Sean Fenske: What technology or service are you emphasizing at Medica/CompaMed this year?
Jake Andrews: This year, Saint-Gobain Life Sciences is highlighting our Filtration Technologies and capability to co-develop purpose-built filtration-based solutions that address each of our customer’s unique needs. By customizing filtration technologies to specific device requirements, we enable device manufacturers to achieve optimized designs, reducing size, eliminating complexity, and reducing the risk of failure.
Fenske: What’s the most common challenge customers inquire about and how do you address it?
Andrews: The common theme among all our customers is a challenge in adapting off the shelf technologies to their specific and critical application requirements. This could manifest as a size or shape issue (e.g., too large to fit or connections in the wrong location), a performance issue (e.g., shortened usage life or insufficient removal efficiency), or a failure (e.g., leaking fittings or breakage during use). Saint-Gobain Life Sciences addresses these challenges first through technical discussions between the customer and our applications engineers to diagnose the problem. Once the problem is well understood (simply through discussion or perhaps through testing on-site at our customer’s facility or in our applications lab), we proceed into our co-development process to create, validate, and deliver a purpose-built filtration solution.
Fenske: If you could give one piece of advice to companies seeking a manufacturing partner before they make a decision, what would it be?
Andrews: One critical aspect of seeking a manufacturing partner is to ensure they fully understand the regulatory requirements and expectations related to the device and to the project. This includes site registrations, quality systems, supply chain, materials compliance, validation expectations, certification requirements, etc. Clear communication surrounding such requirements is essential at the start of any new project, and working with a partner with the correct experience within the regulatory framework required for the project will help ensure that expectations are understood and met throughout the project. Saint-Gobain Filtration Technologies works with its customers every step of the way, from concept to completion, paying attention to the necessary details in between.
Fenske: What are the forces driving medical device manufacturers to seek your technology/services over doing it in-house?
Andrews: The development and manufacture of critical filtration technologies requires a high degree of know-how and expertise to achieve the reliable performance demonstrated by Saint-Gobain Life Sciences Filtration Solutions. By partnering with a filtration expert such as Saint-Gobain, medical device manufactures are able to focus their resource and effort on the aspects of their device design and development that are aligned with their mission, core competencies, and areas of expertise, rather than building a new core competency in the field of filtration. As an example, in the most critical filtration applications, a failure or defect in the filtration membrane or seal can result in patients being exposed to bacteria, viruses, or other harmful contaminants. The know-how to both create a reliable membrane seal and verify through in-process and release testing that the seal is integral is paramount to the proper function of the device and to patient safety.
Fenske: In what ways is your company able to aid in getting a product (project) to market faster?
Andrews: Saint-Gobain’s expertise in developing customized filtration solutions and broad range of preexisting customizable formats shortens the development cycle to bring a fit-for-purpose device to market. In addition, the capabilities at Saint-Gobain to validate, qualify, and otherwise test filtration products can reduce the amount of work for device manufacture to implement a Saint-Gobain filtration solution.
Saint-Gobain Life Sciences—Filtration Technologies is located at Medica/Compamed in Hall 8B, Booth/Stand K03.