Product development is one of three major requirements that medical
device companies are seeking from their partners that they weren’t
five years ago.
If the partner is going to support the product development
process, an OEM needs to know if it has an internal tool-mak-ing capability, said Dan Lazas, executive vice president for marketing and sales for Putnam Plastics Co., an extrusion provider
in Dayville, Conn., that is part of PolyMedix Discovery Group.
“In order to move at the pace device companies want to move
at, they need to generate prototypes quickly and do iterations in
house,” he said.
If the partner is going to consult on product development, then
it should have experience with a wide range of materials and
processes, otherwise it might try to force a manufacturing strategy
that is not for the best, Lazas added.
“If they only have one thing to offer, they will try to solve it with
that,” he said. “But if they have multiple capabilities, for example
thermoplastics, fluoroplastics, braiding, and co-extrusion, that gives
them a bigger toolbox to provide solutions. Every material has a
different work-around to it. It also helps if they have secondary op-
erations such as RF (radio frequency) welding available.”
Similarly, he said, the ideal partner will have“experienced ex-
trusion engineers available to do development.”
Indeed, said Geary Havran, president of NDH Medical Inc., a
St. Petersburg, Fla.-based extrusion provider, participation in
product development is one of three major requirements that
medical device companies are seeking from their partners that
they weren’t five years ago, at least not to the same extent. The
other two are“comprehensive data collection and analysis for
process control and validation, and materials expertise for medical
device applications,” he said.