If you're involved in any kind of work within the healthcare industry or a closely related line of work, then you might occasionally hear about medical converting services. In fact, you might even hear colleagues and coworkers talking about them frequently. That might just leave you wondering what in the world a medical converting company does? If this is the case, keep reading into the following paragraphs to learn a general overview of this concept.
The specific services and products of medical converting service will vary from one company to the next. However, they might employ various medical applications like custom slitting, laser drilling, adhesives, and tapes, die cutting, and a lot more. Medical converting providers will take projects large and small and work with healthcare manufacturers to take rough concepts and even ideas sketched on paper into actual steps covering manufacturing, procurement, and assembly of high-tech medical components, supplies, and devices. They use cutting-edge facilities staffed with highly trained technicians to design and build life-altering devices that get distributed to patients in need, including things like multi-layer laminations or custom slitting used in adhesive tapes.
The advancement of healthcare and medical science relies on constant and robust research and development, which in turns lead to newer and better medical supplies and devices all the time. Medical converting companies are the ones that are able to design and then manufacture these new custom products, using production experts who have accumulated decades of cumulative experience in the fabrication of a variety of medical components. The right converting company can handle the production of products ranging from basic test strips all the way up to elaborate custom designs. A team working at such a place is going to involve specialists, production team members, designers, engineers, and consultant who work together to come up with products and devices that are safe and effective, get regulatory approval, and find commercial success. These are the kinds of companies who specialize in bringing innovative ideas to the market for things like the cosmetic industry, medical diagnostics, electrode monitoring, wound care, and far more.
Medical converting companies are often either at the forefront of the advancement of medical science or only a step behind it. Any scientist, researcher, or doctor who has a new idea or finds something useful in a study that might be applied in practical ways needs someone to provide a start-to-finish solution. This solution process can take an idea sketched out on a napkin in a bar or restaurant and see it through the design stage before experts start choosing the best possible materials that can reduce costs and help with production quality. Then, actual production teams and engineers will use precision laser drilling, die cutting, slitting, and many other manufacturing processes to produce the actual physical products before they go through quality control. A follow-up team makes sure that the products are in full regulatory compliance with the markets they are going out to, as well as assess the profitability of them and get feedback about how they can be improved for later production runs. The things that can or have been converted in the past have ranged from hydrogels used in many hospitals to medical devices, products for wound care, and even patient-monitoring devices and medical packaging materials.
If you happen to get far enough in your field that you are the one responsible for choosing an experienced medical converter, then the importance of your decision simply can not be overstated. You need to find one that has both serious experience and a wide variety of converting capabilities that can cover surgical products, wound care products, medical disposables, and complex medical device components.
There are numerous specific converting capabilities that you should look into a specific provider having. One of them is custom slitting and rewinding. They should also be able to handle ultrasonic welding for antimicrobial packaging and/or water-jet cutting for other materials, such as foam. Laminating, which includes multi-layer laminations should be on their menu of services, as should laser drilling. They should also be able to handle precision automated laser work for engraving, marking, welding, etching, seaming, perforating, and cutting.
Also, ask potential candidates or even your current medical converting provider about who they use to source their materials and adhesives. The right physical resources can help them make great products, including things like diagnostic test strips and disposables, including carrier frames and lateral-flow test strips. They should also be able to handle manufacturing composite wound care dressings, medical foam tape, steri-drapes and ostomy components, and both nonwoven and woven biocompatible pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes. The right provider will even be able to handle hydrogel dressings, hydrocolloid, antimicrobial dressings, and multi-layer island dressings.
If you want to find a new medical converting company or just make sure you're currently using the right one, then it's good to ask a lot of questions. You don't have to know a lot about medical converting itself to know what to look for. For starters, look for a company that has been in business for a while. This is a hard field to master, so you want someone that's gotten a lot of previous experience in taking cerebral concepts and then turning them into physical realities. It's great if they can point to specific supplies or products that you're already familiar with and proudly say that they made them. If you can, get to know as many of their staff as you can, considering just how many different specialists and professionals all have to work together in this field. Get a tour of their facilities if you are able to and see how clean they are.
Now that you have read this article, you can't likely pretend to know every little thing a medical converting company does, because the field is far too detailed and expansive to cover in so few words. However, you have hopefully learned enough to be able to keep up with the conversations you might hear at work from time to time.