveraging Automation

Automation, and the efficiency it brings, has become a vital component in the manufacturing of medical devices. Automated robots offer speed and accuracy, resulting in lower cycle times and higher product quality. With an automated production line, personnel no longer have to execute the repetitive, time-consuming tasks – reducing the risk of human error and allowing personnel to focus on more value-added responsibilities. Additionally, in the case of injection molding, a highly-automated can be controlled by as little as one operator, lowering labor and manufacturing costs.

Automation within the manufacturing process can occur during the design phase all the way through secondary operations. Companies should work with their manufacturing partner to design with automation in mind. For example, medical devices that are smooth are more suitable for automated assembly processes. Also, OEMs should be mindful of assembly order and ensure part orientation is consistent. These design consideration help ensure automated processes downstream are optimized and efficient.

Efficient Design

In order to save cost on your medical device, companies need to ensure the product is as easy to manufacture as possible! This will result in more efficient production, better quality, and lower cycle times. Below are some best practices that will help you reduce cost.

  • Minimize material: look for opportunities to reduce solid part sections and replace with more hollow sections. In the case of injection molding, use of gussets and ribs will often provide the required strength while using less material. It may seem like a small reduction in material but when multiplied over many production runs the result can be a large decrease in manufacturing costs! Additionally, devices that weigh less are cheaper to transport and store, further reducing costs.
  • Optimize Cycle Times: when it comes to production, time is money. Medical devices are often manufactured by plastic injection molding. In these instances, devices with easier ejection from the mold result in shorter cycle times and lower part cost – and this is accomplished with the appropriate draft. Draft is an essential element in part design and is simply the angling of walls to allow easier separation and removal of the product from the mold. A lack of draft makes it nearly impossible to remove the part. OEMs should ensure adequate draft in the part design to reduce cycle times and save cost.
  • Simplify the Product: several design features impact part cost such as tight tolerances and engraving. These all drive up cost and directionally reduce production efficiency. OEMs should work with their supplier to look at design alternatives and should ensure any complex features are “must-haves”!

Desin’s Medical Device Manufacturing

Desin is a world class manufacturer of Medical Devices, Industrial devices, Human Machine Interface (HMI), Sensors, Wearables and IOT products that meet the highest quality standards. We specialize in the development of technology and applications with global reach, which allow us to offer low-cost solutions at global quality performance.

OEMs that supply medical parts and devices to the healthcare industry simply cannot afford to cut corners when it comes to consistency and quality as these products are often critical to the health of the individual using them. Fortunately, Desin offers a range of manufacturing services focused on the needs of the medical industry:

  • Product Design and Concept Optimization: We take your concept and make it real! We focus on optimizing the manufacturing process right from the initial concept through the prototyping stage and on to the limited or full production of your medical device. Medical devices demand attention to detail, which is why every step of the process is carefully monitored and analyzed. When you work with Desin you will be able to focus more on the core elements of your project and leave the detail work to us.
  • Specialized Interface Components: Our extensive knowledge of user interface technologies allows us to provide the best solution for any device that requires a user interaction. We have developed unique membrane switches, capacitive touch devices, advanced touchscreens, and overlays with mechanical rubber keypads for hundreds of devices.
  • Surface Mount Components (SMC): Our state-of-the-art equipment and expertise combine to offer you reliable and fully tested components that meet or exceed your specifications.
  • In-house, Medical Grade Plastic Injection Molding: When developing new medical devices, every single day counts. Our complete vertical integration, from mold making to medical grade injection in clean rooms, will deliver parts promptly and help you keep ahead of your launch schedule and of the competition.

The Desin team offers a suite of services for medical device projects such as CAD design, software programming, 3D scanning and printing, in-house test benches, assemblies and so on. Contact us today to see how we can help you reduce your medical device costs, or click here for a free quote!