Anaheim, Calif. — Trelleborg Healthcare & Medical launched its new Rapid Development Center in Delano, Minn., to create a single source of design, rapid prototyping, development and serial production for its customers.
The development center will help customers avoid issues from designs that may not have taken manufacturing processes into account, Andrew Gaillard, global director of Trelleborg's health care and medical segment, told Plastics News at MD&M West 2021 in Anaheim.
"We've had customers come to us from design centers and say, 'Can you make this?'" Gaillard said. "We can't, because the people who designed it didn't understand how to manufacture it."
By designing prototypes in-house, he said, Trelleborg can ensure cost control and scalability while decreasing turnaround time from design to prototype.
"There's research that shows over 90 percent of a cost of a part are designed into it at the very beginning," Gaillard said. "A dedicated team … working up front on the design, creating rapid prototypes, can transition that into producing literally hundreds of millions of parts globally."
Trelleborg, part of Sweden's Trelleborg AB, is still searching for a dedicated site for the center. It expects to make that decision within two years, he said. It's currently operating out of the company's Delano facility.
While simple designs can be turned around into prototypes at the center in about 24 hours, those circumstances are "kind of rare, because the customers really build a lot of complexity into their parts," Gaillard said. "One of our areas of expertise is helping with complex critical parts that are really crucial in a medical device."
A more typical turnaround time, he said, is about three to six days.
Trelleborg's development team can assist customers with "everything from molding to machines and plastic parts, that then get assembled with molded parts" to verify design concepts and test different materials in the customers' processes, Chris Tellers, director of the new center, told Plastics News.
The center helps customers tweak designs "to make it more manufacturable, which will reduce time to market, reduce cost and should increase quality," Tellers said, meeting its existing customers' requests to improve transitions from design to serial production.