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Regal Research and Manufacturing Company
Turnkey Services Benefit Medical OEMs Seeking Complete Build Solutions
Its one-stop shop fabrication services allow Regal Research and Manufacturing Company to offer its medical customers complete build services, including metal forming, welding, plating, painting, hardware insertion, paint and silkscreen, assembly, integration and test, warehousing, and on-demand delivery. This broad-based approach allows the company to control the quality and delivery of products at every step of the manufacturing process for complex assemblies.
Incorporated in 1980 and co-owned by Gayle Glosser and Mike Powell, Regal Research (www.regalresearch.com) is a certified NTWBC and NCTRCA woman-owned business. The company occupies approximately 192,000 square feet of environmentally-controlled office and manufacturing space at its Plano, Texas, facility, and currently employs about 200 workers operating in two shifts.
Regal Research primarily serves the medical equipment, telecom, semiconductor, and defense industries. The company builds medical diagnostic equipment for several leading OEMs. D2P recently spoke with Regal Research COO Russell Sikes and received answers to questions about the company's capabilities for the medical industry.
D2P: How does your turnkey fabrication service benefit medical OEMs?
RS: First and foremost, we present a comprehensive solution from piece parts to assemblies, and from prototype to production. Secondly, by performing all processes ourselves, within one company, we control the material flow and shorten throughput time while minimizing cost.
D2P: How does this "complete build" fabrication service enable you to stand apart from the competition?
RS: Our value-added services go beyond the standard expectations and provide something extra while adding little or nothing to cost. Our comprehensive production services, which include forming, welding, plating, painting, silk-screening, and assembly, distinguish us from most competitors and create opportunities to offer beneficial technical input that competitors offering piecemeal fabrication services could never recognize. In addition, many of our competitors must outsource their secondary operations, but we don't.
D2P: What are some of the technical challenges of producing some of the medical diagnostic equipment?
RS: Given our equipment and capabilities, technical issues are not always our primary challenge. What is most challenging is converting someone's vision into a physical sample. Some customers look for functionality and others look for aesthetics or cosmetics. We work with the customer through different stages of the development to ensure that the final product meets their intended vision and cost targets.
D2P: When you "re-engineered and designed complex assemblies for automated blood chemistry equipment," what were the challenges to this project and how were they overcome?
RS: All suppliers use different processes to fabricate parts. Our flexible equipment and experienced personnel enable Regal to make recommendations for the processing of parts, whether prototype or already in production. Regal works closely with the customer and their engineering staff to understand all requirements. This, in turn, allows us to offer recommendations regarding fabrication techniques--for example, the riveting of drawers versus welding, using tooling fixtures, tab and slot formation, or changes to finish and paint that improve durability while lowering cost. In short, select products go through the Design-for-Manufacturing process, deliberately assessing how to achieve the greatest quality at the lowest cost.
D2P: What are some other items you produce for the medical industry?
RS: We fabricate numerous products for that industry, including blood analysis and bacteria incubation, diabetes, endoscopy, and transport and gurney equipment. In some cases, we even build medical equipment for our four-legged friends.
D2P: Is demand from the medical industry growing?
RS: Each passing year brings new technology and improvements to those that already exist. New medical practices and wellness programs are making our society more health conscious, and longevity continues to rise. With our burgeoning elderly population, the medical industry is one that offers perennial growth.
D2P: In the medical industry today, do you see any trends that are impacting what medical equipment manufacturers are requiring from their suppliers?
RS: The most important factors that are important to the medical equipment manufacturer are primarily cost and time-to-market. Not being the first to market reduces sales in this competitive business market, making rapid, controllable production essential. And, of course, repeatable, enduring quality is paramount. These factors make Regal's "one-stop shop" service a key competitive advantage for customers.
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