Staying Connected - October 2010

Affinity is Moving

Affinity’s new facility in Costa Mesa, California

Earlier in October, Affinity announced to its OEM partners that due to growth, the company would be moving to a larger facility in late January.
“Thanks to the tremendous support of our many OEM partners, Affinity will move from its current 24,000 square foot building to a newly renovated 45,000 square foot facility in nearby Costa Mesa, California,” commented Affinity President, Mary Phillipp.  “We’re moving before we run out of space in Irvine and also taking advantage of the real estate market.  This expansion will allow us to keep up with the increased demands from our OEM partners.”

The manufacturing area will have natural light
from side windows as well as skylights

When asked about the move, Affinity Manufacturing and Facilities Manager Kevin Kom commented: “Our new building will be about twice as large as our current facility, but the manufacturing area will grow by over three hundred percent.  We’ll have room to greatly increase our capacity as well as add new technologies.  We’re bringing in ample power and compressed air throughout the facility so that we can accommodate any future equipment needs.”

 In addition to gaining more manufacturing space, the new building will provide additional space for engineering, testing and training.  Bob Frank, Affinity Director of Engineering commented: “In our present building, our engineering team is scattered around the office.  Our new facility will allow us to bring our engineering team together in one area which will be a big benefit.  Also, our engineering test lab has been running at near capacity for the past year.  Our new lab will give us the space the space we need to support our customer’s growing test requirements.  We’ll have room for all of our test equipment and even room for growth.”

When asked about the location, Mary Phillipp commented: “We chose the location in Costa Mesa because it is centrally located to where the majority of our production employees live.  Our relocation will be made easier because we do not expect any personnel changes.  Our employees are excited about the move.  Our larger lunch room, training rooms, and restrooms will make day-to-day life at Affinity more enjoyable for everyone.”

Affinity’s new building has been designed
and laid out for efficient operations

“We’re busy enough that we often have more meetings going on than we have conference rooms for.  Our new building will have conference rooms throughout the facility which will make it easier to schedule meetings and tele-conferences with our customers as well as hold internal meetings,” said Mary.

“As a business grows, one of the issues in this area is parking.  We can double the number of employees in our new building and still have adequate parking,” said Kevin.  “Besides being much larger, our new building will essentially be brand new.  It has been designed and laid out to meet our needs exactly.”

Affinity’s new building is located on Harbor Boulevard in Costa Mesa, California, about a mile north of the 405 Freeway and only about ten minutes from Orange County John Wayne airport.  The facility, which is part of the Harbor Gateway complex, is currently undergoing complete renovation, being transformed into company headquarters and a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.

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Jim Itkin – Affinity OEM Sales Manager

Affinity OEM Sales Manager Jim Itkin

Jim Itkin joined Affinity Medical on October 4th as OEM Sales Manager.  Jim came to Affinity from Covidien where he was responsible for OEM sales both domestic and internationally for the company’s core products.

Jim has spent his entire career in the medical industry beginning nearly twenty years ago selling for Jason International in the greater Philadelphia area.  As a Territory Manager he was responsible for sales of disposable products to acute care hospitals.  Jim’s success selling to hospitals led to a promotion as Electrode Product Manger which required him to relocate to Southern California.  Jim championed and directed the growth of ElectroTrace™ brand of ECG electrodes which resulted in his promotion to National Sales Manager for Jason-Kendall LTP, which had become part of Tyco Healthcare.

Jim moved from hospital sales into OEM sales in 2001 which also required him to move from Southern California to Massachusetts, where the company’s headquarters were located.  In the past nine years, Jim has developed excellent relationships with his OEM partners by being honest and providing timely and accurate information.  Coincidentally, many of the OEMs that Jim worked with at Covidien are also Affinity OEM partners.

Jim getting first-hand knowledge
of Affinity production methods

“When we decided to hire an OEM Sales Manager, I knew who I wanted right away,” said Affinity Business Development Manager, Hank Mancini.  “I worked with Jim up until about four years ago and know what a quality individual he is.  He takes a very customer-oriented approach to business and his customers love him.  That’s what we want at Affinity.  He has a tremendous amount of energy we’re feel fortunate that he joined our team.”

“Jim has a great technical background,” said Hank.  “While he has primarily been on the sales side of the business, he has involved himself in the engineering and manufacturing side of the business also.  He knows what it takes to design and manufacture medical products.  He also understands quality systems, having participated in many customer audits.  Jim was in the plant for a week and spent a lot of time in manufacturing understanding Affinity’s manufacturing processes.”

I want to understand Affinity’s
processes & capabilities – Jim Itkin

Jim earned his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and his MBA from Bentley University, one of the nation’s leading business schools.

Jim’s met his wife Barbara when they were in high school and they have been together ever since.  Barbara is now a high-school teacher and their daughter Michelle is in elementary school.  Jim and his family live in Western Massachusetts.

Besides working, Jim is a real car enthusiast with encyclopedic knowledge of brands, models, performance specs and even prices.  Jim realized one of his dreams a few years when he purchased a bright yellow Corvette.  He only drives his “Vette” for pleasure and only when the weather is good.  For vacations, Jim and his family enjoy traveling to warm beach destinations, especially St. John, or taking ocean cruises.

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The Freedom to Choose the Best Connector

Affinity is not a connector company.  While we have designed and manufactured many custom connectors, that is not our focus.  Because we do not have a line of connectors that we manufacture and sell, the Affinity engineering team has complete freedom help our OEM partners choose the right connector for their project.

