Hammill Medical has been manufacturing implantable medical devices and surgical instruments since 1955. Medical Device Developments talks to John Hammill, the president of the company, about its commitment to delivering high-quality products and innovative device solutions.

What is the scope of Hammill Medical’s productions and how does it prioritise customers’ needs? What difficulties have to be avoided?

John Hammill: Hammill launches between 25 and 35 new products each year for our customers. Our expertise is managing a product launch from initial engineering concept through prototyping, and ultimately through first-article production and launch. Our engineers have over 60 industry patents. With in-house engineering and a wealth of manufacturing experience, we can predict potential launch challenges and provide solutions to overcome them. The benefit to the customer is that Hammill provides on-time launch schedules at budgeted prices.

Can you briefly describe the process of a client’s order, from first contact with Hammill Medical through to project completion?

Typically, we get involved in a project at the engineering-concept stage or at the prototype-manufacturing stage. We work closely with our customers to align the design requirements of a particular device with a manufacturing process that will consistently deliver predictable results. What is unique to Hammill is that we utilise production-intent processes to manufacture prototypes. We have dedicated engineering and manufacturing resources for prototype production, which means we can manufacture the prototypes while simultaneously developing our launch manufacturing processes and completing any required validation activities.

The production manufacturing process is therefore established well ahead of project launch; so at the time we supply the prototype components to our customer, we are also ready for programme launch.

What impact does this approach have on cost, and how do you ensure the best value-for-money service?

The most important attribute our customers are looking for is quality, but price and delivery performance are also important. Our customers are looking for a supplier they can rely on; a supplier that gives them the confidence that the product will be right. We are vertically integrated, meaning that all manufacturing processes are controlled in-house or can be sourced to established vendors by our in-house engineers. So we control all aspects of the product launch. Doing so provides the ability to control schedules and plan product launches to achieve predictable, consistent results.

Hammill’s product-launch success rate is the primary reason our customers have confidence in Hammill as a supplier. We are also FDA registered and ISO-13485 certified.

How long has the company’s apprenticeship scheme been in place, and how does it benefit your employees and Hammill Medical as a whole?

My grandfather, Ed Hammill, launched the apprenticeship programme when he started the business. He was a graduate of the Chicago School of Trades and as such understood the great value of vocational training. We continue to provide this training to all our employees and today we have 35 employees actively pursuing their four-year apprenticeship.

And how else does Hammill Medical set itself apart from competitors? What feedback do you get from clients?

Integrity and reliable results are what set Hammill apart from other medical device suppliers; we consistently get products to market on time and on budget. Our ability to manage all aspects of complicated product launches and the knowledge needed to solve problems that arise along the way gives our customers the confidence to source programmes to Hammill.