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Manual assembly operators – the precision of Swiss watchmaking benefits medical devices

Véronique is a member of the Valtronic manual assembly operator team. With 33 years of experience, she has acquired extensive know-how in assembling ultra-small and thin components for complex medical devices. The Valtronic plant in Switzerland is located in the Swiss watch valley, and our operators work with the same precision as their counterparts in the watch industry. The expertise and experience Véronique and her colleagues bring to Valtronic are critical in delivering outstanding quality to customers. What also makes a difference is the passion and pride she and her team demonstrate day after day, knowing that their work will improve the life of patients across the world.

A subtle combination of technical skills, training and manual dexterity

The tiny microelectronic components that the operators are assembling under their binocular magnifiers require meticulous work and specific welding skills. Given the ultra-miniature material they are handling, such as wires three times thinner than a hair, steady hands and excellent hand-eye coordination complete the required skillset. Véronique is proud of the knowledge she has acquired. Regarding the comparison of her work with the watch industry she would reply, “yes, true, our skills are similar, but I know that my work will be very useful in improving patients’ lives, and that is very motivating.” Needless to say that Valtronic is committed to perpetuate this precious know-how over the long-term.

An ongoing learning process along with daily responsibilities

Like most of her colleagues, Véronique started over thirty years ago with welding and wire bonding training. “At the very beginning, I Iearned the technique without really understanding what I did or for what it would be used.” But her ongoing training at Valtronic allowed her to quickly acquire a thorough understanding of micro-electronics product assembly processes, techniques and tools. That is important since an operator works on several different products during the day. “Our daily work at Valtronic entails individual responsibilities as we are autonomously following the assembly scheme. Having such responsibilities and autonomy is rewarding and motivating”. Besides the assembly work, operators also play an important role in the quality and traceability process. They are responsible for the accurate documentation of all their work in the Quality Management System. Traceability of components and operations performed on each device is crucial in the medical device field. “We work on devices such as implants and are conscious of how important it is that patients receive products with expected performance and outstanding quality”.

The Meticulousness of clean room assembly

Every new product is an opportunity to learn new skills and take new technical challenges. Every product is different, some may require a set-up with a very specific assembly environment. Veronique recollects the example of the smart contact lens. It was the first contact lens that could be used for monitoring glaucoma patients (see more detailed description in our product portfolio). Valtronic adapted the customer’s process for industrialization in a dedicated environmentally controlled clean room. This allowed Veronique and her colleagues to gain experience in clean room assembly with very strict tolerances.

Still motivated to take on more challenges

Looking back at the past 33 years, Véronique is proud of the skills she has acquired at Valtronic and of her contribution to manufacturing medical devices that make a difference in patients’ quality of life. “With increasing regulation in the medical field and products growing in complexity, there is always something new to learn and this is stimulating. I am still motivated and looking forward to the next projects and challenges!”

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