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!

 

An Insider’s Guide to MD&M West: Managing the Madness

Photo Credit: medikalkume.com

 

Let’s be honest, tradeshows can be a bit crazy. With massive exhibition spaces filled with an infinite amount of people, booths and conference sessions over multiple days, it can sometimes be overwhelming to make best use of your time (especially if it’s your first visit to a particular show).

While MD&M West is not as big as a CES or Comic Con, it is one of the largest medical technology tradeshows in the world, attracting more than 20,000 engineers and executives.  It’s a great place to be.

Because designing and manufacturing medical devices is a huge part of what Creation does best, we enjoy making the annual trek to Anaheim, CA  (really not so much a trek as a hop, skip and a jump from our San Jose location) to exhibit, network and learn about the trends in the industry.

For medical device OEMs planning on attending MD&M this February, we created a guide based on our experience that will help you maximize your time, conserve your energy, and get the most ROI out of your trip.

 

Do Your Homework

This might seem like common sense, but it is always a good idea to get familiar with the lay of the land ahead of time and start planning.

You wouldn’t go to Disneyland without mapping out which rides or shows to visit first would you?

 

  1. Save Time, Register in Advance

The first thing you want to do is to preregister for the show. Doing this in advance helps you get set up and ready to go so that you are not spending your first hours standing in lines.

 

  1. Scout Your Prospects

Next, look at the list of exhibitors on the MD&M West website and determine which booths you want to visit, whether an EMS provider or a plastics manufacturing specialist. You also want to plan your visits based on proximity. Try setting up meetings in advance.

Our suggestion is to visit the websites of the companies that you are interested in. Create a spreadsheet and make notes on each, so you have their basic information (their services, location, clients, etc.) available and you can prepare questions you want to ask. In the spreadsheet, also put down their booth location. Download and print out a floor map as well.  The MD&M West team does a great job of making this easy.

 

 

  1. Be ‘In The Know’

You also want to go to the conference schedule to see what learning sessions, keynote speeches and networking events are must-dos. With MD&M West, you have the option to export the schedule via email, spreadsheet or print. Remember some sessions are free while other conferences and workshops have fees (for which you might have to register or pay in advance).

 

Beat the Clock

With multiple things going on simultaneously during an event, time management is crucial if you want to maximize your productivity. Being aware of the schedule and peak times will help eliminate delays, lines and missed opportunities.

  1. Get Ahead

Without question, you want to be early every day (especially the first day).

Since MD&M West opens at 10 am, it is best to head to the Anaheim Convention Center before 9 am to beat the rush. The parking lot and late-morning shuttles fill up very quickly. Typically, the first two days are the busiest, while the crowds thin out drastically on Day 3.

 

  1. “Do” Lunch

The lunch crowds are also large, so unless you consider waiting in a 50-person line a prime networking opportunity (do you want chicken or beef?), you are better off going to the concessions or Starbucks during off-peak hours (example: 11 am or 2 pm).

For those who are not feeling the food at the convention center, there is a food court on the first floor of the neighboring Hilton Anaheim with faster and cheaper dining options. But those get crowded as well.

Remember, MD&M West is a marathon not a sprint. Makes sure to pace yourself for the three days and don’t try to do and see everything. Take breaks during the day, whether that is a walk outside or resting on any free comfortable chair in the hallways.

 

Dress for Success (and Here We Really Mean Substance over Style)

The most important item you can pack for MD&M West is good walking shoes.

The exhibit floor at the Anaheim Convention Center is over 800,000 sq. feet – so that is a lot of walking!

The majority of people dress in business casual, so unless you have a crucial meeting, you can leave your shiny shoes or heels in the hotel room.

 

  1. Bring It

On top of attire, bring a backpack to hold water, snacks, business cards (we know you wouldn’t miss this!), a notebook, and room for all the brochures and free swag you will be collecting at the booths you visit. From laser pens to t-shirts to the candy that keeps you going – collecting free swag is the best part of tradeshows!

 

Photo: ocstructure.blogspot.ca

 

  1. Meet and Mingle

Conferences are not solely about fulfilling immediate business goals and closing deals onsite.

