Take It To The Top: Climbing and medical device manufacturing support

After successfully summiting Point 5318 and exploring the other Djangart region "Forbidden Mountains" in Kyrgyzstan, the Take It To The Top VICE Expedition team is heading home.

Google Earth shows the Take It To The Top team's July 29, 2013 location outside of Karakol
On Saturday, July 27, the team wrote, "All six of us are back at advanced base camp basking in the sun. Tomorrow we head down to base camp to catch the helicopter on the 29th or 30th."

Yesterday, we received the following message, "We all made it down to base camp celebrating our success with a gratuitous amount of pasta sauce, the last of our food. Hopefully we get picked up tomorrow."

And today, it looks like the team caught the chopper back, with their latest location appearing just outside of Karakol, shown on the Google Earth image above.

KMC Systems supports clients after their medical device is manufactured.
KMC Systems supports its clients throughout the entire medical product lifecycle - even after their medical device is manufactured.

Success through support

The previous post discussed how lean manufacturing practices relate to the team's ultra-light, alpine-style method of successfully climbing Point 5318. This post will discuss how support contributes to success.

Our KMC360 Program makes KMC Systems one of the top medical device companies, offering: centralized medical device development, design, manufacturing and support services.

Support is an essential component of a successful team for a successful outcome - whether that team is climbing an unsummited mountain peak in Kyrgyzstan or developing your medical device in Merrimack, N.H.

And both kinds of support save lives.

The VICE Expedition team ascended Point 5318 in fast-moving teams of two, and each person relies on their partner for survival. As KMC Systems mechanical engineer and VICE Expedition team member Austin Lines pointed out in his Take It To The Top Q&A:

We have teams of two because you need someone to belay you as you’re climbing so you’re really relying on that one person to save your life – to catch you. Also, on the glacier if you fall in the crevasse that person has to hold your weight as you try to climb out of the crevasse so they have to be on their game. I really trust all these guys with my life. 

Austin Lines and Rob Gleich ice climb Crawford Notch in New Hampshire.
Climbing takes a partner's support. Here, Austin Lines ice climbs Dracula on the Frankenstein Cliffs in Crawford Notch, N.H., with climbing partner Rob Gleich.

Think of KMC as your climbing partner, here not only to take your medical device to the height of success, but to support you through the entire process - even after your medical instrument is manufactured and shipped. We also work with you as equal partners to succeed, recognizing the value of your input.

Lines explains the equal partnership in rock and ice climbing:

In that two-man partnership, we’re constantly switching leader and follower. When you’re leading a pitch you just have the rope tied to you and the belayer below you, and as you go you place pieces of protection so as you pass those pieces of protection, if you fall you fall twice the distance from the last piece of protection. So that’s just leading and then after that the belayer follows up the rope when you’re anchored in somewhere and then usually you switch follower and leader.

Not all medical device manufacturers support customers the way we do. 

We provide exceptional field support in coordination with our customers to support their needs. By developing and manufacturing medical devices, our engineers are able to provide premium depot level support for that equipment, including medical depot repair, refurbishment and medical device replacement management.

KMC360®  leverages over 30 years of proven medical device expertise while focusing on world-class quality, reduced development costs and reduced time to market throughout the total medical product life cycle.

For more on the KMC360® Program, download our brochure.

Download the KMC360® Brochure

Topics: KMC360, KMC Systems, Take It To The Top, VICE Expedition, medical device manufacturers, top medical device companies