Explore North America’s Largest Annual Medtech Event

What are you doing February 6-8, 2018? How about coming by to visit with people from Creation Technologies manufacturing and design teams at Booth 546 at Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West ?

It’s going to be quite an event this year, and we’re really looking forward to reconnecting with industry friends as well as meeting new people. MD&M West is always a great place to solve existing challenges and be inspired by everything new in the MedTech industry.

At MD&M West you’ll find the largest showcase of MedTech suppliers in the country, plus a full spectrum of solutions across the advanced design and manufacturing supply chain. Whether you’re interested in product design, new materials, intelligent sensors, testing solutions, components, packaging, or anything else needed to bring your concept to market, you can source from more than 2,000 cutting-edge suppliers in a time-saving format. Free presentations, interactive events, and fun activities throughout the expo make this a can’t-miss event.

Featuring its biggest program yet, the MD&M West conference will deliver four tracks of expert-led MedTech education you won’t find anywhere else — plus additional smart manufacturing and 3D printing programs — all with unlimited track hopping.   This year MD&M offers a full day of conferences focused on Medical Device Security.  This rigorous conference program will address security and privacy challenges for connected healthcare devices.

This is your chance to get up to speed with the strategies and techniques that turn concepts into competitive products. Curated with the help of an expert advisory team, this unmatched program is made by the industry for the industry and packed with information crucial to every stage in the development process.

Learn about Creation Technologies’ flexible model, integrated solutions and dedicated Customer-Focused Teams and how we offer a complete customized solution that delivers what our customers need…their way. Creation’s experience and robust systems help OEMs avoid costly surprises, get to market faster and scalability to achieve your business goals.

We would love to meet you and learn more about how we can help you meet your future goals. Drop by Booth #546 and learn how we do it.

You can use our Promo Code:  Special when registering and receive a free Expo Pass or 20% off Conference Pricing

Hope to see you there!

 

The Key to Longevity in the EMS Industry is Consistency

In sports they call it the “three-peat”.

It is a term when a team wins three consecutive championships. The New York Yankees, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers are some of the elite teams that have accomplished this feat. Currently were watching to see if Team Canada can pull off their third consecutive gold medal at the world hockey championships.

Recently, Creation Technologies won the ‘Highest Overall Customer Rating’ in Circuits Assembly’s Service Excellence Awards for the third year in a row!

This award is based solely on feedback directly from OEM customers to electronics industry analyst, Circuits Assembly, and is an incredible achievement.

Creation ranks first overall amongst all EMS providers in the $500M+ category across all 5 categories of:

  • Responsiveness
  • Value for Price
  • Dependability
  • Quality
  • Technology

And while we are far from being compared to a sports dynasty, it demonstrates that we are achieving what we strive every day to deliver: consistent service to our customers.

Consistency is one of the key reasons why we have been successful for over 25 years. Our customers know our value offering and recognize that we put their needs first.

Being dependable is an art that comes with experience. These are some of the ways that we have been able to maintain consistency with our partners.

 

Our People

I get to be part of the best team in the world.

I am certain that a lot of CEOs say this, but I truly mean it. Creation is the most customer-focused company I have ever been a part of.

We have over 3,000 talented people, who have expertise, drive and heart. Every day in every business unit, they work together to solve problems, overcome challenges, and get things done.

This is a trait that cannot be taught. We choose people who have that innate desire to serve our customers and embrace our company’s core values.

 

Our Responsiveness

The hallmark of our customer service model is our ability to react.

The needs of our customers have always dictated how our business operates. With our various experts and multiple years of experience, we are able to take a customer’s problem and quickly find an efficient and effective solution.

One of the main differentiators we have over our competition is our customer-focused team (CFT) model. For every customer, we have a dedicated team that ensures projects are completed on time and at the highest quality. When customers have questions, we make it a priority to find them answers in a timely manner.

 

Our Quality

At the end of the day, you won’t last very long with your customers or this industry for that matter if you don’t consistently build quality products.

