Case Study: Entech Electronics Reduces the Cost of Manufacturing for Respiri’s ‘Wheezo’

Design for Manufacture. A case study on how Entech Electronics supported the Respiri Limited engineering team to reduce the production cost of their Award-Winning product "Wheezo".

Executive Summary

Respiri Limited, a Melbourne-based eHealth Software as a Service (SaaS) company, was seeking to introduce their new innovative medical product named ‘Wheezo’ into the Australian market. Respiri is revolutionising asthma management with ‘Wheezo’ however required a partner to help them reduce the manufacturing cost and bring the product to market faster. In February 2020, Respiri made the first contact with Entech Electronics to meet the production demand and improve production costs.

However, soon after that, the onset of COVID-19 was forcing businesses to follow lockdown protocols in order to contain the virus outbreak. In addition, travel restrictions meant auditing new suppliers was going to be challenging.

During these trying times, the Respiri and Entech collaborative environment engaging key staff in Melbourne, Adelaide and Shenzhen flourished. Leveraging Entech’s DFM expertise and manufacturing know-how, coupled with an active and skilful Respiri design team together brought about real-life manufacturing savings of 80% and commissioned 12,000 devices for delivery in February 2021. Production capacity of circa 12,500 units monthly has since been allocated for Wheezo.

The Challenges

In February 2019, Respiri Limited, a Melbourne based eHealth Software as a Service (SaaS) company supporting respiratory health management, prepared to enter the Australian market with Wheezo. Powered with the latest eHealth application, Wheezo is an innovative yet simple to use handheld medical device. It is also the first smart medical device to improve asthma management by monitoring wheeze and documenting symptoms, triggers, weather conditions and medication use.

After years of product development and considering the high hardware costs, Respiri took a crucial decision: to change the manufacturing partner. In February, the company engaged Entech Electronics to manufacture their innovative device at reduced production costs.

Contrary to the business expectations, in March 2020, lockdowns owing to the COVID-19 pandemic began all over the globe, barring Respiri from travelling to meet up with and audit new local or international manufacturing partners or suppliers.

The Solution

While striving to strike a deal with a new manufacturing partner and usher their ground-breaking product to the competitive international market, Respiri crossed paths with Entech Electronics.

Along with more than 35 years of experience in the electronic manufacturing space, Entech Electronics possesses a wide-ranging product portfolio that includes medical devices. It demonstrated capabilities (offshore and onshore) and competencies required to meet the high quality and efficiency expectations Respiri have for their ground-breaking device.

The Respiri design team in Melbourne, Entech’s onshore team in Adelaide, and the offshore team in China collaborated between April and August 2020. Regular project meetings to optimise Wheezo for manufacturing and work schedules were made between Melbourne, Adelaide, and Shenzhen using virtual meeting platforms. Engaging Entech’s vast network of component distributors and parts manufacturers was made possible by virtual collaborative tools as well as in person meetings in China by Entech’s offshore team.

Entech utilized its Design for Manufacturing (DFM) expertise to make assembly of enclosure easier as well as to reduce the assembly time and cost. The experts at Entech also put forward suggestions of new alternative parts for Wheezo and validating suggestions for new parts from the Respiri team. Critically this improved Wheezo’s availability, reduced assembly time, optimised the number of parts required to manufacture Wheezo and reduced factory test times.

While the lockdown was in place, Entech Electronics continued auditing new plastic suppliers ensuring parts quality and supplier integrity.

The Results

  • 80% reduction in total cost
  • Optimized Bill of Materials (BOM) improving buying power and reducing MOQ exposure
  • Reduced overall material lead-times
  • Creating customer visibility to the total supply chain network
  • A substantial reduction in assembly and test times meaning improved turn-around times
  • Raw materials pipeline implemented securing production and Wheezo availability.

 

Manufacturing with a Difference

Entech Electronics delivers world-class electronic manufacturing and support services to customers globally. Specialising in electro-mechanical assembly, Printed Circuit Board (PCB) assembly and supply as well as Human-Machine Interface (HMI) Solutions, Entech Electronics caters to many industries including Medical, Internet of Things (IoT), aerospace, International

Electrotechnical Commission Explosive (IECEx) certified production, communications, and mining electronics among the few.

Entech’s expertise in electronic manufacturing and supporting services with a unique business model is a crucial enabler to help businesses navigate product development, device certification, supply chain security, and through-life support easily.

Whether your enterprise is a budding start-up or a global brand, Entech Electronics can ensure highly supportive manufacturing services with a difference.

Entech Electronics: EQUIPPED, CERTIFIED, CONNECTED

Find out more about Entech Electronics or Get In Touch 

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Entech Electronics

Entech Electronics

Australian owned contract manufacturing.
Manufacturing in South Australia since 1986, Entech Electronics specialises in the contract manufacturing of electronic products and complex sub-assemblies.

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