May 8, 2018

How to Choose from Different Medical Device Contract Manufacturers?

Sanbor Medical, as a highly experienced (28 years in operation, 17 years in medical) CM (contract manufacturer), receives a lot of inquiries;  most inquiries are regarding the manufacturing of Class I & Class II electronic and electromechanical medical devices and high level subassemblies.


Image of man scientist working in laboratory with microscope

In this particular post, we are delving into a specific question related to working with CMs: When is the right time to bring in your CM partner? Many OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), who wish to make their design vision a reality, have different requirements. Some will claim that the CM should be involved as early as possible, so they are knowledgeable about all the specifics of the project and the CM will then have personal stakes in the product whether it be financial or emotional.

This approach works the best with CMs with a built-in design house. Not every company sees the need to keep a vast number of design engineers on the payroll primarily due to the uncertainty of whether or not their abilities would continuously be needed. On top of that, there can be a need for a multitude of engineers: software, hardware, mechanical, and electrical. Slightly complex medical devices may call for all of these capabilities, which is why some CMs, like Sanbor Medical, choose to work closely with trustworthy design firms rather than do that work in-house. We are happy to work with OEMs who bring us their completed designs or we can connect a design group that is located less than an hour away, taking logistics and communication problems out of the equation, to an OEM.

In Sanbor Medical’s 20+ years of history, we have taken every precaution to protect our clients’ designs and have thus never had an Intellectual Property (IP) issue.

Composite image of doctor looking at xray on tablet

At Sanbor Medical, we are happy to see our clients walk through the door with their innovative designs and are eager to see how we can produce their product as quickly as possible while offering significant cost downs

Comparing these two types of CMs, the entry point of a project naturally will be different. A CM with an in-house design team would likely become part of the medical device project group early on, so they can work with the OEM on every change to the design, and the OEM would have moderate control over their project, and have to share much information. 

On the other hand, CMs like Sanbor Medical are engaged when the design is finished. Their job is to build the device to its specifications and make sure it functions properly. In this case, the OEM definitely has full control of the design until they’re satisfied.

Medical contract manufacturing has become a booming industry. According to estimates, the market will expand to $41 billion in the next 5 years. As more and more competition enters the emerging market, naturally an increasing amount of potentially confusing decisions arise for medical OEMs. We at Sanbor Medical hope this blog can help some of you navigate through the tough terrain of not just choosing a CM but determining the right timing to bring them on as your partner.

Workers in motion at modern drug factory-1

Please feel free to check back for our future updates. Maybe the next blog will be the exact information you are looking for! Tune in for more insider knowledge, market trends, new technology… etc.

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