To optimize performance and eliminate product failures, we leverage our engineering expertise, invest in best-in-class machines, and design a cost-effective test stand solution.

Delivering quality products is also achieved through being proactive. Our team identifies software or hardware issues early on in the process, so that products work properly in the field.

Winning our third Service Excellence Award in a row is proof of our Continuous Improvement efforts, and the amazing collaboration between so many people – our Creation team, our customers’ teams, and our suppliers’ teams – to deliver “service excellence” to our customers that clearly differentiates Creation in the EMS industry.

So cheers to another great year as we attempt to complete a “four peat”.

Speed and the Bottom Line: Rapid Prototyping is a Fiscal Game Changer

Breadboard and Jumper Cable Wires close up on white background

We have all heard the buzz around 3D printing as a tool for prototyping and low-volume manufacturing. As 3D printing technology progresses and becomes more accessible, demand is expected to jump from $1.3 billion in 2012 to $5.2 billion in 2020.

Being new to Creation Technologies – and the electronics manufacturing industry – I assumed that when our OEM customers mentioned “rapid prototyping”, they meant 3D printing. This isn’t the case.

In our industry, Rapid Prototyping refers to an accelerated product development model, and most of the time it’s done without a 3D printer.

So What is Rapid Prototyping?

Rapid Prototyping is designed to get new products out to market in the quickest and most efficient manner. Companies that offer Rapid Prototyping services, find ways to significantly condense the new product development cycle, through either technology or in-house expertise.

OEMs in the electronics manufacturing industry are typically looking for experienced companies that can assist them with product documentation, complete test strategies, supply chain demand, and DFX services.

When done right, rapid prototyping can increase an OEM’s top-line revenue and extend their product lifecycles by ensuring that their product features at launch are actually the features their customers need.

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Get to Market Faster

“If you are not first you are last.”

This is the reality when it comes to new product introduction. With ramped up competition and technology advancing daily, businesses – both startups and established – need to get their new products to market quicker, smarter and as cost efficiently as possible.

Making good decisions early can create the competitive advantage companies need to maximize revenue opportunities. Rapid prototyping can help.

Look at a company like Xerox. Last year, with printer sales declining, the company adopted a rapid prototyping approach to streamline their production cycle for their value-added services.

Xerox focused on smaller, more customized projects so that they could give (and get) instant feedback early in the process. With the help of this rapid feedback loop, products like the Digital Nurse Assistant were commercialized several months quicker than it would had Xerox opted for a more traditional approach.

Million-Dollar Errors in New Product Development

Regardless of whether they build in-house or outsource, OEMs need to maneuver through industry requirements, eliminate costly design mistakes, and ensure quality early in the process.

Rapid prototyping is a smart option for OEMs looking to do this quickly, especially if they leverage a partner that is rich in end-to-end expertise. (Did I mention that Creation Technologies specializes in end-to-end solutions for OEMs?)

In many situations, prototyping and manufacturing are done in isolation. Not only are opportunities for improvement overlooked, critical information often gets misinterpreted in the process, adding unnecessary costs and time onto the development process.

Creation Technologies’ Business Development Director for Creation Express Services, Michelle Angel, has worked with product innovators in the Bay Area for two decades. Today, she’s focused on creating high-impact solutions for Creation’s rapid prototyping customers. Michelle told me that if a mistake is not identified or fixed at the prototyping stage and moves into production, the simple error could cost a customer hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of dollars.

Are you making million-dollar errors in a time where every competitive advantage matters?

Innovation, Influence and Impact: An Interview with MedTech’s Jessica Crawford

I had an opportunity to catch up with Jessica Crawford, President of New York-based MedTech, heading into the week of MEDTECH 2015. Jessica and I discussed today’s most significant opportunities and business challenges for bioscience and medical technology OEMs.

 

MedTech's Jessica Crawford Interview with Creation Technologies

Janelle Urchenko: Tell us more about the origins of MedTech. I understand it grew from the idea of transforming Upstate New York into a knowledge-based economy.

