From AdvantechMay 1 2018Reviewed by Ian Birkby
Please tell us a bit about the company and why are you here today.
Advantech is a 35-year-old company, founded by three former HP employees, two of which are still with the company as the CEOs. We have global headquarters in Taiwan and offices in 26 countries around the world.
We have three different sectors in the market. One of these is medical, so medical computing platforms for hospitals and medical equipment development including clients who produce ultrasounds, MRIs, and dental imaging.
More and more you see that those clients need a partner supplying the computer parts and display parts so that our customers can concentrate on their competence.
Advantech is a market leader in industrial PCs - we have a 32% world market share on these IPCs in different areas.
The medical sector cannot use commercial PCs and can only use PCs with a long-life cycle where the quality is high. Once they certify the system (including the PC) before they go to market, they cannot change the PC anymore. That is where our Design & Manufacturing Team comes in.
That's what we do: from extended products up to design manufacturing. With our project-team approach, we can help our customer with a product, improve prototyping, and then do the manufacturing. If during the manufacturing, you need a change, we can also support the client with this change in the prototype.
Is there a specific product that you're featuring today?
We can give the customer a standard product to start with. We have 6,000 products in our backyard; starter products that the customer can begin with to just improve the concept. They then come back to us with their specific requirements based on that. They then add their interface to our equipment and make a total system.
They can get a total system and when you start with a standard product the total time to market is quicker. Otherwise, if you start developing from scratch from the customer requirement, that takes a lot longer.
During the development cycle, we use medical certification documentation, because if you have two-year production and something happens in the field, you need to go back and trace what went wrong. Is it wrong design? Wrong requirement? Wrong component? That's mandatory in the medical field.
How are your services and products unique?
It started about fifteen years ago - we had a customer in a hospital that wanted a PC to monitor the patient data and the person’s record. So, we took something more industrialized unit to the hospital. It needed to be hygienic and isolated, and be able to stand tough cleaning.
We designed this medical grade panel PC and this particular product is now is completely hygienic and antibacterial. Its isolated ports mean that it can be used in the ICU or even on the operating table.
What are you hoping to get out of the conference today?
The conference today is focused on the adaptive medical developments. We are focused on showing that we can be partners for our customers from the development stage. Our customers need to focus on their core competence, their service, and their probe interface.
If you are on dental imaging: let them focus on the scanning, we can do the computer part. Ultrasound: let them do the ultrasound, we can do the rest.