Opportunities for medical device manufacturers in motorsport industry
5 August 2011
There are many shared values in the production of components for the medical and motorsport industries, from the highest degree of engineering integrity to the paramount value of reliability.
The considerable cost of in-house manufacturing facilities mean many race teams rely on external sub-contractors to produce key parts, which opens up the possibility for firms in the medical industry to break into the lucrative motorsport market, worth £4.6 billion to the UK alone.
Whether producing printed circuit boards (PCBs) for heart monitors or telemetry systems for Formula One, the processes put in place by standards such as ISO13485 and ISO90001 ensure high calibre end products in both motorsport and medicine, with key quality control systems such as batch traceability, design validation and operator logging common to both industries.
One company already leveraging the technology crossover between sectors is St Cross Electronics, a leading manufacturer of wiring solutions. St Cross Electronics’ current clients include medical suppliers such as Texas Instruments and Phillips, as well as the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) series in the USA.
“Medical and military projects probably make up about 80% of our business,” says Dax Ward, Managing Director of St Cross Electronics. “However having processes in place such as stock bonding, stock lifing and the ability to produce large production runs makes us ideally placed for supplying series such as NASCAR. The standards that the medical and military industries require give us a real advantage over our competitors who only serve the motor racing sector.”
St Cross Electronics has developed its motorsport customer base by exhibiting at Autosport International, Europe’s largest dedicated motorsport trade show, which takes place at the Birmingham NEC, UK, from 12-15 January 2012. The event provides a networking platform for businesses in complimentary sectors such as medical manufacturing looking to expand into new markets. In 2011, 28,900 trade visitors from 50 countries attended the event, generating £800 million of business across four days.