Forging Stronger Partnerships and Optimizing Engineering Operations

by | Jul 21, 2023 | Blog

Collaboration is the
key to success.

Especially when you’re collaborating
with people 7,000 miles away.

– Chet Potter, Global Interconnect’s VP of Engineering and R&D

Chet Potter, VP of Engineering & R&D, and Rob Daley, Design Engineer, recently visited Global Interconnect Inc’s (Gii) business offices and manufacturing locations in China – proof of Global Interconnect’s commitment to enhancing efficiency, strengthening partnerships and embracing automation to revolutionize manufacturing processes and improve product quality.

Their trips focused on integrating development efforts and collaborating with Gii’s suppliers and partners to align resources in China and the US to meet the requirements of their medical device customers. Chet and Rob stressed the importance of effective communication and collaboration, optimizing the selection of suppliers based on their strengths and expertise.

During their visits, Chet and Rob communicated these changes internally and externally, establishing clear lines of communication and fostering mutual understanding. These were productive and successful two-way discussions. Supplier feedback was valued, ensuring proposed changes aligned with their capabilities.

Preparing for Audits and Organizational Changes

Chet: “My trip to China had a clear focus: to prepare for an upcoming customer audit and implement organizational changes within Gii’s US and Asia based engineering departments. To improve manufacturing process efficiency, my team and I meticulously reviewed every workstation on the factory line, identifying potential changes and optimizations. As a result, Gii’s engineering department as a whole underwent restructuring, with separate manufacturing and design groups established, each led by designated individuals. This reorganization aimed to streamline workflow and ensure effective collaboration.”

Strengthening Supplier Relationships and Implementing Process Changes

Chet: “We also took the opportunity to reconnect with suppliers who had not been visited by our US-based team prior to COVID-19. The purpose was twofold: to communicate internal organizational changes and to discuss process improvements related to verification and validation activities. Suppliers were receptive to these changes, having already experimented with similar processes. The benefits of improved efficiency and reduced risk resonated with them, fostering better collaboration and a shared vision for success.”
Chet Potter

VP of Engineering and R&D

Embracing Automation for Lean Manufacturing

Chet: “Automation played a prominent role in my trip. I saw for myself varying levels of automation within the supply base and manufacturing groups, ranging from partially automated to nearly fully automated manufacturing lines. I observed cables being extruded, cut to length, and terminals crimped entirely through automated processes. Automation is a continuous journey toward minimizing workstations and integrating lean manufacturing principles. These advancements promise increased efficiency and improved quality control throughout the production process.”

Building Stronger Partnerships and Focusing on Customers

Rob: “My trip to China had two primary objectives. First, to nurture a high-priority customer relationship by showcasing the production line and discussing cost reduction initiatives to strengthen the partnership. And second, to reconnect with the team in China to provide face-to-face updates on the company’s growth and adjustments, ensuring better support for customers. These efforts aimed to align communication and workflow between offices, manufacturing partners, and customers — emphasizing our customer-centric approach.”
Rob Daley

Design Engineer

Building Stronger Partnerships and Focusing on Customers

Rob: “Adding more value to customers and expanding capabilities, such as building full devices, was a focal point of my visit. We highlighted the early involvement of manufacturing partners in the development phases, assigning tasks that matched their strengths. We also emphasized effective communication and collaboration in the selection of suppliers for specific components or processes. For example, one of our manufacturing partners was working on qualifying their clean room to meet the requirements of a customer’s transition from a clean environment room to an ISO-certified clean room. They’re also investing in specialized equipment, such as polishing and laser welding, to support our work in RF ablation probes.”

Chet and Rob’s visits to China exemplify Gii’s dedication to excellence, innovation and collaboration. By preparing for audits, implementing organizational changes, strengthening supplier relationships, embracing automation and delivering enhanced value to customers, they showcased Gii’s commitment to continuous improvement and growth in today’s rapidly evolving medical device manufacturing landscape.