Special Report: Live from
of the most amazing
aspects of Singapore from a business perspective is how the country
an integrated approach to developing what it
calls an "enterprise ecosystem." In other words, development
planned, in advance, to the tiniest detail. Case in point: the newly
is part of a huge project that includes new highrises, housing, and
lots of green parks, all tied together in a kind of a circular theme.
grass-covered skyways swoop over large oval-shaped courtyards and
The project centerpiece: the majestic "Singapore Flyer"
modern version of
a Ferris wheel with space-age pods in which you sit to observe the
as it sweeps slowly by. The
flyer incorporates aspects of feng shui principles of balance —
as it travels its giant arc, the financial
district displays as if it were always going "up." This
and supports the country's explosive growth and its go-getter
Singaporeans are charged
the casino, a clever way to discourage them from succumbing to
can enter for free. (You can even put yourself or a relative on the
list; those on it are denied access to the casino.)
The Singapore Flyer in the distance is a large observational wheel.
spirit of promoting overseas growth, International Enterprise
a governmental agency, does a number of press events throughout the
year for a variety of industries. This tour is focused on exclusively on
MedTech Mfg. It invited
three of us U.S. journalists to check out the lay of the land,
in regards to what Singapore offers in the way of medical-device
The organization is promoting the country as the "gateway
to Asia," linking international OEMs with Asian suppliers.
has many distinct advantages, including: English is the most widely
language; the World Bank ranked
the country as "easiest to do business with" four times in a
there are strict laws on IP protection with very clear and enforceable
medical-device manufacturers are sticklers on quality, following
all of the
standards including ISO, CE, FDA, and others. In addition, it is
to fly goods out of Singapore than China; Singapore has a topnotch
force; and it partners with institutions such as MIT and Harvard Univ.
R&D and implementing advanced manufacturing.
Apple Rubber offers expanded line of
In addition to popular
Silicone, Apple Rubber now offers custom O-rings and seals made from
medical-grade elastomers such as Viton® fluoroelastomer (FKM) and
EPDM rubber. Ideal for medical applications, such elastomers feature
improved chemical resistors, excellent heat resistance
(400°F/200°C), and low permeability to gases. Capabilities at
Apple Rubber include complete engineering support, manufacturing,
quality assurance and a Class 10,000 ISO Class 7, certified
elastomer seals and O-rings.
medical device manufacturers
we visited today could not be more different in how they do business
Really striking was how much darn FUN
everyone was having. We first toured Racer
Technology, an injection molding and contract manufacturer that
high mix (complex parts), low-volume production (in the thousands,
millions). You have never seen a company like this in your
tool rooms, assembly operations, R&D, design, and prototyping
all taking place in what looks like an eclectic museum or even
The atmosphere is cheerful and fun. CEO Willy Koh strikes one as
brilliant mind — he is always on the lookout for the next
the next area
in which to best manufacture a component. Thus, the company also
in Indonesia, Taiwan, and China. It has multiple patents, and one of
the investors owns the patent on the Trek 2000 thumbdrive. A few of its
customers we are allowed to mention
include Boston Scientific and Drager. It can do CNC prototyping in a
little as a week and product development in as little as 9 months.
Products Racer provides include
machined drive components, high precision production mold
and cold formed fasteners to name just a few.
detail, please follow my Machine Design blog, Medical
Manufacturing: Live from Singapore!
—Leslie Gordon, Senior Editor
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