Going to Market Faster
Healthcare & Medical one-stop-shopAdditionally, Healthcare & Medical customers are increasingly consolidating their suppliers, looking more and more for a one-stop shop. “The RDC is Trelleborg’s response to that,” says Andrew Gaillard, Senior Global Commercial Director at Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, who brings his experience from working at a top medical device manufacturer to the table. “Trelleborg has expanded its material offering as well as the number of solutions we provide, such as multicomponent molding, micro molding or component assemblies.” The RDC supports customers in three critical areas: lower costs, speed to market and access to experts.
Designing for manufacturability
Through the RDC, Trelleborg is able to help customers lower their manufacturing costs by getting involved in a project early on and incorporating design for manufacturability.
“Customers frequently request that we help take costs out of the manufacturing process,” says Chris Tellers, Director, Rapid Development Center. “The challenge is that 80 to 90 percent of a component’s manufacturing cost is designed into the product. Simple changes can have huge impacts on part cost, while having no impact on product performance.”
For example, simply adding a radius can greatly reduce tooling lead times and costs, how a part fills and how easily it is removed from the tool. “This in turn allows us to have faster cycle times and lower costs,” Chris explains. The RDC also helps customers accelerate time to market.
Rapidly adapting and iterating
“Sometimes our customers simply need to 'fail fast', trying multiple design ideas as quickly as possible to meet a tight timeline. Our Rapid Development team and processes are specifically set up to do just that,” says Chris “We can adapt to our customers’ needs and requirements based on their project goals.”
While the design work is underway, the Trelleborg team can simultaneously plan the manufacturing of the product. “This allows us to move extremely quickly,” says Chris. “When we get started on the tooling, all the tough questions have already been answered and the team can jump right into manufacturing the tool. There is no need for another group or company to get involved, having to start over and answer all those same questions.”
And although speed to market is critical for all industries in order to increase their revenues, Andrew says it is even more vital for this particular industry. “In Healthcare & Medical, launching a product early on means patients have potentially life-saving devices and therapies earlier,” he says. “Another reason rapid development is critical in healthcare is the need to test functionality in a clinical setting. After testing and obtaining feedback, our customers then make tweaks and quickly get a product back into the clinical test environment.”
On average, the RDC has delivered parts within 15 days, and depending on the complexity, parts have been delivered in as quickly as four business days. In total, the RDC has completed nearly 25 projects, more than 40 parts, and over 20 tools. Some parts have moved on to the manufacturing team to produce them at high volumes, creating even more value for customers.
Recently, a global medical customer approached the RDC for support on a seal prototype. “They reached out to us for our sealing expertise, design help and our ability to quickly turn around prototype samples in multiple configurations and materials. This included Liquid Silicone Rubber molded and machined parts” Chris explains.
The center reviewed a number of material options and made design iterations in just 10 business days. “We were able to help them come up with an effective design to properly fix their sealing issue for a fully functional long-lasting seal prototype,” says Chris.