For years, Innovize has utilized Delta ModTech’s converting machinery to become a top producer of medical devices. A unique project that required multiple steps to produce and a minimal amount of time to complete put their expertise to the test.
Innovize specializes in custom medical and personal care product development and manufacturing. Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, they’ve been delivering converted medical components and finished devices for more than 60 years, and have become the industry leader in medical market converting.
Their success has been based on a simple strategy — help their customers develop a solution for creating extremely complex projects, and rely on Delta ModTech’s equipment to deliver the goods.
Innovize has become so adept at Delta ModTech’s equipment, they’ve been able to standardize many rotary converting processes. It allows them to tackle challenging design and manufacturing problems — but few have tested their expertise as much as this one.
CHALLENGE: INTEGRATE THERMOFORMING INTO AN ALREADY COMPLEX, MULTI-STEP PROCESS
Katy Trudeau is the National Sales Manager at Innovize, and she’s seen many complex challenges in her career, but the one she received from a customer that specializes in vascular access was in a class by itself.
Katy Trudeau, Innovize
This customer owned a Delta ModTech press of their own, but they had a new product that was testing their internal capabilities as well as materials and process knowledge.
“They had 14 different inputs. Lots of island placements, laminating, re-registering. It’s one of the more complex products we’ve seen at Innovize,” Trudeau said.
The customer was also looking to integrate thermoforming into the process. All those elements needed to be delivered with extremely tight tolerances, and in a timeframe that exceeded their internal learning curve.
“They didn’t have the 18 to 24 months it would have taken them to figure it out internally,” said Dave Jessen, Owner and VP of Sales and Marketing at Innovize.
Dave Jessen, Innovize
SOLUTION: LEAN INTO MATERIALS EXPERTISE AND MAXIMIZE SPEED-TO-MARKET KNOW-HOW
As a contract converter for more than six decades, Innovize has acquired a fair amount of expertise. They pride themselves on their quality systems. Besides certifications such as ISO 13485, ISO 9001, and GMP, they are the first company to be audited to the FDA’s new CMMI standards.
The result is 36 successful projects making it through their “Speed to Market” process last year, and more than 100 additional projects in the pipeline.
With these types of systems in place, you can focus on efficiency and process improvements. In the case of the complex medical device, Innovize was able to look at the intangibles the project would require, specifically, choosing the right materials for the thermoforming function.
Innovize has one of the most highly developed supply chains in the US for medical products using rotary converting, and it wasn’t long before iterative development found the winning combination of materials.
RESULTS: REDUCING COSTS AND INCREASING SPEED TO MARKET
OEM’s always have a balancing act when it comes to manufacturing new products: Take it in-house, or look to a contract converter like Innovize. Trudeau’s client chose correctly in this case.
Using a Delta ModTech Crusader®, Innovize developed a 10-station process and a work cell, which included an automated thermoformer and a Delta ModTech packager. The entire line operated in a class 8 cleanroom.
“Taking it in-house, they might have figured it out 18 to 24 months later, with a significant financial investment. We did it all within 8 to 10 months.”
The company was able to achieve a successful product launch, and they are seeing increases in the sales of the part. Speed = sales, but it doesn’t happen unless the product works and works well.
The end result was a complex part produced in minimal time, and further validation of Innovize’s winning strategy: To build their internal converting expertise, and rely on Delta ModTech machines to make the impossible possible.