- Tell me about your company’s involvement in the medical industry.
PVA has been a supplier to the medical device industry for over two decades. We manufacture automated solutions that glue components or protect devices so there are numerous applications that fit our core competency.
- How is working with medical technology more stringent than other industries?
It can certainly present layers of complexity based on the application. Requirements can include anything from additional product testing with a new or modified manufacturing process through a detailed software validation process. The level of detail and documentation is just vastly different than what we see in other industries.
- What sort of changes are you seeing in the medical industry due to the effects of COVID-19? How will the pandemic change the face of Medical Manufacturing?
Outside of an increase in demand for manufacturing equipment I can’t say that I’ve seen any immediate changes in the medical industry as a whole. It’s certainly something that has become a greater portion of everybody’s life and unlikely to be forgotten anytime soon. I would expect that we will see increased social and political pressure to be prepared for a similar event in the future. The result leads to increased demand for medical devices for the foreseeable future.
- Have you seen a surge in the demand for medical devices?
Definitely. We have seen our customers manufacturing control systems for ventilators and PPE ramp up their production significantly. We are also seeing demand in new processes that are employing PVA automation in producing COVID-19 test kits. Business in the United States has been incredibly strong.
- As the global market for medical device manufacturers increases, do you see supply chain and material issues becoming more widespread and longer lasting?
That’s definitely a concern yes. I feel it is necessary to expect, and plan for, disruptions. We are already seeing transit times and costs increase significantly. I don’t think that is something that immediately bounces back to 2019 levels. I would expect part availability and logistical issues to have a ripple effect in the supply chain requiring changes in how we do business.
- Medical manufacturing can be highly specialized—do you find it difficult to balance medical manufacturing work while still serving other industries? Would you consider yourselves ‘vertically integrated’?
FH: No we really haven’t had any issues balancing medical manufacturing work with our other market segments. We are quite used to very custom requests and very specific requirements so demands made on PVA in the medical device field are really not that unusual. PVA is highly vertically integrated yes.
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