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August 2016 • SMT Magazine 15 bly or just PCB manufacturing, helps improve, enhance and save lives. Healthcare is a dynamic sector and as a de- sign and manufacturing company we get com- pletely involved in the development and pro- duction of cutting-edge technology. It's great to be part of an industry driven, shaped and pro- pelled by innovation. A recent example of a product that we are working on is a DNA analysis system, allow- ing scientists to visualise single strands of DNA when diagnosing or even predicting illness. The people leading these companies are often the academics and clinicians that dedicated years of their lives to research in a particular area and their passion shines through when you meet them. We supplement their skills by helping them to take their ideas and concepts to real- life commercial products. There's something in- credibly rewarding about that. Lastly, I have a huge sense of pride about our industry and being part of it – some of the world's greatest minds have dedicated their lives to the medtech sector and together we bring about advancements that will shape medical treatment and affect future generations to come. If I could change one thing... One thing that we encounter as a subcon- tract manufacturer is an occasional lack of un- derstanding of the value we add. It is not uncommon for us to be asked 'how much cheaper can you make it than we can?' when the real consideration should be more along the lines of 'how much value is there in not having to worry about the investment, re- sources and knowledge required to manufacture a complex medical device?' We have become quite adept in explaining to potential customers that outsourcing is not necessarily going to be 'cheaper' on a per unit basis but instead allows you to focus on your core competencies safe in the knowledge that your device is going to be manufactured to the required regulatory and quality standards. The burden of overheads is an important fac- tor in pricing manufacturing services where med- ical devices are concerned. It's not just labour costs, buildings, etc., but also the maintenance of quality management systems, component trace- ability, approved vendor lists and much more. Promoting understanding about value add- ed rather than money saved when it comes to outsourcing in the medtech industry would make a big difference and bring the focus back to how we can effectively work together to man- ufacture the best possible medical innovations. Dave Busch VP Medical NEOTECH Our ability to understand our medical cus- tomers' product concepts and transform them into affordable, finished medical devices that help heal people is what makes coming to work so rewarding. Two things are required to excel at the concept-to-finished medical device transfor- mation process. First is operational excellence— working assets harder than the customer can as measured by ROIC—which is the basis of a cost- effective medical device. The second is SME in medical devices and the therapy they are to pro- vide, which comes from your team of product designers, quality and regulatory experts and medical material experts. Working in such an environment is not only rewarding but exciting. Rob Cooper Pre-Production Engineer SALINE LECTRONICS It's most helpful when a customer provides clear stack-up information with the Gerber files— board thickness, copper weight, soldermask col- or, and final finish. Layer order is often omitted on multilayer boards. A good "read-me" file that lists all of this information—including a key to cryptic or default layer naming—is so helpful! I recommend that customers provide a data VOICES OF THE INDUSTRY X X

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