Jessica Crawford: MedTech was founded in 2004 by four New York State bioscience and medical technology (Bio/Med) companies – Bristol-Myers Squibb, ConMed Corporation, Sensis Corporation (acquired by Saab in 2011), and Welch Allyn.

MedTech was formed at the urging of then New York Senator Hilary Clinton in response to an economic development plan recommending closer collaboration among medical products and services firms to help grow the region’s knowledge-based economy. The idea was that by acting together we would have greater success, benefitting industry as well as the entire region with more knowledge-based jobs, which are higher paying with greater economic impact.

Our mission is really an economic development one – forming an epicenter of Bio/Med activity by developing the relationships, tools and programs that enable New York State companies to bring tomorrow’s medical solutions to the healthcare marketplace.

MedTech provides a single voice for the Bio/Med industry and also encompasses the entire ecosystem – from innovators to suppliers and academic research to service providers – providing a vehicle for collaboration and the sharing of best practices.

 

JU: What’s your vision for the evolution of this ecosystem, and how is it relevant in today’s changing economic climate?

JC: This couldn’t be more relevant than in today’s dynamic industry landscape. In today’s ever-evolving healthcare marketplace, identifying untapped potential is essential for success.

Partnerships emerge through investments, consolidation and public-private collaborations, bringing together payers, providers and patients to improve care and reduce costs.

At the heart of this convergence is creativity, building momentum for growth. Through purposeful collisions – industry and academia; entrepreneurs and business leaders; domestic and abroad – convergence drives progress through the development of new technology, product enhancements and radical innovation.

MedTech will be highlighting this and more at our annual conference, MEDTECH 2015 “Convergence: Building Momentum for Growth” on October 14-15 in Buffalo, NY.

 

MEDTECH 2014

 

JU: We’re certainly looking forward to some great discussion, and maybe even a little debate, at the conference!  Also to meeting new people from other MedTech member companies. What is it about New York that attracts medical and biotech businesses? And how are these companies leveraging the growing MedTech community to engage their customers in the area and beyond?

JC: New York is among the top tier of states in the size of its bioscience industry and the scale and reach of its bioscience research complex.

Here are some of what I think are very exciting stats:

  • State firms employ nearly 75,000 in the biosciences.
  • New York’s academic institutions conducted $3.5 billion in bioscience academic research and development in 2012.
  • State institutions, both academic and non-academic, have received $1.9 billion in funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2013 alone.
  • New York inventors were issued nearly 6,400 patents from 2009 through 2013 in bioscience-related technologies.
  • In each of these key metrics of the scale and innovative nature of the biosciences, New York is among the top 10 states. (From Battelle/BIO State Bioscience Jobs, Investments and Innovation 2014)

MedTech connects New York State’s Bio/Med industry through collaboration, education and advocacy. MEDTECH 2015 is a prime example. It draws more than 300 decision-makers from throughout the industry, and offers unmatched opportunities to strengthen and build new relationships with industry leaders and meet new partners, resources and customers. Our signature Collaboration & Growth Track also offers partnering opportunities with some of our industry’s foremost companies, this year including Air Liquide Healthcare, AMRI, Johnson & Johnson and PARC – a Xerox Company.

We’re also very excited that this year’s conference is in Buffalo, NY. The energy and momentum surrounding the Bio/Med industry in Western New York is palpable and is a testament to the capital infusion by New York State and local industry into its downtown core.

In the last five years alone, Western New York has experienced a four percent growth in Bio/Med employment, yielding $5.6 billion in total economic impact.

 

MEDTECH 2014 -2

JU: MedTech’s focus seems to be on community, scalability and tools for success in today’s competitive marketplace. With regard to tools — how are MedTech companies measuring success these days? Is the focus still on speed to market, or are you seeing a shift with new competitive pressures?

JC: With the onset of the Affordable Care Act, the business of healthcare has changed dramatically as the focus has shifted to health outcomes and behavioral changes.

