In an industry challenged by growing backlogs and increasing lead times, the need for speed and flexibility has never been greater. But choosing a precision medical wire manufacturer to provide essential components for your device is a lengthy task in itself, particularly when so many belong to large corporations with their own backlog to work through.
Enter Custom Wire Technologies, Inc. The Wisconsin-based firm is a one-stop shop for OEMs seeking precision medical wire products and is perfectly proportioned to turn products around to tight deadlines. In fact, the recent launch of its Qwikcoil program means lead times can be reduced to as little as a week. Medical Devices Network spoke to company founder and president Bob Boldig to find out more.
What are the main solutions and services that you provide for the medical devices market?
Bob Boldig: We do an extensive amount of coiling, both mandrel winding and point coiling of wires from point .002” diameter up to .032” diameter in predominantly stainless steel, but also precious metals, platinum combinations of tungsten platinum irridium. Recently, we have also started doing a significant amount of nickel titanium, nitinol coiling and winding.
Besides that, we offer full service grinding and we have added to the grinding and coiling operations a lot peripheral services such as plasma welding, laser welding, soldering, bonding with adhesives. We also do laser marking and laser identification, and some media blasting and heat setting.
Can you tell us about the company’s history and your own background in the industry?
Bob: I started the company in 2001 and at that time we were pretty much just coiling. Then, as we evolved, we added more vertically integrated value added services.
My background is in mechanical engineering. I had worked at various companies in the medical arena, and I realised there was a need for this service while I was doing some sales work 20 years ago through other organisations. I just kept hearing the same common theme, that a significant amount of OEMs were actually doing a lot of this work themselves. I saw a need for a company that could fit into the niche market and provide services to these device manufacturers.
Is the size of your operation one of your USPs?
Bob: Our company has approximately 45 to 50 people. The thing that I think separates us from a lot of companies, certainly the bigger OEMs, is that we’re very nimble and quick to respond. When I started this company, the slogan for the company was ‘a new day has dawned on customer service.’ We still believe that today.
Our responses are quick, we have short lead times for prototypes, and we also introduced the Qwikcoil program this year. People know that they can come to us and and we’re going to respond very quickly, particularly compared to some of the bigger players that do this work who may have larger backlogs.
Was it the issue of lead times that helped to spur the launch of Qwikcoil?
Bob: Yes, that was the impetus behind that. We saw a need for quick turnarounds for prototype work, and so we launched the Qwikcoil program so that, if need be, we can produce these products, generally, in a week. Most of our customers who are manufacturing catheters don’t have the capability to produce coils. Offering this program allows them to build prototypes much faster for their customer. It was designed with engineers looking to make quick prototypes in mind.
What do you think is in store for the market and what are you looking to focus on in the future?
Bob: We want to continue to evolve and stay at the forefront technologically with what’s going on in the industry. When I started this company, guide wires of .035” diameter were the norm. Today, size demands continue to decrease and components keep getting smaller and smaller. There is an end to that though, you can’t go to zero, so we’re just trying to stay ahead of the game so that we can continue to provide the highest level of service, even with those very minute components.