There is a reason for the phrase “no need to reinvent the wheel.” An item that has been thoughtfully designed, expertly crafted, and thoroughly tested typically needs no further enhancements. To expend time, effort, and capital on modifying it typically does not provide any added benefit.
That caution makes perfect sense with an ancient and iconic invention like the wheel. But it also applies to certain modern innovations. While it does not have millennia of history, ME-92® chromium coating for medical devices is one example.
Like the wheel, ME-92® can claim “industry-first” standing for the combination of being biocompatible, completely inert, non-magnetic, USP Class VI, Tripartite/ISO, and antimicrobial. When applied to new tools, instruments, and devices as part of the manufacturing process—or items already in use—it conveys a wide range of benefits, including:
- Corrosion prevention
- Increased surface hardness and wear resistance
- Chemical-resistant, hydrophobic finish
- Scratch-resistant, nonstick, smooth-gliding surfaces
- Light reflection/refraction and glare reduction
- Simplified cleaning and decontamination
- Galling, fretting, and spalling prevention
- Long-lasting, like-new appearance
And, of course, there are direct business benefits from using devices that can create optimal outcomes and look great while they do it. Word quickly gets out that the hospital, clinic, or other care provider maintains the highest standards in how it equips its medical professionals with great medical devices.
Identifying the “Wheel” in a Particular Industry
How can medical device designers, manufacturers, and other stakeholders identify the undisputed leader in a particular area of expertise? One of the best ways is to find documented cases of a product being used. Tips obtained in conversations with peers are helpful, but when a product is noted on a document like a blueprint, it is clear that a decision was made after careful consideration.
Medical device designers and engineers do not make those notations frivolously. They are discerning professionals who stake their reputation on the precision of the designs they create and the materials they recommend be used for turning them into finished products.
For example, ME-92® is listed as the chromium coating of choice on hundreds of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) blueprints. It is included in the specifications because stakeholders have seen the results it produces and would not want similar but inferior coatings to be used on their medical tools, instruments, and devices.
4 Important Advantages of Using a Proven Chromium Coating for Medical Devices
Entrusting the coating of a new production run of an existing item or the first run of a similar item to the company listed on a blueprint makes good business sense for multiple reasons.
- It saves time and effort on research. Done correctly, the vetting of a new product or service takes a significant amount of time and effort—hours that can be focused on other projects if the company listed on a blueprint is used again.
- It prevents manufacturing mishaps. When a chromium coating has been applied successfully to hundreds or thousands of items, the same can be expected for the next production run. That means there will be no quality problems, rework requirements, or other issues.
- It lowers costs. Time is money. So, using a fully vetted coatings company lowers production costs, which means that a medical device producer can offer its products at a lower price point. And, needless to say, getting an exceptional-quality device at a competitive price is very appealing to buyers. Or, the manufacturer can reinvest its cost savings into research and development or other initiatives.
- It decreases time-to-market. In the competitive medical device industry, being the first to launch a new product or an updated design for an existing one can give a manufacturer a competitive edge. Medical professionals rely heavily on recommendations from their peers, and if the first instrument in a user’s hand provides exceptional functionality and appearance, people will hear about it.
- It impresses prospective customers. Being able to say confidently to a potential customer, “We have used, and continue to use, chromium coatings from the industry’s top provider,” can be an important factor in landing new business.
Blueprints and Coatings Companies: Case Closed or Confirmed
For many medical device designers and manufacturers, seeing a coatings company listed on a blueprint is essentially a done deal, and sometimes required by the blueprint. They know that the company has been thoroughly researched and that it has delivered real-world results.
If the blueprint doesn’t require a specific company to be used, there is nothing wrong with using the listed as a recommendation. Do a bit of research to confirm that the company is the right choice for the current project. This approach still delivers all the benefits above but can provide added reassurance that the coatings company will be a trusted partner on the project.