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Supplier Stories for the Week of February 10

Here’s what was new in the world of medical device suppliers during the week of February 10.

  • Foster Corp. has introduced LazerMed, a biocompatible laser marking technology that can be used for injection molded, extruded, and blow molded components such as tubing, catheter shafts, labware, and medical equipment. The contact-free, ultra-fast process uses no solvents and requires no pre-treatment of substrates, as the laser-marking pigments are melt blended into the polymer at the compounding stage. This proprietary technology does not affect the sterilization process.

    The laser-marking pigments provide a versatile printing platform that can be used in the vast majority of plastic materials, including transparent and opaque materials, used in medical device applications, the company reported. The pigments are available for high-temperature applications and have passed USP Class VI testing for biocompatibility.

    “LazerMed laser marking technology benefits medical device manufacturers by offering an eco-friendly cost effective alternative to traditional printing technique,” said Tim Largier, manager of research & development at Foster, in a news release. “It benefits users at the delivery level by providing a permanent and safe method for labeling medical devices and components.”

    [Image courtesy of FOSTER CORP.]

  • VivaLNK has announced an IoT-enabled medical wearable sensor platform featuring a range of sensors, edge computing technologies, and an Internet of Health Things (IoHT) data cloud. The platform can capture human vitals and biometrics and delivers data from the patient to edge-computing devices as well as the cloud for application integration and analysis.

    "The launch of our sensor platform is instrumental in helping solution partners accelerate medical and healthcare innovation to market especially within crucial therapeutic areas such as cardiology cancer chronic disease and more," said Jiang Li, CEO at VivaLNK, in a news release.  “To have a more complete picture of patient health, applications, and algorithms not only need access to data, but a variety of relevant data that can be used to correlate and accurately assess and predict health situations."

    The sensor platform enables IoHT solution partners to easily capture streams of patient data. For instance, partner Vitalic Medical is developing a bedside monitoring solution using the platform. “Our growing aging patient population, a rise in complex health conditions, and increasing staff workloads makes it challenging for medical professionals to detect early signs of patient deterioration and prevent falls,¨ said Sue Dafnias, CEO of Vitalic Medical. "By leveraging VivaLNK wearable sensor within the Vitalic platform, Vitalic Medical can offer an early trigger system that helps nurses identify early signs of patient deterioration and fall-risk patients."

    [Logo courtesy of VIVALNK]

  • Fischer Connectors Group, a global provider of ultra-reliable and high-performance connectivity solutions, has promoted and appointed Alain Lafourcade as president of its U.S. subsidiary in charge of North American and Canadian operations based in Alpharetta, GA. Previously serving for seven years as CIO from the group’s world headquarters in Saint-Prex, Switzerland, Lafourcade was a member of the group’s directorate and designed the IT strategy for transforming the company’s Saint-Prex facilities into a smart factory, investing in Industry 4.0, ERP, CRM and supply chain, the company reported in a news release. He also spearheaded the group’s exploration and innovation program as one of three main sponsors. 

    Fischer Connectors Group’s CEO Jonathan Brossard said that during Lafourcade's seven years spent as CIO he demonstrated a strategic vision and a deep business understanding, along with outstanding people and change management skills. “The North American market is instrumental for our Group, and I’m convinced that Mr. Lafourcade and his team of experts in Alpharetta will keep strengthening our partnerships with customers across all industries by providing responsive support and a wide range of turn-key connectivity solutions,” stated Brossard in the release. 

    “I’m excited about taking on the challenges at Fischer Connectors USA, as we continue to grow our presence in the North American and Canadian connectivity market, strengthening our portfolio of assembled and integrated solutions," said Lafourcade. "By focusing on excellence, collaboration, and respect, we expect to strengthen our bonds with our customers, and others who look to our leadership in providing innovative connectivity solutions.” 

    Alain Lafourcade replaces Stephen J. Gosk, who leaves the company after nine years of progressive growth to pursue other opportunities. 

    [Image courtesy of FISCHER CONNECTORS GROUP]

  • Medical device contract manufacturer Tegra Medical has announced that Hal Blenkhorn has accepted the position of general manager at the company’s Franklin, MA location. Blenkhorn will report to President and CEO J. Mark King and will be responsible for the local management team and plant operations. 

    “We are extremely excited Hal accepted this position and believe he is the ideal person to lead the Franklin facility,” said King in a news release. “His years of excellence, hard work, and dedication are an inspiration to us all. Hal’s reputation throughout the entire organization as well as with our customers and vendors sets him apart from all others.” 

    Blenkhorn joined Tegra Medical in 2006 as manufacturing engineer and was promoted to his most recent role of manufacturing engineering director in 2011. He previously worked at Cybex International and Waters Corporation in roles including lean manufacturing cell leader, production engineering technician, and CNC machinist. 

    A Six Sigma Black Belt, Blenkhorn graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston where he earned a BS degree in Mechanical Design Technology. He is currently participating in the SFS International Leadership Development Program (ILDP). 

    [Image courtesy of TEGRA MEDICAL]

  • Flexan Group is focusing on development services and products in micro injection molding and micro lumen extrusion of thermoplastic and silicone medical devices. Having acquired IntroMED LLC, a contract manufacturer of patented introducers for catheter placement, and Medron Inc., a specialist in the in-house manufacture and assembly of catheter end products, the company has strengthened its market position as a full-service provider in the industry, it reported in a news release. 

    “Demand for medical devices made of plastic and silicone as well the capability to combine and assemble them has been increasing steadily over the last few years, as have the quality requirements that these products have to meet,” stated Werner Karau, European commercial leader at Flexan, in a news release. “As a full-service provider in medical component manufacture, Flexan supports the entire value chain, from product development, prototyping and toolmaking all the way to mass production with comprehensive quality assurance and logistics.”

    The company noted an increasing demand for plastic and silicone products produced in microextrusion and micromolding processes. Silicones are popular given their chemical and thermal stability and bacterial resistance, but processing liquid silicone (LSR) can be challenging.  “We’ve been working closely with certified tool and mold makers for many years now, which means we can make the necessary adjustments and modifications quickly and cost-effectively during prototyping. So it takes us very little time to produce a custom injection molding tool for every job,” says Karau. “Our task is to develop the right process time and time again and to identify the right material for these products.”

    [Image courtesy of FLEXAN GROUP]

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