These days, savvy medical device engineers, designers, and manufacturers are partnering with suppliers to accelerate new products to market. Whether it’s by providing advanced materials, upgraded solutions, cleaning and regulatory training, or assisting with process validation, a well-chosen supplier assists their customer every step of the way.

Advanced cleaning solutions have been developed to help designers speed new product development. There are low-maintenance cleaning fluids available that are safe for, and compatible with, a wide variety of materials. These solvent-based cleaning fluids are hostile to pyrogenic growth, easy to use (and reuse), clean without residue, and eliminate ongoing process and regulatory hassles associated with aqueous cleaners.

Efficient lubricant coatings are also available to designers. These medical grade lubricant coatings are ISO 10993 tested and will not creep or otherwise migrate. They provide easy, consistent application, which improves the look and feel of the finished device. The lubricant also works to overcome assembly problems associated with stacked tolerances by significantly reducing actuation forces of a finished device to heighten functionality and usability.

At MicroCare Medical, we work with medical device designers and manufacturing engineers to ensure they have an efficient manufacturing process—that they’re using the right cleaning and lubricant solutions in the right way, and that they’re consistently producing a high-quality product. Our in-house R&D laboratory and expert field service technicians allow us to work directly with individual customers to define a cleaning and/or lubrication process that are appropriate for them and specific to their products. Customers can learn step-by-step how to clean or coat their products in a process that is properly scaled to their current and future needs. This process is repeatable, improves productivity and efficiency in the cleanroom, and can help save on labor, carrying, and material costs. In the end, the designer saves time and money in getting his or her product to market and has an established solution to use with future projects.

In addition to improving the product development processes, a knowledgeable supplier can also assist early on in compliance with appropriate certification standards. Resolving such details on the front-end saves the designer time on testing procedures on the back-end. Materials testing and certification processes are exhaustive and can take anywhere from months to years to complete. The best supplier knows that testing and certifying their products to industry standards in advance provides the end user with confidence that the product is suitable for their specialized needs.

Designers, engineers, and manufacturers are benefiting by partnering with their suppliers. As the trends [highlighted] become increasingly popular, designers will continue to experience time- and cost-efficient solutions that meet their needs.

Jay Tourigny is vice president of operations at MicroCare Medical, a supplier of advanced cleaners, carrier additives, coatings, and lubricants for medical device designers and manufacturers throughout North America and Western Europe.