Posted by: Frigz | September 28, 2012

Quality & Repeatability

In order to maintain high quality and repeatability for our products, we strive to perform all production processes in -house. And while there are hundreds of sub-processes and tasks that go into the manufacturing of our surgical instruments, following is a list of major processes that we perform in house.

Items ready for Heat Treatment at Frigz

  1. Shear & Press Work (we import our own steel from Japan)
  2. Die/Mold Making
  3. Hot Forging
  4. Surface Treatment
  5. Annealing
  6. Machining (CNC, Lathes, Milling, etc)
  7. Filing
  8. Vacuum Heat Treatment
  9. Electro Polishing
  10. Grinding & Polishing
  11. Ultrasonic Cleaning
  12. Functional Setting and Testing
  13. Passivation
  14. Color coatings (Gold, Black, Titanium)
  15. Diamond Dust coatings (For Diamond Dusted Instruments)
  16. Tungsten Carbide Insertion (For TC Instruments)
  17. Special Preparation of Scissors blades (Razor edge, super cut edge, TC, & TC Super Cut)
  18. Powder coating (for Electrosurgical Instruments)
  19. Injection Moulding (for Electrosurgical Instruments)
  20. Clean Room Packing
  21. Sterilization
  22. Quality Control Testing
  23. Laser & Electro-Chemical etching
  24. Packing & Shipping

Each of the above processes comes with its own parameters which have to be tailored to the needs of each item in production and customer’s requests. The above list gives you a brief idea of what goes on behind making a quality product in our company. Making a surgical instrument is tough enough, making it in good quality is painstakingly tougher. And even though we make great disposable instruments, our main strength lies with manufacturing the best quality reusable instruments.

Posted by: Frigz | September 14, 2012

The Challenge of Information Management in Manufacturing

Manufacturing is a challenging field. At any given time there are hundreds (if not thousands) of things that might go wrong, stop working, or (simply put) go crazy. Manufacturing of surgical instruments is even more difficult because of the sheer load of information that comes with product variations, production stages, and the item-specific parameters that have to be controlled with each lot.

Without a strong information management and control system you can simply forget about managing thousands of instruments running under tens of thousands of lots within the factory. The inventory levels, production parameters, customizations, delivery schedules, costs, and tracking customer orders are amongst few of the things which are absolutely necessary for any production firm.

The ISO and cGMP standards also place give due weight to the importance of having a strong information infrastructure in place for any good manufacturing firm. At Frigz, we had to develop a custom made ERP system so that the challenging task of planning, production, and decision making can be done in the shortest while possible. Our system allows us to link sales with production and QMS, HR, Finances, and everything in between.

The vast number of data entring our systems throughout the day entail that proper backup solutions are set in place so no data is ever lost and in fact readily available at the push of a button. All this effort and investment provides a solid foundation for handling any size of business; big or small, from our customers. We know exactly where each item is, which raw material was used to make it, what were the customer’s feedback regarding it in the previous shipments and which employees worked on it.

Imagine having to manage 4000 different instruments at any given time. Imagine having to control their processes and parameters where our average instrument has about 30 processes from forging to shipment. Imagine keeping all this information up to date at all the time and then having it available for effective decision making, for auditing, and for customers. Imagine the time and effort to put such a system in place so that our customers can have quick service and proper information at the time they need it. Our ERP system is one of our greatest strengths in management at Frigz and one of the biggest resource to our customers.

Posted by: Frigz | August 28, 2012

The cool thing about passivation

If you remember our previous post we mentioned that stainless steel (S.S) is not completely corrosion free and that it should be more rightly called stain-resistant than stain-less. We also mentioned that the corrosion resisting power of S.S can be increased by doing passivation process.

well, what is passivation process anyways?

