PT_Plastics Today

Plastics Today, September 2015

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Medical Technology PlasTicsToday.coM global PlasTics RePoRT 2015 29 advice when it comes to considering a global presence: Know what you don't know, and act accordingly. "It's easy to stub your toes on local business customs, hiring practices and trying to do high- tech work in a location doesn't have the workforce to support that. My advice is to hire a consulting group that knows that market so you don't make huge mis- takes or act on wrong assumptions." Offshoring is not in the Plastic Mold- ing Manufacturing (Hudson, MA) play- book. In fact, the company is dedicated to bringing manufacturing back to the United States. It has an ally in the medical manufacturing industry . . . mostly. "Medi- cal companies typically do not outsource outside of the United States," says CEO George E. Danis. "Our objective is to reshore manufacturing to the United States, not just molding, but all manufacturing." And that goal is within reach, adds Danis. "The United States is competitive in qual- ity, delivery times and even in cost, as labor in China is becoming more expensive." Committing to a business relationship Demonstrating a commitment to the device industry is an essential element in carving out a future as a medical molder. Phillips of Prism Plastics has some unique insights on this. A successful supplier of injection molding services to the automotive sec- tor, Prism established Prism Medical in 2010. Five years on, the results have been disappointing. Part of the prob- lem, says Phillips, is a perception, not unfounded, that providers of molding services to automotive OEMs often hunt for business in the medical sector when carmakers go through one of their cycli- cal downturns, only to put diversification on the back burner once the auto indus- try picks up again. "That worked against us," says Phillips. The company has taken a new tack and plans to acquire a medical molder to show its determina- tion to enter this market and its willing- ness to be there for the long haul. "Long-term commitment is crucial because of the time it takes to develop a product," explains Phillips. "It would be disastrous if a company were to drop the ball at some point during the process." Medical manufacturing is a much more collaborative process than automo- tive, adds Phillips. "Teams are formed early in the process and work through problems together. OEMs want input on processes, material selection and so forth. Communication is more fre- quent and more systematic than it is in automotive," says Phillips. "Rules for qualifying parts and milestones are well defined. If you are going to miss a mile- stone, there is an established collabora- tive process to talk it through and solve the problem. It is relationship based," stresses Phillips. At the end of the day, making a busi- ness relationship work is not that differ- ent from any other relationship—you need to show commitment. The first name in materials testing. Busted! This company's QA program AND reputation Like Humpty Dumpty, it is hard to put the pieces back together once a real world product quality disaster strikes. The ultimate cost of a recall will be far, far greater than any savings from cutting corners or not investing in a quality assurance program in the first place. With our broad spectrum of physical testing machines, software, and technical support, Tinius Olsen can help you assure quality from material to end product. To international standards and your toughest specifications. Reputations (yours and ours) depend on it.

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