Thanks to the specification of photochemically etched components, a German manufacturer was able to quickly increase its production of nebulizers with Precision Micro.
For manufacturing companies looking to scale their operations quickly and affordably, leveraging their supply chain expertise can have a huge impact. It is this approach that has enabled a manufacturer of medical components to increase the production of its nebulizer while maintaining the same high quality standards. Through the photochemical etching process, Precision Micro was able to move quickly from prototyping to large-scale production of critical components, while reducing costs.
As a vital piece of machinery upon which the medical industry relies, nebulizers are typically used to treat respiratory illnesses such as asthma by turning liquid drugs into mists that can then be inhaled. At the heart of a nebulizer are a number of complex components that facilitate its reliable operation, including a precision washer supplied by Precision Micro.
Made of stainless steel, which is widely used in industry due to its versatility and durability, this small wedge, while simple, is essential to the operation of the nebulizer. As a stress-free component that must be completely flat and clean, the photochemical etching process provides shims in which there are no unaffected physical properties – precisely manufactured to specification. In practice, this ensures that its customer can count on components that are 100% up to specification, without the possibility of burrs or stresses that are common in other types of metal machining.
This commitment to quality has been at the heart of the relationship between Precision Micro and the manufacturer of medical components, which has seen companies work together since 2015.
Now producing more than 100,000 precision engraved parts per year, Precision Micro’s photochemical engraving process has allowed the company to expand operations, cost effectively and without compromising on quality.
By combining the sheet metal with a photoresist mask printed by CAD image, the required components are then selectively etched with chemical etchants, photochemical etching presents a less intrusive, more precise and reproducible option for creating complex components. In addition to the uncompromising quality of the final components, photochemical etching benefits from extremely low set-up and tooling costs which facilitate component rotation within short lead times. Capable of producing parts with the same exacting quality every time, components can be produced at different volumes and at short notice.
Photochemical etching enables the rapid and consistent creation of highly complex components, while maximizing value for money by reducing setup time and tooling costs. This approach meant that at the start of their collaboration, Precision Micro was able to scale to low volume, allowing their client to lay the foundation for growth before expanding their operations.
In the production of the nebulizer component, since the tooling did not require revalidation, Precision Micro was able to use the same tooling and configuration to help achieve overall savings and maintain production speed.
A strong relationship
The highly effective relationship between Precision Micro and its clients highlights the potential for cross-border partnerships to support continued growth and success. Despite Brexit, Precision Micro has been able to maintain its commitment to providing the highest levels of service and support, which has been critical for supply chains at a point of high growth.
Markus Rettig of Precision Micro said: “As manufacturers across Europe and around the world seek to strengthen their positions by improving quality, it is essential to draw on the expertise of their supply chains. to do it. We are proud to have been working with our EU based client for many years now, and it has allowed us to develop a true understanding of their business – their challenges and their requirements. This relationship, combined with our photochemical etching process, forms a basis for truly successful growth.
“This example of components for an innovative nebulizer really shows how working in partnership can lead to success. Our process enabled consistent and cost-effective scaling as demand increased – something that would be difficult to replicate with other machining processes where scale and complexity typically results in increased costs. We look forward to continuing our relationship and working closely together to bring out even more benefits of photochemical engraving in their business.
By working together when the needs of this particular European customer were limited, Precision Micro was able to lay the foundation for its growth through its specialized machining process. This has resulted in large-scale production that offers consistent and cost-effective quality.