For example, information-leveraging technologies including smartphone applications and sensors are empowering patients with transparent information and giving them more control over their health. Further, to help reduce costs and improve quality, companies are changing the way they innovate and identifying efficiencies in production.

Our Manufacturing Innovation” panel at MEDTECH 2015 also features industry experts, including, as you know, Creation Technologies President and CEO Bhawnesh Mathur.  This session will examine how new technologies, partnerships and initiatives in manufacturing are reducing costs and production time, while also developing custom solutions including personalized devices, prototypes and injection molding.

I’m looking forward to hearing Bhawnesh speak to new industry trends and resources that you are leveraging for your customers, as well as how Creation’s customers are innovating for their own marketplaces.

 

Creation Technologies Medical Devices

JU: MedTech talks about the vibrant community at its epicenter. Is there a success story you can share? What do you think are the indicators of a successful relationship?

JC: MedTech means different things to each of our members. Consequently, success or value for one may mean something completely different to another.

Member Bill Rader, president and CEO of Efferent Labs, Inc. participated in a MedTech Metro event in 2014, making a presentation on his development stage bio-device company focused on implantable biosensors. Someone in the audience followed up with him afterward and encouraged him to apply for the 43North Competition – the world’s largest business competition with $5 million in cash prizes.

Bill took the advice and applied. He later learned he was a semi-finalist and ultimately took home second place and $500,000 and more in cash and incentives to locate in Buffalo, NY.

Efferent Labs, Inc. is now on the fast track toward success – made possible through a MedTech connection.

 

JU: Back to the origins of MedTech and its goals – this year’s MEDTECH 2015 conference surfaces some new areas of focus like, “How to Play Nice with Others”.  What is your prediction for medical device companies in the next year?  What might be some hot topics at MEDTECH 2016?

JC: The theme for MEDTECH 2015 is focused on convergence and how new industry trends are leading to unique opportunities for partnering and investment. To remain competitive, industry stakeholders including payers, providers and patients, are coming together in novel ways.

Consolidation has become the norm as bigger appears to be better in the post Affordable Care Act world. Traditional consumer giants like Google and Samsung with either technical expertise or market share are also leveraging strategic partners to enter the Bio/Med industry. This paradigm shift is heating up competition and creating unique opportunities for collaboration.

This year’s “How to Play Nice with Others” panel discusses emerging channels for consumables and the repurposing of technology to appeal to varying populations, as well as the challenges that arise from new players entering the healthcare market.

And it’s unlikely that these trends are behind us.

Provider systems around the country are following payers’ moves, also entering into new relationships at a feverish pace. Just this year, Barnabas Health and Robert Wood Johnson Health System combined their 11 hospitals to form New Jersey’s largest health system and Prime Healthcare Services’ takeover of six-hospital Daughters of Charity Health System. And private practice acquisitions are happening daily in the health delivery space.

MEDTECH 2016 will continue take on these trends and more when we return to Albany, NY next fall.

 

If you haven’t already registered, it’s not too late! I believe there are still a few tickets left for MEDTECH 2015, which you can get by contacting events@medtech.org.

I’m looking forward to hearing all about MEDTECH 2015 from Jessica and the folks at MedTech, as well as from Bhawnesh and the other Creation folks who are attending.

If you missed it, Bhawnesh shared a sneak peek here of his thoughts around the complex subject of Manufacturing Innovation in medical devices.

And maybe Connie Griffin will publish a recap to go along with her lead-up post to the conference that presents an interesting perspective on the impact manufacturing and the medical community are having on revitalization in New York State.

 

The Innovation Challenge: Creation Article in Medical Design Technology

When it comes to medical devices, the subject of innovation is very complex. With drivers like government spending, a complicated regulatory landscape, the Internet of Everything and the personalized patient experience, there’s a lot to talk about.

It’s no wonder that MEDTECH 2015 features a panel of experts discussing Manufacturing Innovation!

