Interview with Rey Obnamia

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Jamie: Good morning Rey, it's been a few weeks now since IRP Medical decided to join Silicone Expo 2022 and we're very excited to have you, so thank you for joining me today. We want to learn a little bit about who you are as a business, how you operate, and who you work with.

Rey: Sure, let me tell you who we are! Our business is about improving patients’ lives and user experience on the medical devices and components that we manufacture. We really are a contract manufacturer and distributor of molded liquid silicone, high consistency silicone, organic rubber components, assembly and packaging for the medical device industry. We specialize in custom critical to function engineered components, with complex designs that are difficult to manufacture. We strive in high volume full automation injection molding, transfer, flashless, compression, as well as over molding of rubber over plastic, over metal, over rubber, over flex circuits and nylon fabrics. We are an ISO 13485 certified and operate in a 40 000 square ft FDA registered facility with ISO 7 and ISO 8 clean groups. Our expertise in in LSR and Lim, that enables us to rapidly scale up from prototype to millions of parts. We can only do class 1 & class 2 medical devices and intend to expand to class 3 and implantables. We're also on track to add capabilities in extrusion and breaking up silicone tubing.

 Jamie: Fantastic. So, as a well-respected and well certificated business in the medical sector, you must be well-versed in dealing with some big challenges that the market might throw at you. Could you give us an example of a client request and how IRP Medical then puts that request into motion?

Rey: We are contract manufacturers, so we don't own the design of the medical components or devices themselves. They come to us with drawings primarily, or if not, we may be able to assist them in a design for manufacturability (DFM) and then we can make recommendations on the choices of materials that are suitable for their applications. For us, because we're a contract manufacturer, we have a library of sourcing a variety of liquid silicones, high consistency silicones and even organics to what suits the needs of the customer. 

Jamie: Thanks Rey. The medical market is growing not just in the United States and Canada, but internationally. Where do you see the market going over the next 6 to 12 months? Are there any major challenges that are being faced either by you directly or within the supply chain?

Rey: The issue across the board right now is supply chain. I think the issue on hand and not just us, but a lot in the device industry, even our customers, is the availability of raw materials - importation or exportation of goods. This is going to be with us for a long time.

Jamie: Absolutely. It's a story that we're hearing from several different people now. One point that was made to me recently was that the material is there to be had, it's being able to get it that’s the issue. One thing that would be very interesting which you have touched on before within your capabilities, is what sets IRP Medical aside from the other silicone molders. If you could tell us the key things that make you stand out, what would you say?

Rey: I think one is the depth of experience of our key people here. Not just from management, but even down to the manufacturing floor in liquid silicone, high consistency silicone and organic rubber processing. There is decades of experience that are important, especially in today's world and it's quite difficult to hire people with such experience. The second thing that I can say is we are customer centric. Who we are, really focuses on the customer experience and not just providing them with the product itself but providing a solution. The third thing is the brand and reputation we’ve built. We're small and we're nimble, so we can act fast in the whole process.

Jamie: So, it's a dynamic business that still looks after the grassroots of what your business is about. With such a depth of knowledge in the industry I’m sure you're very well connected already and like you say ‘if you don't know the answer, you'll know someone that does’ which is always a very helpful way of dealing with a client so that's great.

Rey: Yes, I think the relationship is around with suppliers, with customers and even amongst us… I think the silicone industry is quite small. We know each other, we know our competition, we’re friends, we socialize at the end of every expo or show. We help each other too; I think competition really enhances the silicone market.

Jamie: Yeah, absolutely and it's right what you're saying about the relationship within the supply chain, the competitions and so on. Everyone does understand what each business does, and where they fall within the manufacturing stages and processes, and we're very excited to have companies like IRP Medical take part in Silicone Expo next year