No Loyalty Allows Objective Recommendations

Affinity incorporates all major
connector brands including Hypertronics
and Redel into cable assemblies

With no loyalty to any brand of connectors, Affinity always attempts to find and recommend the right connector solution.  In many instances, an off-the-shelf connector is the right choice.  In other instances a custom connector may be the best choice and is recommended.

Often, our OEM partners have already chosen a type of connector before coming to Affinity to develop their cable assembly.  When this is the case, we follow their direction.  Affinity purchases and incorporates connectors from every major supplier into cable assemblies which we manufacture.

If an OEM has not chosen a connector for their project, the Affinity engineering team will assist in the selection of a connector or suggest designs for a custom or hybrid connector.

Custom connector with
encapsulated electronic components

Custom Engineered Connectors

Depending upon the application and device requirements, a custom connector may be recommended.  Some of the reasons why a device manufacturer may consider a custom medical connector instead of an off-the-shelf connector are:

  • A unique design is required to assure that only a specific connector can be mated
  • Connector design needs to match the physical profile of the device
  • An off-the-shelf connector does not meet specific design requirements
  • A single connector must interconnect a variety of signal types (high voltage, low voltage, high bandwidth)
  • An off-the-shelf connector is not a cost effective solution
  • Custom logo or markings on the connector are desired or required
  • Dependence on a connector manufacturer’s supply chain is not desired

When a custom connector solution is chosen, engineering and tooling fabrications costs are generally incurred.  These up-front charges can be a roadblock to choosing a custom connector solution.  However, once design and tooling are complete, a custom connector can often cost much less than off-the-shelf connectors.

Custom connector for 7-lead
ambulatory monitoring

Fischer connector prepped
before assembly at Affinity

Standard or Off-the-Shelf Connectors

Many of our OEM partners have already chosen a brand or type of connector before coming to Affinity to develop their cable assembly.  When this is the case, we follow their direction and lead.  Affinity purchases and incorporates connectors from every major supplier into cable assemblies.

Some of the reasons why a device manufacturer may consider a standard or off-the-shelf medical connector instead of a custom connector are:

  • Less design time may be required
  • Little or no engineering or tooling fabrication charges
  • Proven design may lessen product validation
  • Compatibility with devices manufactured by others
  • Compatibility with legacy devices

With a standard or off-the-shelf connector, design and tooling fabrications costs are generally not incurred.  Because of possible lower up-front charges, a standard or off-the-shelf connector can often be an attractive alternative, especially for start-up device manufactures where funding may be limited.

Hybrid 3M MDR connector with
custom overmolded strain relief

Hybrid Connectors

A hybrid connector is a standard or off-the-shelf connector that is modified or customized for a particular application.  Modifications can include overmolding a strain relief, sealing the connector to improve ingress protection properties, or incorporating electronic components.  A hybrid connector can offer some of the benefits of a custom connector with less development time and cost.


With no reason to choose a specific brand or type of connector, the Affinity engineering team can help you choose the best connector for your application or project, whether that be a standard, custom or hybrid connector.  For additional information, contact Affinity at or call us at +1 949-477-9495.

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Visit Affinity at MEDICA 2010

In November, Affinity Medical Technologies will be exhibiting once again at MEDICA – World Forum for Medicine, the world’s largest medical exhibition and trade fair.  This year the exhibition will run from Wednesday, November 17th through Saturday, November 20th at the Messe in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Attending Medica this year from Affinity will be:

  • Mary Phillipp, President and CEO
  • Bob Frank, Director of Engineering
  • Hank Mancini, Business Development Manager
  • Jim Itkin, OEM Sales Manager
  • Didier Chabault, European Business Development

In addition, Manfred Heller, from Affinity’s new sales partner in Germany, MPS Terminal Industrie Electronic GmbH, will be at the exhibition Wednesday and Thursday.

Please visit Affinity Medical in our “usual location” in Hall 9, Row C, Stand 74.  If you would like to schedule a meeting in advance, please email to, or

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Announcements, Information & Trivia

Don’t forget to turn your clocks
back one hour November 7th

Daylight Savings Time – Fall Back

Beginning in 2007, most of the United States began Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and reverts to Standard Time on the first Sunday in November.  In 2010, Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday, November 7th.

Don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour Sunday morning, November 7th!

Thanksgiving Holiday

Affinity will be closed Thursday, November 26th and Friday November 27th to observe Thanksgiving and to give our team members a four-day weekend.

The Affinity team is grateful for the continued support from each of our OEM partners.  Affinity exists because of you.  We wish you and your family a wonderful, healthy and happy Thanksgiving.

Suzann Sitka, Cesar Jara and Candy Golding
- the Affinity Customer Care Team

Affinity Customer Care -
Hours of Operation

At Affinity Medical, we don’t have a customer service department.  In place of customer service, we have Customer Care Coordinators.  While our Customer Care Coordinators perform many of the same functions that customer service representative would, we strive to offer our OEM partners more than that.  The job of our Customer Care Coordinators is to take care of our OEM customer partners.

Affinity’s Customer Care team consists of Candy Golding, Suzann Sitka and Cesar Jara.  Candy is the team supervisor and has over twenty years experience working with medical cables.  Suzann Sitka joined Affinity over five years ago.  She has extensive experience, having worked for several medical device manufactures before joining Affinity.  Cesar is the newest member of the team, joining Affinity in mid 2009.

Affinity Medical Technologies Customer Care specialists are available to assist you from 7:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M., Monday through Friday U.S. Pacific Time, except holidays

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Affinity Medical Technologies

1732 Reynolds Ave
Irvine, CA 92614  USA
Phone: +1 949 477 9495
Fax: +1 949 477 9499