Medical device companies have long benefited from the global outsourcing of labor and manufacturing and are now expanding the role of global outsourcing to include product design and development. However, many of the benefits of moving labor and manufacturing could be short term and may be detrimental to the long-term growth of a company. One alternative that will reduce costs and still retain sustaining competitive advantages is to find or develop new manufacturing technologies. Advances in micro molding technology and polymer science now allow a range of cost-effective alternatives for components and subassemblies that are miniature, complex, and require high-precision tolerances. Utilizing micro molding for medical products used in minimally invasive surgery (MIS) can permit companies to improve their manufacturing processes and not jeopardize sustaining competitive advantages. These changes can reduce the number of components, overall size, assembly complexity, and time required to assemble the device under a microscope. This paper attempts to challenge the basic principles of outsourcing and to bring a different outlook on this highly publicized and challenging subject. Presented at the 2009 SME Micro/Nano Conference & Exhibits, April 1-2, 2009, Minneapolis, MN.
Product ID: TP09PUB121