Staying Connected - May 2007

Affinity Medical Technologies celebrates its Ten Year Anniversary.

Affinity was founded in 1997 by Mary Phillipp and her husband Dave Johnson, Bob Frank, and two outside investors.  Before founding Affinity, both Mary and Bob worked for Tronomed, a large cable manufacturer that moved out of state after being acquired by a conglomerate.  Mary was the President for Tronomed and Bob worked for Mary in various sales and engineering positions.

As the new owners of Tronomed were moving production out of state, Mary and Bob realized that their customers would suffer.  They saw it as an opportunity to establish a company and offer a level of service not found in the industry.  “We just knew we could do a better job than anyone out there,” said Mary Phillipp.  “We knew from personal experience what customers wanted and we knew we could give it to them.”

The business was started in a 400 square foot executive office and within a few months it moved to a 5,000 square foot production facility.  Less than three years later, Affinity was forced to move again due to increased demands from customers.  The company is now located in a modern 24,000 square foot facility near John Wayne airport in Orange County California.

When Mary and Bob started the company they knew they would have to differentiate Affinity from their larger and more established competitors in order to prosper.  Focusing on building personal relationships, giving excellent service and providing the highest quality products have been some of the reasons for Affinity’s success.

To add immediate legitimacy to their new company Mary and Bob made it a priority to achieve ISO certification quickly.  The Affinity team worked long hours and was awarded ISO certification within nine months of beginning operations.  Affinity was also started as an FDA registered medical device manufacturer and was awarded a 510(k) for its patient cable system in 1998.

Affinity has grown from a handful of employees in 1997 to eighty highly dedicated team members.  Turnover at the company is virtually non-existent and most openings are due to growth.  “When we need more help our employees bring in their friends to join the Affinity team” said Mary Phillipp.  “The only jobs we have to recruit for have been technical.

While other manufactures have moved much of their manufacturing to Mexico or Asia, Affinity still manufactures over 90% of its products in Irvine California.  When asked how Affinity can compete with foreign suppliers, Bob Frank replied “When we design a cable, we engineer the labor out of it.  When you build products that are labor intensive, you open the door to variations in product quality and competition from Asia and Mexico.  We try to design products that minimize labor and are not operator dependent.  This gives us both a cost and quality advantage,” said Frank.

Another reason for Affinity’s success has been its innovative product designs.  “We manufacture many cables exactly to our customers’ designs.  But, we really get excited when we are called in at the beginning of a project and can use our talent and experience to enhance their ideas,” said Bob Frank.  Affinity is known throughout the industry for their innovative designs and engineering and manufacturing excellence.

At its first year anniversary Affinity had 14 customers.  Ten years later the number is over 130 and includes just about every major medical device manufacturer.  “We grow because our customers like the way we do business” said Mary Phillipp.  “Because we are privately held we make every decision with an eye to the long term success of the company.  Our customers seem to show their approval of how we operate by trusting us to manufacture their products.”

As Affinity embarks on it’s second decade the company is committed to upholding the high standards it set for itself ten years ago.  “We’re not going to waver on our commitment to our customers or the high quality standards we set for ourselves” said Affinity CEO Mary Phillipp.

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Meet Kevin Kom

Affinity Medical Technologies Manager of Manufacturing and Facilities

As Affinity Medical Technologies celebrates its tenth anniversary Kevin Kom also celebrates his tenth anniversary with the company.  In fact, Kevin was the first employee hired by company founders Mary Phillipp, Dave Johnson and Bob Frank.

Kevin’s experience manufacturing medical cables goes back another ten years, working with Mary and Bob at Tronomed where he was supervisor of facilities and molding.  Tronomed was a medical cable manufacturer that was acquired by a larger company who eventually moved production out of the state.

Kevin joined Affinity in July 1997.  His first job was to move the fledgling company from its 400 square-foot start-up offices to its first 5,000 square foot production facility.  When asked about what his early responsibilities Kevin replied “I was responsible for just about everything except engineering, finance and sales!  It seems like only yesterday that Bob and I were setting up the production area.”