Professionals in every industry recognize the value of building relationships and having fun together to recognize alignment and shared vision – at Creation we know the importance of liking the people you do business with, and at events we have the opportunity to share laughs, games, gimmicks, cocktail hours, impersonators and entertainment at booths and on stage.

Again, pace yourself, it is a three-day show.

 

Educate Yourself: Network and Ask Great Questions

Whether you are in the market for a new EMS provider or need design assistance, make sure you find the company that is right for you to partner with.

 

  1. Is This a Fit?

When visiting different booths, come prepared. You only discover if a company is a fit if you ask good, relevant questions. The more specific the better.

For example, if you are looking for an EMS partner, you can ask about:

  • Traceability and Visibility – Do you have a tool that tracks every step of your work?
  • Design – Are your facilities ISO 13485-certified and FDA-registered?
  • NPI – How fast can you get a new product out?
  • Transfer – Do you have experience with Class I, II, or III devices? (domestic and offshore)

 

  1. Competitive Analysis

Besides booth visits, MD&M West provides a platform to network. There will be opportunities to meet people within your specific industry, and find opportunities to collaborate or share ideas during different networking sessions or workshops. You will also be in contact with a lot of your competitors – which is not necessarily a bad thing. You can learn from what they are doing well as well as identify what areas you need to improve in.

Make sure to be friendly, give and take business cards, and follow up with your new contacts after the show. You never know how those relationships can benefit you down the line.

 

Fun in the Sun

Although MD&M West may be a business trip, you might as well turn it into a mini-vacation. There aren’t too many places better than Southern California in February.

 

  1. Plenty of Options

After the show ends on Thursday, you can potentially spend the weekend in one of the several nearby cities like Los Angeles, Palm Springs or San Diego. But perhaps staying local is best. Anaheim is home to Disneyland, which is the happiest place on earth!

 

Photo: currentresults.com

 

So now that you know what to expect from MD&M West, you can now take full advantage of this great opportunity. After your three days, you should go back home with exciting new contacts, new ideas, and a better understanding on what steps you need to take to be a major player in the medical device industry.

If you are lucky, you will also come home with a nice tan.

Medical Devices Innovation: LifeScience Alley & Creation Technologies

Creation Technologies Sponsors LifeScience Alley Conference for Medical Devices

For many decades, Minnesota (and indeed, the Mid-West) has been a critical hub for development in Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Medical Devices.

For a Biomedical Engineer-cum-EMS Industry Professional like me, this era of innovation and technological advancement in the Medical industry, and Medical Devices in particular, is extremely exciting.

I wanted to write a quick post to let everyone know that Creation Technologies and Creation Design Services are this year’s Innovation Station sponsors at the LifeScience Alley, LSA 2014: The Health Technology Leadership Conference, on November 19th at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

LifeScience Alley, its members and people, are great. Much more info about the organization and its members can be found on their great new website, but here’s the overview for anyone not familiar with LSA:

With a 28-year track record of providing valuable services and results-oriented outcomes to its members, LifeScience Alley improves the life science operating environment and enables business success through educating workforces, influencing state and federal public policy, supporting advancement in research and technological innovation and fostering industry connections.

Creation Technologies is exceptionally pleased to be a partner at this year’s conference. We know it will be a great success for LifeScience Alley, as it is every year.

We’ll be sharing more about the conference and our exciting Innovation Station exhibit in the coming months. (Drum roll, please!)

Until then, I’d love to chat about the medical devices and other things that we’re designing at Creation Design Services. Give me a call at 262.501.6686 or send me an email any time.

My colleague, Katie, also loves to “talk tech” and can fill you in on exciting happenings at Creation’s manufacturing business units in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and beyond. She can be reached at 651.242.4344 and any time by email as well.

We invite you to come to any of our Creation Design Centers or Manufacturing Business Units anytime for a visit, check us out at www.creationtech.com.

We look forward to seeing you at LSA 2014 in Minnesota in November!

Medical Connections Are Made at MD&M West 2013

Clippard's Awesome Air Guitar
Clippard’s Awesome Air Guitar

Medical Design & Manufacturing West 2013, along with UBM Canon’s sister shows for packaging, automation, design, plastics, electronics, aerospace and sustainability provided a cornucopia of activities this year.

