Sean Fenske: What technology or service are you emphasizing at Medica/CompaMed this year?
Clément des Courières: We are putting a special focus on our Silbione Biomedical range of implant-grade silicones. This range is comprised of injectable or extrudable silicone rubbers, as well as adhesives, which come with the necessary regulatory documentation to be considered for the manufacturing or assembly of implantable devices.
Fenske: What’s the most common challenge customers inquire about and how do you address it?
des Courières: Selecting the right silicone product for making a medical part can be a real challenge as there are many options. With the right level of information on the application and the manufacturing process, our experienced team can make an educated proposal; our customer can then perform live tests to confirm the suitability. Working this way saves both sides time and money over a trial-and-error approach.
Fenske: If you could give one piece of advice to companies seeking a manufacturing partner before they make a decision, what would it be?
des Courières: As mentioned, the possibility to have open discussions between both sides about the design or manufacturing challenge to be solved leads to faster results. Therefore, I would recommend medical companies seek a manufacturing partner they can trust and whose technical team is available and responsive.
Fenske: What are the forces driving medical device manufacturers to seek your technology/services over doing it in-house?
des Courières: Silicones are unique materials that do not behave like other carbon-based polymers, so the learning curve to master this technology can be long. Elkem Silicones has been formulating silicones for the past 60 years and can quickly provide a solution. In particular for medical and implant grades, sourcing from a reliable supplier with the proper production set-up and quality system simply means less hassle.
Fenske: In what ways is your company able to aid in getting a product (project) to market faster?
des Courières: Following the development and prototyping process, the regulatory approval step is usually a long process that we also want to help speed up. We provide solid regulatory documentation with our medical-grade silicone products and we are open to case-by-case additional support with the help of our in-house regulatory and biocompatibility experts.
Elkem Silicones is located at Medica/Compamed in Hall 8B, Booth/Stand C25.