The medical industry will continue to develop new products, require new capabilities from their suppliers, and maintain their drive for continuous improvement in technology, costs, and quality. Production of precision parts for medical applications is constantly changing. More challenging materials, geometries, and ways to assure conformance / performance are what’s ahead in this market.
What are the keys to meeting these challenges if this is your market? Key #1- Technology Technology is certainly a key part of a sustainable commercial strategy. With tolerances, finishes, and geometries standard that were unheard of in other markets years ago, modern equipment is a must- capable, productive, precisely controlled equipment. Key #2- Zero Defects not just Zero PPM. Zero PPM tells us about your process. Or Processes. Zero Defects is a condition of your products. In the surgery, they don’t have the ability to analyze your ppm. They need defect free. Zero Defects. And that means anticipating and preventing latent defects… so close communication with design is a must, as well as process control and understanding. Key #3- Knowledge and Training Knowledge and Training not just for operators. Engineering, Programming, Toolmakers, Quality Assurance as well as Operators all need upgraded skills to successfully manufacture complex geometries from materials such as Titanium and Stainless Steels such as 316L. Simple form tooling is no longer adequate for the complex forms now being generated by whirling or interpolation of milling cutters. This requires higher skills and process knowledge. Which of these is most important?
If any of these is missing, it would be a showstopper for your medical market business. They are all important. But if one had to be ranked most important, I would say that it would be knowledge and training. With a knowledgeable and well trained crew, you could find the technology and reinvent the mistake proof processes needed to succeed in the business.
Without knowledge and skills, all you would really have is a technology showroom or museum.
What do you think? Is knowledge and training first among equals? Or is it silly to rank any of these as more important?