The world of medical device development is getting evermore complex, and securing a reliable and resilient supply chain is essential for success. The quality of each component is critical to the final product’s safety and functionality, yet the same components are sometimes required within tight deadlines too. Often, it can go right down to the wire.
As an ISO-certified manufacturer of high-precision medical coiling, Custom Wire Technologies (CWT) understands the needs of the medical device supply chain and has built its business around the core commitments of quality and customer service. The recent launch of the company’s QwikCoil programme, where it is offering fast turnarounds on custom coil orders within a week, demonstrates the first-rate efficiency of its R&D services. CWT is clearly at the top of its game when it comes to medical wire technologies, but how did it all start?
The Custom Wire Technology story
In 2001, founder and company president Bob Boldig identified a gap in the niche market for custom wire services. CWT was initially founded as a contract manufacturer of catheter reinforcement coils, building the foundations for years of experience in the coiling industry. Today, CWT offers a diverse collection of medical coils. Its product offering is backed by the skilled personnel and high-tech equipment needed to keep pace with the daily demand of the industry’s top OEMs.
By 2013, the company had already moved into a new facility with triple the manufacturing space and it was the perfect time to expand capabilities with the addition of CNC grinding. With this integration, CWT has gained greater control over the manufacturing process, enabling it to further reduce costs and lead times for customers. The company’s six CNC grinders can produce even the most challenging geometries for today’s medical components, including flats, radiuses, points and non-linear shapes.
At this point, CWT was only just getting started on its mission towards full integration. “We’ve always had a plan to do more for the customer,” says Boldig. “We’re always asking how we can add value to our selling proposition by doing more of the services that are aligned with our competence, which is processing wire.”
The next process to bring in-house was laser marking for adding identifiers such as lot numbers, part numbers, descriptions, and company logos to orthopaedic wires. Over the years, CWT had been using its suppliers to deliver this service, but the increasing demand for its orthopaedic products was exceeding its suppliers’ capacity. In 2018, as part of its continued goal to deliver quality products in a timely manner, CWT invested in its own laser marking equipment. CWT now marks a variety of materials and wire sizes, ensuring traceability and also providing end users with visual cues for how far a component may be inserted, for example.
Continuously working towards improvement
CWT was also quick to respond to the growing popularity of nickel titanium, a super-alloy known as nitinol, in the medical OEM market. To serve the market’s evolving needs, CWT invested in dedicated equipment to introduce a nitinol coil manufacturing line. The company now proudly offers custom-shaped nitinol coiling solutions that meet or exceed the design requirements of the medical device industry’s top OEMs.
With such a dedication towards continuous improvement, it’s not hard to see why Custom Wire Technologies’ first customer back in 2002 is still one of the company’s top five customers all these years later. Combined together, the Wisconsin-based company’s management team possesses more than 75 years of experience in wire processing and spring manufacturing. It’s a level of expertise that enables the company to deliver customised solutions for its customers’ specific prototype design questions, solving specific needs for medical device start-ups all the way up to large OEM manufacturers.