Passivation is a chemical process that creates a protective layer on the instrument using organic acid (such as nitric or citric) that make the surface less reactive to corrosion causing agents. The cool thing is that this layer is highly resistant and continues to buildup even after the actual passivation process is completed. In fact, given proper reprocessing techniques, the protective layer continues to build up until the end of an instrument’s life. This means that S.S exhibits human-like self healing ability that can help steel remain stain resistant.

For more information and technical description, you can download the ASTM standard that covers this area of manufacturing.

Posted by: Frigz | August 19, 2012

Eid Greetings

 

We would like to wish everyone a very fulfilling and joyous Eid.

Please note that the factory will be closed from August 20th to August 26th, 2012. Work will resume on August 27th.

 

Posted by: Frigz | August 10, 2012

Understanding Surgical Stainless Steel

These days surgical Instruments are made from a variety of materials including composites, plastics, titanium, and (the more traditional;) stainless steel. Typically two types of stainless steel series are most commonly used for instruments manufacturing.

  1. 300 series (Austenitic) stainless steel, and
  2. 400 series (Martensitic) stainless steel.

The Austenitic steel cannot be hardened through heat treatment. The 304 grade is the typical grade used for surgical instruments and is suited for items which require some malleability, that is, they can be pressed or formed into another shape without breaking the metal. Cannulas, retractors, probes, mallets, and spreaders are amongst some of the instruments that are traditionally manufactured through this series of steel.

The Martensitic steel are low carbon steel that can be hardened and tempered through heat treatment process. Due to the strength achieveable through hardening process, this series of steel is more suitable for instruments that require strength and tough cutting edges. Bone cutters, clamps, forceps, needle holders, and chisels are some of the instruments that are traditionally manufactured through the 410/420 grade of this series of steel.

Even though the stainless steel is generally corrosion resistant, it does not mean that rust and corrosion cannot occur on it. Perhaps a better term that could reduce this misconception is using ‘stain-resistant’ not ‘stainless or stain-free’. This is because there are many things that may cause corrosion on stainless steel. These things include high acid, or alkaline concentrated detergent, friction with other non-corrosion resistant metals (during manufacturing or afterwards), defects in steel, lubrication electrolytes, conditions involving high chlorides and other factors. Having said this, corrosion can be prevented through proper material and tools selection, manufacturing care and processes like passivation, and proper care and handling in the hospitals before and after each use.

Posted by: Frigz | July 27, 2012

Connecting the past with the future

At the upcoming launch of our new general surgery instruments catalog, our CEO collects his memories of how he started the company and where that journey has led him up till now.

‘Can I have your couch for tomorrow?’ I asked my friend back in 1980 when our first customer planned to visit our ‘company’. Back then, we had no office, just one rented shop with two people working diligently to produce few types of surgical instruments. ‘Sure’ my friend replied, now I was off to another friend to borrow some curtains and a car. This was our start. This was the birth of Dr. Frigz.

The Visionary: Muhammad Riaz (CEO)

That first meeting went beautifully but not due to the couch, curtain, or car, but rather due to the potential and capability our customer saw in our hands. We received that order and many more thereafter. And I am proud to say that our first customer is still with us even after 32 years of business. This relationship serves to prove the commitment, quality, and reliability of Frigz products and mindset.

Dr. Frigz now stands recognized as a global brand with two international joint ventures; in Germany & Japan, and a workforce of more than 500 employees. Each year we continue to add more and more items to our product mix and are slowly but surely leaving a positive mark on the global healthcare industry.

In light of all the changes that we introduced in our product offerings in the last couple of years, it was necessary that we update our general surgery catalog. With the printing of this catalog we hope to have bridged that gap some what in addition to showing to the world our expanded capabilities for manufacturing quality medical devices.

I am thankful to God for bringing us to such a stage where our instruments save thousands of lives each year. I am thankful to my employees without whose hard work and dedication this success would not have been possible. And most of all I am thankful to our customers for believing in us and standing behind the Frigz brand.

Muhammad Riaz
CEO, Dr. Frigz International

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