Innovation: A Contract Manufacturer's Perspective

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Innovation and collaboration are the driving forces behind taking a novel idea from concept to commercialization

Innovation and collaboration are the driving forces behind taking a novel idea from concept to commercialization

Innovation and collaboration are the driving forces behind taking a novel idea from concept to commercialization.

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Author: Alicen Pittenger | Director of Sales

Innovation and collaboration are the driving forces behind taking a novel idea from concept to commercialization.  Innovation requires change and improvement, in raw materials, and in the manufacturing process, which leads to new and improved products that are shaping the future of the medical and industrial markets. Within the innovation process, contract manufacturers play a pivotal role, serving as the driving force behind the realization of novel ideas. As a contract manufacturer, Innovation is at the root of CTI’s success. Here, we will discuss the intricacies of innovation from CTI’s unique perspective as a contract manufacturer to the medical and industrial markets.

Collaborating on Innovative Novel Ideas:

Contract manufacturers are positioned at the center of the innovation process, bridging the gap between ideation and commercialization. CTI can translate concepts designed at the bench into mass-produced commercial goods.  As the glucose testing market migrated from traditional glucose testing, with strips and meters, companies looked to CTI, once a leading manufacturer of glucose strips, for the development, and production, of components for continuous glucose monitoring devices.  


Identifying and Integrating New Materials:

Innovation is a constantly evolving process, as a contract manufacturer, CTI is assisting in the ever-changing demands of new products and new technologies. Contract manufacturers must exhibit the ability to adapt to the changes and emerging trends in the technical advancements of raw materials. CTI stays at the forefront of the advancement of new materials through relationships with material manufacturers and suppliers.  As a leading contract manufacturer, in both the medical device and industrial markets, CTI is a leading partner with manufacturers of substrates and conductive inks.  CTI’s access to the latest technologies available on the market provides a path to successful innovation.  PET and polyester continue to be the most popular materials for printed electronics.  CTI can print on 3 mil material before having to add a backer material for printing.


Global Reach and Local Expertise:

CTI operates within a global framework, leveraging a network of resources and expertise to advance innovation. Global reach coupled with local expertise remains invaluable during times of procurement constraints brought on by world events.  This combination of global reach and local expertise places CTI in a unique position as a contract manufacturer, one that can incorporate global resources into a domestic manufacturing facility, mitigating any risks associated with off-shoring.  

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Engineering and Manufacturing:

At the core of every innovative product lies a blend of engineering and manufacturing excellence. CTI invests heavily in engineering and new manufacturing techniques.  CTI has been at the forefront of advancements in printed electronics with manufacturing components that require multi-layered fine-line screen printing with a tolerance of .3 mil and .05 mil feature of size and laser ablation at tolerances of 10 microns.  Each project presents a new challenge, demanding innovative solutions and meticulous attention to detail.

Point-of-care laboratory testing continues to grow the need for printed electrochemical test strips.  In addition to printing the strips, CTI specializes in reagent deposition.  Regent deposition can be placed in amounts from 1 – 5 microliters.  After reagent deposition, CTI can place the lids and spacers on the test strip and deliver a fully functionalized product.


Scalable for Commercialization:

The path to innovation starts with work at the bench in a research laboratory with the finish line being full-scale commercialization.  Along the way to commercialization, there are going to be pitfalls and hurdles to overcome which will require skill, experience, and resourcefulness that have been outlined above.  With over 50 years of working to bring innovative products to market, CTI has a proven track record of innovation because if a contract manufacturer fails to innovate, they fail to exist.

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