We’re excited that Creation’s President and CEO, Bhawnesh Mathur, will be among these experts in Buffalo, New York, this Thursday.

Want a sneak preview of Bhawnesh’s thoughts?

Here’s his article published this morning in Medical Design Technology:


Innovation Challenge for Medical Device OEMs: Creation Technologies Bhawnesh Mathur

Innovation Challenge for Medical Device OEMs: Navigating the Regulatory Environment

 

 

Healthcare’s Slice of IoT: Wirelessly Connected Medical Devices

Connected Medical Devices and IoT
Connected Medical Devices and IoT

The billion-device, billion-dollar Internet of Things (IoT) holds the potential to dramatically transform healthcare.

Wirelessly connected medical devices increase patient mobility while giving healthcare professionals real-time access to patient data, throughout the hospital, and at the point of care.

Devices that were previously tied to a computer can now communicate wirelessly with one another using Bluetooth, ZigBee or over a hospital’s existing Wi-Fi network.

Today, for instance, an EMG machine used to detect neuromuscular abnormalities can wirelessly transmit critical-care data to other local devices or maintenance data back to the OEM.

This stream of information provides an optimal experience for users, while enabling medical device companies to improve product functionality.

Connected Medical Devices: Risk and Reward

Connected medical devices hold tremendous promise for medical device manufacturers. According to the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA), network-enabled medical devices represent a potential revenue opportunity of $6.6 billion.

Medical OEMs, however, face particular technical challenges when it comes to the IoT and connected medical devices.

  1. While integrating sensors into a toaster can produce a handy consumer device, safely and securely integrating wireless connectivity into a new or existing medical device can be life-saving.
  2. Wireless connectivity also adds a new level of complexity to medical device design and development.The FDA recommends that medical OEMs take the following into consideration:
    • Selection of wireless technology
    • Quality of service
    • Coexistence
    • Security
    • Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)
  3. Design validation must also include risk analysis of the RF wireless communications and control functions.
  4. Determining the best wireless scheme also depends upon a device’s unique environment, as well as the required level of privacy support and cybersecurity.

It’s important to note that not all devices need to connect to the Internet; they may simply need to connect to a few other local devices. Different schemes also have varying password and encryption methods.

Improving the patient experience with wireless medical diagnostics
Improving the patient experience with wireless medical diagnostics

Connectivity Know-How

Through stringent device testing, design validation, and the verification methods necessary to meet regulatory requirements, EMS providers with wireless communications expertise can help medical OEMs overcome the unique challenges of wireless-connectivity integration.

With Creation’s long history of providing innovative design, manufacturing and test solutions for complex Communications products, over the last few years it’s been a rewarding experience for us to leverage this knowledge to help our Medical customers produce new devices quickly and reliably.

Safely and securely reducing time-to-market while reducing risk never felt healthier.

If you’d like more information about how we can help you with product development or manufacturing improvements for connected medical devices and M2M, please visit our website or let me know!

Smart Manufacturing for Smart Lighting Systems

Smart LED Lighting Systems require Smart Manufacturing Solutions
Smart LED Lighting Systems require Smart Manufacturing Solutions

Besides generating bigger electric bills, wasted lighting energy also takes an environmental toll.

Lighting  rivals that of light-duty vehicles for global energy consumption
Lighting rivals that of light-duty vehicles for global energy consumption. Source: Earth Policy Institute: http://www.earth-policy.org/data_highlights/2011/highlights15

Did you know? Lighting consumption has accounted for almost 20% of the world’s electricity demand.

Even more surprising: Lighting rivals the global automobile fleet in carbon emissions.

Modern, efficient fluorescent and LED lighting systems and technologies help dramatically to reduce waste and improve experience.

And thanks to M2M devices and IT automation, Creation Technologies’ OEM customers are now developing smart lighting systems that leverage the Internet of Things.

These forward-thinking lighting companies are changing everything.

 

Smart Lighting Systems

At their most fundamental, smart lighting systems use data to make automatic, real-time adjustments.

