Wearables and Therapeutic
Many wearable applications require highly engineered body contact surfaces. Custom contours, inflation, gels, pressure relief, washable, and wicking are a few of the common specifications. Also since most of these products are single-patient use products, and some of them are covered by reimbursement, manufacturing costs are frequently capped. This necessitates that Dielectrics push all the DFM (Design for Manufacturability) work early in the project to ensure that only the most cost-efficient designs make it though R&D.
For domestically manufactured product, much of the cost-efficiency is achieved through innovative processes and materials. In one case (see Huntleigh DVT garment), multiple tubes and ports were replaced with a series of internal valves reducing labor and materials. In another example (see J+J tourniquet), a complex, labor-intensive construction, was replaced with multi-layered laminates run on automated equipment. In short, we use our decades of experience to re-think and better both the manufacturing approach and design optimization.
In some cases this optimization process lead to new process technology developments that enabled more features to be put into product without significant incremental cost. In a mask design (see Sunrise CPAP mask), traditional welding techniques were upgrades with the addition of new 3D welding (see 3D welding). With this breakthrough, a pre-formed, inflatable mask interface was developed. For the cost of a regular mask, a user-customizable mask was built.