With keynote speakers, live product teardowns, VIP Receptions, Innovation Briefs, an improved conference track, and of course, some networking, the aisles were bustling with attendees and the booths busy with product announcements and showcases.

A team from Creation Technologies was on hand to showcase our diverse manufacturing and design capabilities, discover some new developments in the field of Medical Devices and meet some new people along the way.

Here are some of the highlights…

The Center of Attention

The main focus of many conference sessions and corporate announcements this year was bioresorbable and bioabsorbable materials. These polymers are the future of medical devices, allowing for more instinctive and less invasive healthcare.

Bioabsorbable polymers are plastic-based materials that dissolve into compounds the body can safely absorb or eliminate. Absorbption is useful in many applications, as it enables the safe internal use of medical devices, wound care implements and drug delivery systems, without requiring removal.

One exhibitor, Lubrizol, announced a new formulation of bioabsorbable polymers, not for cardio applications but rather for orthopedic, wound-care, and hernia-mesh components. The company’s new polymer technology enables it to design customizable physical properties, including strength, rigidity, and abrasion resistance. The material can also be designed to allow tailored degradation rates to accommodate diverse healing requirements.

If you want to learn more about world-changing bioabsorbable polymers and new technology, check out the Lubrizol website at www.lubrizol.com.

Environmentally Friendly

Butler-MacDonald, Creating a Better Tomorrow
Butler-MacDonald, Creating a Better Tomorrow

I enjoy learning about any company that is working to improve the environment and create a better tomorrow, and so the Butler-MacDonald booth piqued my interest. The theme of their booth this year was “Turning Plastic Scrap into Usable Plastic.” Jars and pictures of plastic material everywhere really caught my attention.

Butler-MacDonald offers plastic recycling services that enable the recovery of high-quality polymers from plastics or parts that most companies would consider unusable. They have the technology and processes to take plastic that has been contaminated, poorly recycled or scrapped, and deliver polymers that are ready to be manufactured into a wide variety of applications.

So scrap everything you know about unusable plastics! Check out the Butler-MacDonald website: http://www.butlermacdonald.com.

 

 

Just Plain Cool

I will admit it was the ultra-cool, illuminated air guitar that really caught my attention at the Clippard booth.

http://www.youtu.be/sesQT84zMHY?rel=0

I was surprised that it was unavailable for me to take home and listen to on a regular basis!

What I discovered is that Clippard has been providing solutions for pneumatic, motion and process control devices to the scientific, medical, dental and analytical markets since 1941. The company excels in understanding OEM’s needs for precision, reliability and purity in critical applications, something at Creation we know is critical in the Medical Device industry.

At the show this year, Clippard highlighted the industry’s most robust and powerful linear actuator, the high-flow, stepper-controlled 2-way proportional SCPV valve that is unsurpassed in performance and durability. They also had some really cool tunes!! (As evidenced by the guitar).

With over 2,000 exhibitors covering nearly 350,000 square feet of space I know I didn’t see everything. However, I did meet some great people and it was interesting to see and hear about the new exciting technologies within the medical industry.

What booths caught your attention? What was the best seminar you attended? How would you rate MD&M 2013 vs. MD&M 2012?

MD&M West: Join Us in Anaheim at the World’s Largest Medical Design & Manufacturing Event!

MD&M West brings together some of hte best and the brightest minds in the Medical Industry. In 2013, the show takes place in Anaheim, CA from February 12-14.
MD&M West brings together some of the best and the brightest minds in the Medical Industry. In 2013, the show takes place in Anaheim, CA from February 12-14.

What are you doing February 12-14, 2013? How about coming by to visit with people from Creation’s manufacturing and design teams at Booth 1463 at 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 is always a great place to solve existing challenges and be inspired by everything new in the MedTech industry.

Speaking of challenges, we’re also interested in learning more about how Medical Device OEMs are preparing for next summer’s compliance date for the EU’s RoHS Recast and, along with it, the end of general exemptions for the Medical market. Are your Medical and IVD Devices prepared for the 2014 deadline and its accompanying requirements for risk management? If you do attend MD&M West, please come by the Creation booth and give us your take on this latest industry shift.

New to MD&M this year are ‘bite-sized’ MedTech Innovate Seminars, offering a more personalized plan for show and conference attendees. This new ability to pick and choose from a menu of sessions is great…increased flexibility in content is always a good thing!