Light and motion sensors measure when and how a space is being used, and automated controls adjust light levels to match environmental conditions.

When daylight floods a room, for example, smart lighting can react and dim artificial light to maintain the same light level and reduce energy consumption.

Even better than their reactive capabilities, these same systems can also use predictive analytics to anticipate needs.

In our example room, smart lighting will recognize that there are greater odds of more artificial light being required when the room is occupied after sunset than at noon, and plan accordingly.

Smart Manufacturing for Lighting Systems

All contemporary lighting systems require particular manufacturing considerations and capabilities. Some examples:

  1. Materials Management:

    As semiconductors, LEDs come off the fab with a range of operating characteristics. (This is one reason why early LED products didn’t initially live up to their advertised life spans).

    Binning, or the testing, characterizing and classifying of each LED according to its individual performance characteristics, helps LED lighting OEMs and their outsourcing partners remedy this problem.

    To manage the complexity of LED binning; however, a manufacturer of LED lighting systems like Creation must have rigorous systems for procurement, incoming inspection and materials handling.

    The business systems used by the manufacturer must also provide detailed component and production traceability.

  2. Quality System Management & Regulatory Expertise:

    Lighting OEMs require an exacting level of quality for their high-performance products. (Imagine the disastrous consequences of significant roadway lighting failures).

    Their manufacturing partners building their lighting systems need quality management expertise that demonstrates compliance with whichever standards a product demands.

    These could include IPC-610 Class II, UL certification, or environmental regulations like RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances).

    One of Creation’s lighting systems customers in our Mexicali business unit, for example, measures us against the automotive PPAP (Production Part Approval Process) standard to ensure their products have industry-leading lifespans and performance ratings.

  3. Communications and Instrumentation Expertise:

    As smart lighting systems evolve and become more complex, Lighting OEMs will need to draw on the expertise of their outsourcing partners.

    Given the degree with which these lighting systems will need to leverage device-to-device communications and advanced controllers and diagnostics, the OEMs who choose a design and manufacturing partner that has the in-house expertise in these fields would be…

    Dare I say it…

    Smart.

We’d love to tell you more about what we’re doing at Creation Technologies to make manufacturing lighting systems more than just a shot in the dark! (I couldn’t resist). Contact us anytime.

Future of the EMS Industry: San Jose State University Robotics Class Tour

Students from San Jose State University during EMS Industry information session hosted by SMTA Silicon Valley and Creation Technologies
Students from San Jose State University during EMS Industry information session hosted by SMTA Silicon Valley and Creation Technologies

Knowledge is power, they say.

And education leads to knowledge.

So it only made perfect sense to the SMTA and Ela Pannerselvam, one of our Process Engineers here in Creation – San Jose, to help provide education to San Jose State University (SJSU) students about the great things going on in the Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) industry.

EMS Industry Advocacy and Collaboration

For those not familiar with the organization, the Surface Mount Technology Association (SMTA) is an international network of professionals who “build skills, share practical experience and develop solutions in electronic assembly technologies, including microsystems, emerging technologies, and related business operations”.

Ela has been an SMTA member for over 7 years and was an officer for the Silicon Valley Chapter, but he first joined when he was a student.

Like most students in college, Ela explored his options to find out what interested him. He found support, friendship and like-minded people in the SMTA, and the organization enabled him to reach out to professionals that are passionate about the EMS industry.

Ela considers it crucial to his career success that he grasped the early importance of getting to know the EMS industry and networking. Today, as a successful professional with knowledge to share, Ela’s able to help the SMTA return the favor to new people to the industry.

When the Silicon Valley SMTA Chapter proposed an onsite session to expose the future generation of engineers to the fairly unknown EMS industry in the college community, Ela volunteered Creation Technologies – San Jose as a great place to host an exciting joint event.

A Peek inside a Successful Silicon Valley EMS Provider

The SMTA-Creation event was held on a lovely Wednesday night in the Valley.

