They then changed their mindset and embraced two concepts that had been used by the Japanese company Toyota: kaizen, meaning “continuous improvement”; and muda, which translates as “eliminating waste”. Sapiente is convinced these two strategies should be adopted by medical device companies and makes a compelling argument for outsourcing: “For years, device manufacturers didn’t want to outsource production because they didn’t trust suppliers with quality. Now they’re looking for partners who not only understand quality but can also bring about cost reduction. Automakers have been doing that for years.”
At CapeRay we have adopted an outsourcing model for manufacturing many of the components incorporated in Aceso, our dual-modality imaging system. The final assembly and testing takes place in our Cape Town factory and, interestingly, some of our outsourcing partners also manufacture components for the automotive industry.
However, outsourcing is not the only strategy – one way we can save both time and development costs is by the use of an in-house 3D printer. Jono Makepeace (above right), an engineering intern who has worked for us for the past year, has recently designed and printed a four-piece plastic mould that he will use to fabricate a polyurethane gland to accommodate the cables of our custom ultrasound transducer (see left). He’s learning to embrace kaizen and muda !