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ESCATEC, one of Europe's leading providers of contract and manufacturing services, has shaved 20% off the manufacturing costs of a patch pump by automating the production and test processes.
The initial contract was for a small prototype run of the PCB numbering a few thousand units. This was done using ESCATEC's SMT line is Switzerland. However the customer then asked for additional components to be added such as sensors that had to be done by hand taking several minutes per unit and therefore adding to the production cost.
"As future runs will be in the hundreds of thousands, we redesigned the manufacturing process to automate as much as possible," explained Dr. Martin Muendlein, Technology Specialist at ESCATEC. "As a result, we were able to shave 20% off the total manufacturing and test costs of each unit. This ensured that we are competitively priced."
Examples of cost reduction include having the sensors now supplied on a reel so that they can be installed on the SMT line and having the opto sensors pre-assembled into a can by the supplier that are also sent on a reel as a sub assembly for the SMT line.
Cost reduction measures were also applied to the testing. The initial units were tested one at a time using a dedicated stand-alone test unit. For the larger production run, ESCATEC has designed a new unit that can test twelve devices at the same time.
"Because this is a medical device, any changes in the design, manufacture and test have to be rigorously evaluated and recorded," explained Dr. Thomas Dekorsy, General Manager at ESCATEC. "As one of the few contract design and manufacturing companies to have both ISO13485 and FDA registration, we have rigorous and robust procedures in place which stem from our Swiss focus on quality and precision."
The ESCATEC Group provides fully-integrated electronic and mechatronic design and manufacturing solutions to assist customers in achieving success in their market. Its one-stop solutions and best-in-class service enable companies around the world to operate more profitably, sustainably and efficiently. Founded in 1984, its history is full of innovation, which made it a first choice partner for many European and North American OEMs. The Swiss-owned company perfectly blends Swiss business philosophy and attention to quality, precision and detail with the advantage of low-cost, mass-volume manufacturing capabilities in its Asian factories.