MD&M WEST: FIRST-TIME EXHIBITORS
The plant operated by GPS China in Ningbo offers an array of contract manufacturing services.
Western companies have enjoyed the benefits of low-cost manufacturing in China for some time. Recently, however, highly publicized product recalls have underlined potential risks associated with outsourcing to China. One company at this year’s MD&M West show offers to help make the transition to China less daunting. The stated goal of GPS China (Sligo, Ireland) is to connect West to East, while minimizing the risks involved. The company serves as a subcontractor between Western companies and Chinese manufacturers, and also runs its own facility, Tianyi Medical (Ningbo, China), formerly an independent company, now a subsidiary of GPS China.
Tianyi Medical has been open for business for 20 years, during which time it has seen the Ningbo community blossom into a hub for the medical device industry. The plant specializes in the development, manufacture, assembly, and packaging of extruded plastic medical devices, and features Class 100,000 cleanrooms. FDA registered and certified to ISO 13485 standards, the plant’s Western flavor goes beyond credentials, according to Loraine Burke, sales and marketing manager for GPS China. “Not only does GPS-Tianyi Medical adhere to all U.S. and European Union medical industry requirements and regulations,” she says, “it is also organized around a transparent Western-style management system.”
Burke cites versatility as another strength of the plant, which retains a sizable design team in an effort to serve as an all-inclusive stop for Western OEMs. “Customers benefit from a range of services, from an established logistic network to having a single point of contact for their entire supply chain,” Burke says.
Whether steering customers to its own plants or to other providers, GPS China’s main strengths as an outsourcing partner are its experience in China and its large number of contacts in the country, Burke says. The company uses its regional expertise and infrastructure to provide services intended to assuage client concerns about product safety. These services include analyzing product risk exposures and designing and implementing product recall plans, investigating availability and pricing of product liability insurance, tracking and tracing products from overseas manufacture to final delivery, and tactical auditing of supply-chain production quality. GPS China also employs several Chinese nationals that have been educated in the United States and Europe. “This gives us the best of both worlds,” Burke says. “We have built up a team that has an understanding of local culture and the Western way of doing business.”