Electromechanical manufacturer Solectron anchors a five-company alliance that provides complete supply-chain capabilities to the medical industry.
Solectron Corp. (Milpitas, CA; www.solectron.com) has formed a strategic alliance with four other service providers to the medical industry. The Solectron Medical Alliance Program (S-MAP) is designed to provide OEMs with full product life cycle capabilities and supply-chain services. 0
From product design to production scale-up, the alliance can smooth out all of the transitional stages in a project, according to Dick Rubin, director of medical marketing at Solectron. “We are able to build in the best capabilities of the supply chain, design cost advantages into the product, and [implement] a rapid transfer from the engineering launch stage to manufacturing and reduce time to market,” explains Rubin.
Proven Process (East Walpole, MA; www.provenprocess.com), SRI Product Development (Plano, TX; www.sripd.com), and Circle Medical (Los Gatos, CA; www.circlemed.com) provide front-end collaborative design capabilities. Scale-up manufacturing services are supplied by ATEK Medical (Grand Rapids, MI; www.atekmedical.com) or Solectron. Whereas Solectron lends its capabilities to durable electromechanical parts, ATEK specializes in the manufacture of single-use devices.
Through the alliance, OEMs can essentially outsource the entire product development process, yet retain one point of contact—or, as Rubin jokingly refers to it, they only have “one throat to choke.”
Partners were chosen based on a combination of design capabilities across a range of subsets of the medical device market, says Rubin. “We’re probably covering about 90% of the medical device market now in terms of the [product] areas with which we can approach an OEM,” he notes.
Having laid a foundation for the alliance in North America, Solectron next plans to recruit a design partner in Europe, where it currently operates medical manufacturing facilities in Germany and Romania. In addition to Europe, Solectron is considering the eventual expansion of the alliance into China. First, however, the firm must overcome such hurdles as a less-developed supply base and casual attitudes toward intellectual property concerns, Rubin says.