Hope to see you there! Please feel free to give Kirk a call at 720.936.2028 for more info or to make plans to meet.

For a recap of some of last year’s MD&M highlights, please read Jennifer’s post, here.

A Whirlwind at MD&M West: Medical Device Design & Manufacturing

Creation Technologies at Medical Design & Manufacturing
Some of the Creation Team at MD&M West: Kirk Olson, Jennifer Marsh, Dan Shepard and Joe Garcia

Medical devices galore! Product launches, new technologies, international customers, diverse exhibitors, Innovation Briefs, conferences, networking and quality business meetings were all under one roof at MD&M West 2012 at the Anaheim Convention Center earlier this year.

This was my first year at an MD&M (Medical Design & Manufacturing) tradeshow and I didn’t know what to expect. I was excited to meet up with people in the Medical industry and share Creation Technologies’ diverse manufacturing and design capabilities (especially with our recent acquisition and addition of our Design Services team), but I was just as anxious to check out all of the other exhibitors.

With all of UBM Canon’s sister shows for packaging, automation, design, plastics, sensors, electronics, aerospace and sustainability, I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for me and for all the other show-goers. I wasn’t disappointed. The atmosphere was upbeat and exciting with so much to see that I will have to go back! Here are some of the highlights….

Process Efficiency & Quality Controls

My first stop was FFD, Inc. a company whose Sequence Enterprise Software is unique for writing, managing, deploying and validating shop-floor work instructions, a process that’s very important in our high-tech electronics industry. Medical and other device manufacturers are using the tool to keep up with all the manufacturing routines and manage strict quality requirements.

Over the years I’ve heard both my husband and Creation’s engineers grumble at how writing operational instructions in a Word document can be so cumbersome, and FFD’s software seems to solve some of the typical challenges:

  • Completed work instructions can be viewed online or printed.
  • If a manufacturing step needs to be added or removed, the software can handle the change by automatically updating the instructions.

I received my CD in the mail last week but FFD offers a free version downloadable from their website: http://www.sequencesoftware.com/lockstepfree.

FANUC Robot
The amazing FANUC robot

Innovation

Then there was the Assembly/Automation Equipment, Systems, and Robotics.

Today’s cutting-edge pick and place machines, transfer robots and conveyor systems are unbelievably fast and accurate, meaning improved processing times and higher throughput. For Creation and our customers, time to market is always key and so seeing significant advances in this space is always very exciting.

I stood in awe of a particular robot produced by FANUC Robotics specifically made for food transfer. At MD&M the robot picked up chocolate covered donuts and moved them from one conveyor to another at a rate of 220 picks per minute…without even disturbing the delicious chocolate glaze! That’s a lot of donuts.

Check out the FANUC robot in action for yourself!

http://www.youtu.be/kMJgtmUKmN8?rel=0

Social Media and Strategic Marketing

It’s always great to meet up with people in your industry to benchmark and share ideas. I had some very interesting conversations at this year’s MD&M with Medical device manufacturers, analysts, Creation’s customers, competitors and partners alike.

The buzz on the show floor as well as the Innovations Briefs presentations confirm that even the Medical market is opening up to the idea of new communications tools like social media because, let’s face it, it’s here to stay. I read an article by Tricia Rodewald on Medical Device + Diagnostic Industry (MDDI) that sums this idea up really well. To quote a few of her thoughts:

“Most companies understand the importance of strategic marketing. However, the medical technology industry’s cautiousness to protect intellectual property and avoid legal ramifications can often restrict effective, innovative marketing efforts….To stay relevant—now, and in the future—medical technology companies need to reevaluate how they communicate their expertise and develop online and offline strategies for enhancing strategic partnerships.”

I think this is true not only of the Medical industry, but of the entire Electronics Manufacturing industry. The better we get at communicating the value we each bring to the table, the better we get at sharing information to overcome industry challenges, the more opportunity and growth there will be.

Now that I am back and have had a chance to reflect on the 2012 MD&M I would say it was, in a word, educational. It was a great chance to check the pulse of the medical industry.

What did you think? Did you go? Are you planning to attend any of the other MD&M shows in 2012 or 2013?

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