Kevin says that he learned early on in his career that understanding tool design and the machinist’s role is important to successfully manufacture molded parts.  Kevin’s background in equipment maintenance has allowed him to implement systems that have resulted in Affinity operating with literally zero equipment down time.

Kevin was a key member of the Affinity team that achieved ISO certification only nine months after beginning operation.  He is also responsible for Affinity’s outstanding on-time delivery performance.

“Kevin knows every cable that we build like it was his child.  He knows every component and every step it takes to build the cable,” commented Affinity Business Development Manager Hank Mancini.  “He knows every cable that is in production, what stage it is at, and when it will be done.”

When asked what he likes best about being part of Affinity he replied “I love being part of a team that gets along and gets things done.  Mary and Bob set such a high standard for integrity that there’s just no internal politics.  It makes working here fun.”

Kevin was born and raised in Southern Idaho.  When he relocated to Southern California in 1984 he said “I had never seen a city larger that Boise Idaho.  I liked the weather in Southern California but also the faster pace of life.”

When not working at Affinity, Kevin is very involved in soccer and football with his two children, Katie 11 and Tyler 8.  Kevin and his wife Davina also enjoy family camping.  Kevin is a life-long and avid fisherman, something he says he “learned from his Dad.”

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Innovative Solutions - Captive Telemetry Cable

When a telemetry manufacturer asked for help designing a patient cable Bob Frank and the Affinity engineering team partnered with the customer and came up with a unique and creative solution.

The customer’s requirements were for a very low profile connector that would not be removable by the patient but could be easily changed by a technician.  Another requirement was that the cable had to be robust enough to be worn by a patient for three weeks or longer and withstand any and all conditions encountered in day-to-day life.  Finally, the cable had to be lightweight, very flexible, shielded to reduce electrical noise and meet AAMI low noise and defibrillation requirements.

With the customer’s design requirement in mind, the Affinity engineering team devised an innovative, unique design that met all of the requirements and was relatively inexpensive.

To keep size at a minimum and reduce cost, the connector was designed to plug directly into the monitor circuit board.  The device manufacturer had only to include six sockets on their board to accommodate the cable eliminating the cost of the mating connector.  An access door that is screwed shut keeps cable plugged into the board yet allows easy replacement by a technician.

The final product is a 3-lead fully shielded cable with defib protection resistors molded into the snap end of the cable.  The cable is lightweight for patient comfort, yet robust enough to withstand the rigors of month-long monitoring.

If you would like more information on any of Affinity’s innovative products call us or request information on-line.

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Welcome to the first issue of our monthly newsletter:
Staying Connected

Welcome to the first issue of our monthly newsletter, Staying Connected.  Most months we’ll bring you information on some aspect of medical cables.  However, this month the lead story will introduce you to Affinity as we celebrate our Ten Year Anniversary.

Our motto is “Connecting With People Who Care.”  Each month we’ll help you connect to one of our team members.  This issue we feature Kevin Kom, our Director of Manufacturing and Facilities.

Part of Affinity’s success has been our ability to partner with our customers to design and manufacture unique solutions to medical interconnect problems.  Each issue will highlight one of our success stories to give you a better idea of our capabilities.

We hope that you enjoy Staying Connected.  We welcome you suggestions, comments, or questions to CustomerCare2@affinitymed.com.  If you prefer not to receive Staying Connected, you may unsubscribe using the link in the email that you received.

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Announcements and Information

Upcoming Holidays

  • Mothers Day is May 15th – Remember your mother!
  • Memorial Day - Affinity will be closed Monday, May 28th in celebration of Memorial Day.

Affinity Customer Care - Hours of Operation

  • Affinity Medical Technologies customer care specialists are available from 7:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. Pacific time.

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Affinity Medical Technologies

1732 Reynolds Ave
Irvine, CA 92614  USA
Phone: 949-477-9495
Fax: 949-477-9499
Contact Us