Innovative product development takes hard work and dedication, and this could not be truer than for the complex components required for medical devices. Advancements in medical device technology are saving the lives of many and changing the lives of many more, so companies such as Sandvik are recognising the work of the expert teams that make it possible.

Introduced in 1986, the ‘Wilhelm Haglund Medal for the Product Developer of the Year’ is awarded to an employee or group of employees that has made the most significant contribution in product development across Sandvik Group’s extensive reach of capabilities around the world. Previous winners of the award have included product lines such as PVD coating for milling products, development of modular design underground trucks, DPi surface drill rigs, and duplex stainless steel for use in the urea industry.

Despite the difficulties that many teams have faced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there were still countless contenders for this award, with industry-leading product development seen across the Sandvik Group.

Earlier this year, the 2021 winner was announced and awarded to Gary Davies, Tim Tacionis and Gene Kleinschmit from Business Unit Medical at Sandvik Materials Technology, for the development of EXERA® range of customised ultra-fine medical wire and wire-based components.

Designed to transmit, sense or stimulate within the human body, EXERA® wire-based components are developed for a variety of applications, including vascular therapy, sensing and neurostimulation. Medical device manufacturers have worked with Sandvik to manufacture devices such as cochlear implants, pacemaker leads, catheters and guidewires, utilising a portfolio of more than 200 metals and metal alloys, as well as a range of surface treatments and coatings.

Based at the Palm Coast, Florida production unit, Davies, Tacionis and Kleinschmit, along with their team of expert engineers, have been busy with the ongoing success of EXERA® brand as more and more medical device manufacturers turn to Sandvik for its extensive expertise in metallurgy and configurations for medical wire.

Product unit manager Gary Davies said: “I always like to say with innovation, it’s one thing to have an idea, but another thing to really implement it, and in this case, we have been able to take some of these really neat innovations for that medical device base and grow the business.”

“Receiving the Wilhelm Haglund award for innovation is a huge honour for all of us here in Palm Coast,” Gene Kleinschmit adds. “It’s just not for us three, but for the entire team here.”

The team at the Palm Coast manufacturing facility, including operators working with coating of wire and wire drawing, continue to explore innovations in process development to ensure that all medical wire components are uniform and consistently of the best quality. Supported by expert Sandvik teams across the globe, including its research and development team in Hallstahammar, Sweden, the EXERA® brand and its capabilities are ever expanding.

For more information about EXERA® fine medical wire, including a full list of materials, or to contact Sandvik about developing a medical device, visit their website.