Category Archive: Product Development

Unexpected Benefits of Customer Audits

Having recently undergone a two-day audit with a major medical device manufacturer, we understand the stresses associated with the process. However, getting requests for customer audits is actually a major benefit for manufacturers. Here we’ve laid out a few reasons why.
Ensures the Meeting of Standards
An audit, whether it applies to an entire organization or a specific product, process, or system, can be conducted to prove that a company complies with any relevant standards. For example, a customer may suggest or require that a provider undergoes an audit to ensure it meets particular safety guidelines. There also may be requirements by federal agencies for audits, whether it be for documents, risk, or performance.
Techprint has seen an increase in auditing lately due to the FDA crackdown on supplier controls and evaluating suppliers in high-risk sectors. As a printed electronics manufacturer for MedTech and other industries, Techprint has undergone several customer audits. We understand this process helps to create a safer environment for workers, management, and clients. Companies receiving the audit receive valuable information on risks, efficiency, quality, and economy, and it ensures legal compliance.
Leads to Improvements
In some cases, a client may suggest a provider be audited to confirm they meet certain system certifications, such as ISO 9001 or ISO 14001. Sometimes customer audits can uncover risks or ways that an organization is not performing optimally. In this case, a follow-up audit may be requested to prove that preventative activities were undertaken as a result of finding performance problems that were identified earlier.
Additional Advantages
Customer audits have an added benefit of showing interest in an organization’s products or services. When smaller manufacturers receive audit requests from larger companies, it shows that you are seen as a trusted resource. It also provides potential opportunities for growth. By complying with requirements, there’s a chance to learn more about world-class quality systems that can be implemented for further improvement. There’s a give-and-take relationship between both sides that allows for growth and greater access to  different quality management systems.
Thus, audits not only serve to prove a company’s compliance with standards, but also help identify areas for improvement that may not have been obvious before.
In addition to inviting customer audits, Techprint has achieved a number of industry certifications to further our commitment to quality. Learn about our industry certifications.

Finding a Single Source Keyboard Design, Engineering, and Prototyping Partner

Developing a new keyboard product involves many different steps. Once a basic concept has been outlined, you’ll need to come up with a realistic design, taking into account things like functionality, ergonomics, back-lighting, key-feel, and other user experience factors. The goal is to design a product that does what you want it to, and is practical enough to develop.

Keyboards

Next will come the engineering stage, where designs are refined. If certain materials won’t meet the necessary requirements for your keyboard or other electronic device, an engineer will be able to come up with better alternatives. They may also come up with a better design that’s easier and cheaper to produce.
After going through a few iterations, it’ll be time to prototype the product. This involves taking your idea from paper (or CAD drawing, more likely), and making 3-D models and/or working samples.
Finding a manufacturing partner that can walk you through all stages of development, from design and engineering to prototyping, will cut down a lot of time during the process. Techprint’s team of engineers offers turnkey solutions for keyboards, printed circuit boards, elastomer design, cabling, electromechanical components, and much more.
Our team of experts will work with you to create the best iteration of your product, including remodeling, prototyping, and re-engineering as necessary. We can even take care of the procurement side of things to keep the process as simple as possible. Techprint can work as your manufacturing partner to support the full manufacturing lifecycle of your product.
Our processes are certified to ISO 9001, UL, CSA, IPC, ESD, ITAR and RoHS Compliant standards, so you can be assured of product reliability.
To learn more about or capabilities and discuss your product requirements, feel free to request information online. We’d be happy to take a look at your project and come up with a solution that works for you.

Medical Device Development Assistance and Manufacturing Incubators

The medical care industry is rapidly expanding due to the largest segment of the population aging and requiring medical assistance.  This has led to many companies working on developing new medical devices that will improve care and allow patients to get the treatment they need at reasonable and affordable prices.  Developing these new medical devices can be very expensive though, so manufacturing incubators and development centers backed by investors and venture capitalists have formed to assist in the process.

Who is helping?

For companies who are working on new innovative medical devices, there are many options available to get assistance for funding and product development.  Manufacturing incubators are one option for help.  These incubators can provide the cash and expertise to manage the process of developing and releasing new medical devices.  By working with these incubator groups, costly mistakes in development can be avoided as they have the experience in getting new medical device hardware to market.  One example is Bolt, a venture capital firm and manufacture incubator that is designed to help medical device startups with their early stage hardware and software development.

Another option is working with a university development center.  One such development center is M2D2 – the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center which is an UMass Lowell-UMass Worcester initiative that works with medical device developers to move medical device ideas from patent to production.  By working with M2D2 companies and entrepreneurs get access to state-of- the-art facilities and equipment that they may normally not be able to use.  They also provide access to experienced staffers who can provide guidance in prototyping and product development, and business feasibility among other areas.

EnterpriseWorks is another university owned development center operated by the University of Illinois to help launch startup companies.  Its clients have been based in the biotechnology, chemical sciences, software development and materials sciences industries.  With a 43,000 SF incubator facility with labs, offices and common space, all the needs of startup entrepreneurs can be met.

Northeastern University also has a student-led venture accelerator called IDEA that supports entrepreneurs in the Northeastern community.  Resources available include gap and prototype funding, as well as support from an entrepreneur in residence, and an investor network who are available to advise and finance ventures.  Clients they work with are from a variety of industries including software, food and beverage, and consumer products among many others.

Techprint and Medical Device OEMS

At Techprint we work with OEMS in the medical device market.  Medical device customers account for almost half of our business, giving us the experience and capabilities to provide custom products for all OEMS, both new startups and established manufacturers.  We have the in-house manufacturing equipment capable of building prototypes and all of the equipment for full-scale production.  From product concept development through the entire product lifecycle, we can provide the assistance you need to make it a success.  Contact us here for more information on the high quality products we can provide and the services we offer.