The Return of Medical Device Manufacturing

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There's been a trend in the Medical Device Industry the past few decades to outsource the manufacturing or other processes to distant geographic locations such as China or India. This trend has been majorly impacted by the labor rates in low cost countries (LCC). However in recent years with the increase in international shipping and higher wages in LCC's, medical device manufacturing is seeing an exodus from these countries and coming back to America.

Take for example medical devices that contain a lot of air such as respiratory containers or blood filters, these devices take up much more space on shipping containers and in turn substantially raise the shipping prices which could potentially negate the savings from outsourcing. In addition to shipping costs, shipping time also needs to be considered.  With a much longer supply chain when outsourcing, a problem at any point in the chain becomes a much larger threat. What happens if there's a port disruption? Take into consideration what it would cost to make a delayed delivery. If you need the product to arrive in a specific timeframe, it becomes much more reliable to keep the manufacturing of these devices within the country.

Lastly take into account what has been coined as "Asia fatigue". Signing a long term contract with a manufacturer in Asia can mean a true upheaval in the day-to-day functioning of a company. Employee's now need to be available to take calls at 8, 9 or 10 o'clock in the evening instead of sitting down with their son to watch a ballgame or help their daughter with schoolwork they're jumping on conference calls working to accommodate the manufacturers half way around the world.

The return of medical device manufacturing to the United States is a great sign for the state of domestic manufacturing and hopefully more industries will continue to move away from offshoring and bring their processes back to the United States. To learn more about Motion Index Drives' complete line of clean room solutions and medical device manufacturing equipment, contact us.

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