Collaboration at all stages of product development.
Faced with a surge in demand for ventilators across the world, our supply chain team evaluated a potentially insurmountable challenge. The need for our supply chain and engineering teams to work in concert was more important than ever. As the supply chain team secured material, many of the components available were not the designer’s first choice. This led to redesign activities to ensure part selections were made that supported the critical timeline of this project.
This very close relationship between our supply chain and design teams, throughout the design phase, allowed the product to function as planned and also ensured a suitable supply of materials both for initial prototypes and onwards into volume manufacturing. Our sourcing strategy required a high level of localization.
“Our UK-based printed circuit board suppliers, Merlin Circuit Technology Ltd and Amphenol Invotec, went above and beyond by adding additional shifts to their operations and by buying additional material to ensure that we had what we needed to complete this project on time. We very much appreciate their commitment to working alongside us,” said David McIntosh, Senior Product Development Sourcing Manager.
A significant milestone for the team was the first prototype unit, which was produced by the Plexus Livingston rapid prototyping team. After 2 further prototypes, and 3 rounds of design enhancements, the next 20 units were part of the products sent to the MHRA for initial approval. All this was accomplished in only 38 days after the initial specifications were received.
Our volume manufacturing team in Kelso, who had been involved since the early design stages of the project to ensure a smooth, risk free transition, were then able to complete new product introduction (NPI) builds. These NPI builds verified the design, validated the production process and help establish appropriate testing procedures.
“We worked in close collaboration with our partners at Babcock International Group to ensure that we met the rigorous quality standards associated with this product. The dedication of our manufacturing team has enabled us to meet all of our commitments for this project while also aiming to deliver zero defects to the end customer,” said Ally Johnston, UK Manufacturing Manager.