Manuela, what made you take the plunge and start the business in the first place?
“That is very simple. We saw the opportunity and we took it! There were no doubts that the business plan would work. I had been working with the market leader for some years and had grown frustrated with the lack of response to what the market needed. Knowing that nobody else was going to react, opened the door for us. CIM med was born out of frustration and a clear opportunity.”
What was the gap in the market that you saw?
“At first glance, the product is a simple one. We manufacture arms that hold medical equipment, typically patient monitors. Just like a television is mounted to a wall, we connect the patient monitor to whatever it needs to be mounted to. The big difference is that we are specifically designed to cater for the medical world, where clinical excellence is the driving factor. That means our products have to be medically certified to current EN60601 standards.”
“There weren’t many players in that field and for decades hospital staff had essentially been given the same solution for mounting patient monitors next to the patient at the bedside. These offerings had serious issues with cable management. We’re talking about the cables that transmit power and data to the monitor. When they break free of their housing they simply lay or hang free. They get dirty and are difficult and time-consuming to clean. We took the simple and practical step of internalising the cables and integrating them into the arms. The cables could not fall out and no longer required cleaning, as they could not come in to contact with anyone. Hence the name “CIM” – Cable Integrated Mounting”
Had nobody else done this?
“No. We were the first to market and were able to patent the design for doing so. The benefits for Infection Prevention are enormous and starkly obvious.”
True micro molding can produce complex and high-quality molded parts from a wide variety of engineered thermoplastics. Accumold’s experience includes the molding of complex resins like PEEK, PEI (Ultem®), and LCP. With over 30 years of experience processing these and other highly-engineered resins Accumold’s expertise expedites the design for manufacturability process when working through the micro capabilities of each material choice.
Accumold is currently running 160+ Micro-Molder®, Vertical and Conventional presses in its 130,000 ft2 (12k m2) facility. The factory includes six Class-8 and three Class-7 clean room manufacturing spaces. As part of the company’s risk mitigation program the facility also includes 26,000 ft2 (2400 m2) hardened structure with dedicated and redundant resources. Accumold is also ISO 13485, 9001 and 14001 certified.
What was the market reception like in the beginning?
“Like any new business it takes time to get traction, but honestly? The market loved it and continues to do so. We introduced “zero maintenance-five year warranties”, which is exactly what it says. If the products are set up correctly from day one, they simply won’t let you down. So it’s not just the cable integration. We introduced a level of engineering that had never been applied to this type of product before. The feedback from clinical staff is a resounding “Yes! We like it!” That’s very satisfying. We can’t rest on our laurels, however. Our competitors have started to follow in our wake and we have invested in a programme of continuous improvement. There is no bigger compliment than influencing your competitor to make changes in reaction to your presence. We’re happy to lead the way and we will continue to do so.”
So what does the future hold for CIM med and what challenges do you face?
“I always say, “I’ll go in any direction, as long as it’s forward.” and it’s the same for CIM med. We are celebrating our first decade at MEDICA this year, but we won’t be looking back. We aimed to manufacture the highest grade medical mounting solutions in the world and that’s the mantle we shall retain. We have a lot of exciting things on the horizon and we are gearing up for our first global agreement with one of the large manufacturers. We have the longevity to show that we are here to stay and we have the capacity to treble our output. So that’s the next ceiling to break.”