Medical equipment requires high precision and quality to meet the demands of the field. That’s why the choice of a metal fabrication partner is so critical.

However, choosing a metalworking partner becomes even more challenging in today’s business climate because, while there can be no sacrifice of quality, cost and speed to market must be considered as well. Months-long lead times and multiple vendors are no longer viable in today’s medical equipment marketplace.

Finding a full-service precision metal supplier can be a competitive advantage for medical equipment companies. With so much riding on the equipment, choosing the right metalworking partner is key.

Choosing The Right Full-Service Metal Fabrication Shop For Medical Equipment And Device Manufacturing

Do you have design and engineering experience?

While your organization may have created a groundbreaking medical equipment design, your metal fabrication partner should be able to confirm that:

  1. The design is feasible in real-world applications
  2. There isn’t a more cost-effective way to produce the design
  3. The job is using the right type of metals and finishes for the job
  4. They don’t see any pitfalls in the design that might create issues in the manufacturing process

In this stage, getting everything right—before manufacturing begins—is key to saving time and money while producing the best possible product.

medical equipment tight tolerance metal stampingDo you have the state-of-the art equipment required for such tight tolerances and do you know how to use it in the best way possible?

Almost all fabrication shops these days have lasers. They are not unique. The question you should be asking your metalworking sourcer is how they are applying all of this equipment together for the best possible results. For example, how are they integrating their lasers with robotic welders and presses? Ensure that they understand all of the equipment in their shop and how it works best together to ensure speed, accuracy and cost-effectiveness.

How much of this project can you help me with?

Having to manage multiple metalworking sources is not only frustrating, it can affect the project delivery dates and create costly miscommunications and mistakes. Streamlining your supply chain can be a competitive advantage. “Full-service metal fabrication under one roof can not only cut cost, design and manufacturing lead time, while improving quality but also satisfy rush orders and JIT requirements” according to Medical Design Technology Magazine. Look for a shop that can handle the traditional fabrication as well as cutting, drilling, grinding, and polishing, finishing, forming, coating, welding and assembly. It is also critical to look for a partner that can work with various metals and understand what each one will do for the project.

 Are they certified?

Accuracy and precision are not “nice to have’s” when manufacturing medical equipment. It is critical to find out how confident your source is in ensuring compliance to strict as-built records and traceability requirements and if they are ISO certified.

Are you here to partner with us for the long-haul?

Unfortunately, in today’s current manufacturing environment, there are many companies that are running month to month. They’re just a missed payment away from shutting their doors, leaving their customers to deal with the aftermath. These organizations try to get work by being the cheapest option out there. However, particularly with medical equipment, cheapest could cost an organization so much more in the long run. Delays and even reputation are on the line. Ensure your vendor or potential vendor:

  1. Has been in business for a good amount of time and can speak to their experience
  2. Can prove that they’re financially stable
  3. Can discuss their exceptional customer responsiveness and let you know exactly who will get back to you and when—with real stories showing when they went above and beyond for customers
  4. Have detailed processes that they can explain
  5. Can meet or exceed timelines
  6. Keeps a good inventory in order to be able to scale with you as you grow

Finding a metalworking partner that is truly a partner can be a competitive advantage for medical equipment companies. Speed, accuracy, cost-effectiveness, getting it right the first time, handling emergencies when they arise, ramping up production quickly and providing superior customer service are all part of the big picture that medical equipment organizations need to consider.

Germantown Tool and Manufacturing is a leading metal fabrication and metal engineering supplier in the Mid-Atlantic region. Learn more about our commitment to the medical industry and contact us for more information.

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