Often the medical device product design team is disconnected from the technicians and machinists who tackle the nuts and bolts of product development. Working with highly skilled technicians who are integrated into the design team makes development not only faster, but often contributes to a better final product. Here are some of the ways highly skilled technicians accelerate product development:
1) Faster solutions: Highly trained technicians offer better fabrication methods and need less trial-and-error time to come up with workable solutions to design problems. They will already know which equipment to use, which materials will work best, and how components fit together to create a working model. They also bring an understanding of the materials and processes used in manufacturing and can add a level of practicality to the design that will save money over the long run.
2) Deepens design team: Tasks can be turned over to more experienced technicians at a much higher level. When a project is immediately resourced with technicians that are involved from the very beginning, they understand the problem the device aims to solve. This deeper understanding of the whole project allows them to see how the various parts are intended to work together. An engineer doesn’t need to lay out explicit instructions, which saves time, and the technician has the freedom to create the best part or prototype possible.
3) Design and process improvements: By adding deep “component experience” to the more theoretical work of a design engineer, a good technician offers real-world design alternatives. Perhaps a small tweak will have the same outcome but will take less time to manufacture, or require a less expensive material. Very experienced technicians bring these kinds of money- and time-saving solutions to the table. They also quickly discover when a certain design path is not going to work, allowing for faster course correction and increasing overall project speed.
4) Higher level understanding: Less experienced technicians may be overwhelmed by too much information about a project. Machinists are usually just following a component blueprint without understanding how that component fits into the whole. Often this leads to instructions getting “lost in translation” and a part comes back that is not exactly what is needed, wasting valuable time. Highly trained technicians bring “big picture” understanding to their work and know which dimensions of each component are most critical to the overall project.
5) Wide breadth of skills: The equipment used in medical device development is necessarily complex, and often technicians specialize in one piece of equipment or a single process. Technicians with broader experience can be involved at all phases of design development, using a wide variety of tools and techniques to create components and prototypes. Again, when the technicians are involved from the inception of the project, rather than being brought in to focus on certain components, they become critical partners in the whole design process.
Even when a certain design path “fails,” with experienced technicians as integral design team members, something is always learned, and failures often redirect the team to the ultimate solution. When the technicians are engaged on the project level and not just the component level, it speeds the overall process and improves the medical device ultimately produced. At REV.1 Engineering, our team of highly trained technicians have deep experience in a variety of tools and techniques to give our clients the best product outcome possible. With redundant skillsets, someone is always on hand to prototype using our specialized equipment, and our machining is all done in-house for quick turn-around. Always ready to take on a challenge, our technicians come up with unexpected solutions and offer alternatives that improve the design process and accelerate progress. Our whole team is ready to partner with you to put your device development on hyper-speed. We can step in immediately as your full service, 2x Faster R&D team. Give us a call at 951.696.3933, connect with us on LinkedIn, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.