There are a lot of things we miss by being physically distanced from our customers. One of them is that medical device packaging conversations often involve back and forth discussions about details that are sometimes more easily shared in person. You can touch and feel the device, get a sense of the weight and proportions and use that tactile sense to develop the right packaging. Plus, customers can see the packaging solutions and contract manufacturing site in person and get a better understanding of the operations. In the first few months of quarantine, our engineering team did the best they could and got better at describing packaging solutions over the phone, sending video files via email, and/or using video conferencing.
Document Camera for Medical Device Packaging?
However, none of these fully solved the problem when the team and customers needed to see the device or packaging options in real-time and be able to zoom in to tiny details to discuss their intricacies. This led our engineering team on a search for more creative options. And they found an unexpected solution – a document camera. Specifically designed to magnify documents and live-stream images for purposes like remote teaching and document review, the team recognized that its capabilities (high-resolution camera, live streaming connectivity and portability) fit nicely with our requirements.
We needed the ability to conduct real-time packaging discussions, provide product demonstrations and focus on specific product details without distortion. It can even read bar codes and use different filters to identify which components are plastic and which are metal. We have purchased two of them so far, one for our California location and one for Texas, and it has been very helpful in packaging development conversations with our customers and even between our own offices.
So far, we have used the cameras to:
• present live demonstrations showing medical device assembly
• provide closeups on product and packaging details that may cause downstream challenges
• highlight solutions visually in real-time that could be confusing over email or phone
• promote collaboration leading to better packaging solutions
Here is a quick video to demonstrate some of the capabilities
We had one example where a customer insisted that they had shipped us the correct components for their device. Once we received them, we mentioned that one of the components did not match their specs. This conversation went back and forth a few times until we used the camera system in a live meeting, and they immediately saw that it was an older component and understood why we were having concerns. Right away they sent out the new component and we were able to move forward seamlessly without further issues.
Since then, we have used the camera with several customers and the response has been great.
The team can zoom in on key details better than with a typical camera phone, and it quickly eliminates communication errors that can occur over the phone without the supporting video. We used to be able to solve these with face-to-face meetings, but with travel limitations and socially distanced meetings that isn’t possible. So, thanks to the tenacity and creativity of our engineering team, we adapted and found a way to make technology solve the problem and provide better service to our customers.
We cannot wait for the time when we can all meet in person again, but for now, we will adjust and use technologies like this to help make do.
If you need creative solutions to your medical device packaging needs, please contact us here or call 562-207-1680. We will find a way to help.