This wasn’t the first time either of our Creation manufacturing facilities in Northern California has opened our doors for students, (we love our “Bring-Your-Kids-to-Work Days”)! But this was the first time we’d opened our facility for College students.

Professor Winncy Du and her SJSU Robotics class joined us for a short introduction to learn the basics about the EMS industry and a little about Creation Technologies. A lot of the students had heard about the EMS industry, but they didn’t possess much knowledge beyond a few facts and some theoretical concepts.

Following the intro came a tour of our manufacturing facility, and we were excited to show the theory in action to our visitors and give them a first-hand look at the EMS industry’s strong presence in California.

During the tour of our production floor, the SJSU students were very enthusiastic and had many questions on a variety of topics such as solder applications, 5DX/AOI and validation/verification.
These were answered by our own group of dedicated SJSU engineering alumni—Khalid Mahmood, Shuo Cao and Steven Chun.

Following the tour, our San Jose General Manager, Eldon Regua, was on hand for a discussion session and some words of wisdom.

Was the event successful? I believe so!

We were able to open up the doors to these future leaders in our industry, both literally and figuratively, and learn from them what might drive new passion in the next decades.

We hope the SJSU Robotics class will consider Creation Technologies and the EMS industry in general as exciting career paths when they graduate.

With such a successful first event, we’d love to host next year’s SJSU class, too!

Similarly, we want to reach out to other colleges and universities out there in the Bay Area. Are there other institutions who’d like their students to get some hands-on knowledge and excitement from the EMS sector? Let me know!

Students are part of the next generation that shapes the fabric of our industry. As business leaders, it’s our responsibility to look for ways to build and cultivate our relationship with academia.

What are other ways we can connect to the student community?

New SMT Line in Creation—Chicago!

New SMT Line in Creation Chicago
Some of the team listening carefully as training takes places for our brand new SMT line in Creation Technologies–Chicago

What are some of the best Christmas gifts you’ve ever received? When you look back, is there one you knew right away that you’d remember for years afterward?

A Great Christmas Present

This is my first blog post for Creation, and it’s an exciting one for me.

I’ve been with Creation since 2003, and I think one thing that keeps our Customer Satisfaction so high is that we work with our customers to understand their needs as their business and industry requirements change. A key part of this is investing in our technological capabilities.

So this past Christmas, on December 31st, the team at Creation—Chicago received what we like to think is a very memorable present: a new, state of the art, SMT placement machine.

The unit replaces our existing chip shooter-based SMT placement machine line, which dated back to the late 1990’s and was well-used and well-loved.

Our new love, however, has several significant advantages for Creation—Chicago and our customers.

More Flexibility

With this new equipment, we’re able to use the same SMT feeders and programming tools across all three of our SMT lines, meaning faster changeover and better throughput.

Because of this common machine interface, we’re bringing the new machine online quickly so that we can take full advantage of our expanded capabilities.

Now, we can react more rapidly as our customers’ needs change because we can better level-load our production and schedule products at SMT swiftly and efficiently.

New Technology

We can offer our customers increased functionality because the new SMT machine also has many technological advances:

  • Placement of smaller parts (down to 01005 chips!)
  • Stacked BGA capability – package on package (PoP)
  • Combined laser and look-up camera parts centering
  • Mechanical gripper support for connectors and high-force insertion capability
  • Enhanced offline and online NPI tools
  • Increased SMT feeder and tray capacity
  • Larger PCBs (up to 21.8” x 22”)
  • 50,000 component/hour IPC placement rate for the three-machine array

Along with these advantages, the new line is less than half the footprint of our old machine. This opens up additional floor space within our facility that we can optimize for lean manufacturing.

The new machine is already operational and should be integrated with our other two lines within the next month.

As an engineer I’m excited that we’re able to support new technology.

As a businessman I’m excited that we’re ready for more growth.

And as a partner to our customers, I’m excited that we’re able to increase our reaction times and scheduling flexibility.

We’re looking forward to the rest of 2014!

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