Image courtesy of Diversified Plastics Inc.
Diversified Plastics Inc. (DPI) has been selected by Nonin Medical Inc. to manufacture components for its Onyx fingertip pulse oximeters and other potential products. DPI was one of three plastic-injection molding companies that Nonin had considered, and DPI had been contacted and under consideration well before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“We were transitioning from another plastic injection molder,” explained Kristin Finberg, project manager at Nonin, in a news release. “Searching for a new supplier was a big step for Nonin. We needed to be confident that the chosen vendor could meet our needs today and in the future. We ranked the companies based on the selection matrix criteria. DPI came out on top as a great fit.”
Nonin need to have the tools used to make the plastic-injection mold components for the Onyx fingertip pulse oximeters replaced after many years of use. It also wanted to integrate a few design changes into the product. Alex Cromett, DPI’s engineering manager, along with Aliza Alverson, sales engineer for DPI, developed an action plan and schedule for Nonin, according to the release.
Nonin relied on DPI’s experienced team for tool design that would deliver maximum manufacturability and consistent, high-quality components. In addition, DPI provided an advanced validation protocol. Once the tool was complete, prototypes were developed, and the first article inspection was successfully completed, it was reported.
“Just as we were getting close to going into production, COVID-19 happened,” explained Finberg in the release. “That’s when Onyx product sales rapidly accelerated. Fortunately, we were already working with DPI to manufacture, decorate, and assemble components of the Onyx fingertip pulse oximeters.”
Pulse oximeters were needed to identify patients with silent hypoxia, an early warning symptom of COVID-19. “When we started the review process, we couldn’t have imagined that demand for the product would increase as much as it has. This sales growth was a result of the product’s ability to help diagnose and monitor silent hypoxia in COVID-19 patients, and of our effective marketing strategy,” stated Finberg. “The team at DPI was able to quickly assess the surge in volume and develop a plan, including additional tooling, to increase capacity. DPI has done an amazing job meeting our needs for increased production, and DPI was in the right place at the right time. Everything is going well.”
DPI now manufactures plastic parts for the Onyx fingertip pulse oximeters, including the exterior or enclosure and the soft touch material that holds the finger. Some of the parts require DPI to overmold different materials, and DPI manages direct sourcing of lens components with one of Nonin’s other vendors. It is also sourcing product decorating and completing some of the assembly. Once completed, the parts are sent to Nonin to add the electronics, finish the assembly, and packaging.