MPO: What technology or service are you emphasizing at Medica this year?
Peter Hutchings: Proportional solenoid valves for gases and liquids, iDP—Inert diaphragm poppet solenoid valves for aggressive media, and miniature (10 mm and 12 mm) ON/OFF solenoid valves. Humphrey Products' Engineered Solutions group uses these technologies to provide dedicated engineering services, working with OEM customers to optimize fluid control via valve components or valve systems. Often, these solutions comprise valves and sensors in manifolds and are tailored to the customer's exact requirements from form, function, fit, and cost perspectives.
MPO: What’s the most common challenge customers inquire about and how do you address it?
Hutchings: The most common challenges Humphrey encounters are optimizing total system solutions for cost, size, weight, electrical power consumption, and noise. Devices are getting smaller and more portable and with that, customers need reduced size and weight. Further, many devices today are powered by batteries, so power usage becomes a very big factor. Finally, devices are being placed closer to the patient, where noise from shifting valves and the media can become an issue.
Through collaborative engineering efforts of the Humphrey Engineered Solutions group and our customer's engineers, innovative solutions are produced to meet specific needs. Each new technology challenge creates a jumping off point to further improve and refine our core products, producing even better results.
MPO: If you could give one piece of advice to companies seeking a manufacturing partner before they make a decision, what would it be?
Hutchings: Focus on what you do best, on those elements that differentiate your product from others and consider outsourcing other, non-core competency elements to experts. When the necessary element is pneumatic control or fluid handling, call Humphrey. Our application design engineers stand ready to enter at the design stage to optimize form, function, fit and cost of the fluid control element.
MPO: What are the forces driving medical device manufacturers to seek your technology/services over doing it in-house?
Hutchings: A desire to focus their limited engineering resources on strategic elements of their product. Point-of-care devices (such as peritoneal and home hemodialysis, or patient ventilation) are requiring miniaturization and optimization of form, function, fit, and cost. Humphrey Engineered Solution group brings 30 years of collaboration experience to fluid control systems, becoming an extension of the customer’s engineering group.
MPO: In what ways is your company able to aid in getting a product (project) to market faster?
Hutchings: The cornerstone of our engineered solutions process is our engineer-to-engineer communication. Once a project is started for a customer, our engineer communicates directly with the customer engineer, thereby reducing the noise and delay of additional communication points. This process has proven over and over to be the most efficient method to provide the customer with the best solution.
Humphrey Products Company is located at Medica/Compamed in Hall 8B, Booth/Stand E31-1.