National Circuit Assembly (NCA) is a strategic, forward-thinking partner. They provide solution-based electro-mechanical design and manufacturing services for simple to complex builds and everything in between. Stephen Lehocky, President of NCA, recently spoke with Ron Friedman, Editor of MDMN, for a discussion on their work in the medical device manufacturing sector during a global pandemic.

 

  1. From your perspective, how has COVID-19 affected contract manufacturing?

 

There is a significant impact on CM’s because of COVID.  We have had to learn to react to situations very quickly.  From our workforce perspective, we needed to learn quickly about the nature of COVID and how to keep our workforce safe.  We were literally learning and implementing new processes at the same time.  Much of the initial information wasn’t well known or at our fingertips, so we needed to assess the situation, then figure out what and how the next steps to take would be.

 

 From our business operations, we were designated an essential business.  We had to make changes to our work areas to accommodate social distancing and enable new manufacturing processes.  Since we were fully operational, our customers grew and demands grew, because of the global shutdowns that affected our customers’ supply chain.

 

  1. How has your company’s focus shifted during this time? What sort of changes in production are you experiencing?

 

Our focus was on increasing output while keeping our workforce safe.  Several new customers reached out to us to manufacture COVID related products.  The increase in new products and customers required us to increase our efficiencies and output.

 

  1. What implications do the new CDC guidelines and other industry standards have on your process, if any?

 

We follow the CDC guidelines, local and industry standards.  Initially we struggled with getting supplies like facemasks and cleaning supplies, so we had a team focused on keeping an eye ahead of our needs.  

 

Social distancing created a need to expand our break rooms.  We added two break rooms and separated the break times to have smaller groups.  We have also had to split our monthly company meetings into multiple groups to maintain safe social distancing.

 

  1. Some contract manufacturers have experienced some price fluctuations (e.g. gouging) reflective of the supply/demand. Is this something you are experiencing and how are you handling that? 

 

In general, we haven’t seen a lot of price increases, except for parts that are in short supply for products used in COVID devices.  We have teamed with larger electronic manufactures to use their resources to search globally for the best price and delivery times. 

 

  1. How has COVID-19 and your involvement in medical device manufacturing changed NCA and how will this impact you in the future?

 

Medical device manufacturing was a sector we had targeted.  COVID has increased our entrance into medical device manufacturing and we anticipate that trend to continue.   

 

For questions and more information on NCA please contact Mark Cottam, VP of Sales & Marketing, at mark.cottam@ncatx.com or call at 972.278.2009.