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Orchid Blog

7 Facts You Should Know About Orchid Design

Posted: Thursday, September 06, 2018

Orchid Design, Orchid’s product design and development division, was founded in 2004 out of the realized need for contract design and development within the orthopedic industry. Nearly 15 years later, the team has exceeded its initial goals and continues to grow. As the market has evolved, we envision even more creative business collaborations with customers and the need to drive manufacturing cost out of products through Design for Manufacturing.

Interested in learning more about Orchid Design? Here are some facts we think you should know:

1. They Created a Spinal Implant for a Surgeon Inspired by Conch Shells

When you’re on vacation and relaxing on the beach, you wouldn’t think to be inspired to create a spinal implant. This was the case, however, for a Yale Surgeon when he noticed the spiral design of a conch shell. He created sketches which he later presented to Orchid Design, who then produced designs and prototypes for him. In just three months, they created something the surgeon was able to patent and eventually sell to a spine company.

2. They’re Extremely Focused and Experienced in Their Work

If you’re looking for a group of knowledgeable engineers that have a deep understanding of orthopedics and spine, you’ll find it at Orchid Design. Its talented team doesn’t dabble in areas outside of its expertise and they focus solely on the segments that their customers are most interested in. This means customers can rely on Orchid Design to be fully capable, experienced when it’s time to start working on a project.
How do its engineers become experienced so quickly? They’re constantly being challenged by working on a variety of orthopedic systems at one time. Whether it’s working on a hip system in the morning and then an ankle product in the afternoon, Orchid Design engineers stay on their toes. This assortment of projects requires its engineers to learn and become very experienced, very quickly.

3. They Have the Capability to take a Product from Start to Finish

Orchid Design has a wide array of capabilities including product development, manufacturing, quality systems and regulatory services. What does this mean if you came to them with a napkin sketch? They’ll be able to take that idea and bring it all the way through production and commercialization. Instead of taking the idea to a design company, then to a company to manufacture it, Orchid can provide the whole package with no handoffs. They can seamlessly transition from each step with few resources needed from the customer.

4. They Can Help at Certain Steps of Product Development

Customers don’t always need a company to complete an entire project for them, only certain pieces. Orchid Design can do that, too, and it’s what they call the “á la cart” part of their business. Whether it’s specific engineering, drawings or models, prototyping or testing, they can step in and fill in the gaps. They’re extremely customer centric and they’re able to provide additional resources wherever needed.

5. They Ride the Wave of Innovation

When Orchid Design first started, they did a lot of work with spine because that was a large area of focus and investment in the medical device industry. Then dental and extremities became exciting and Orchid Design started working in those areas. When they realized the need to have expertise in orthopedic hips, knees and joints, they opened a facility in Memphis, TN. See a pattern? Orchid Design keeps up with trends in the medical device industry thanks to their bird’s eye view. They’re able to work in the early stages of projects with innovators, surgeons and companies that are focusing on the next big thing, which allows them to see where the industry is going and be prepared to focus their work there.

6. They have worked with over 400 Customers and have over 36 Patents

Big and small companies, big and small projects; there’s no limit when it comes to who Orchid Design works with and what they work on. The division has a large breadth of customers, ranging from small companies and single surgeons, to some of the largest orthopedic spine companies in the world. Thanks to its large customer base, Orchid Design has filled its portfolio with over a thousand projects. Whether it be designing a drill in a day or developing a new knee system that takes three years to complete, there is no project too big or too small for Orchid Design.

7. They have a Set of Guiding Principles

Orchid Design prides itself on its strong culture. Both design facilities work closely together, employees are constantly working on different projects and when they run into problems they work with each other to solve them. Five years into the business, the Orchid Design team recognized the success of the dynamic work environment they’d created and asked “how can we memorialize the culture of our business?” Together, they came up with the following principles to refer to when recruiting for our team, working through a problem, or making a tough decision:

By Quinn Alexander, Executive Assistant, Orchid Orthopedic Solutions

Steve Maguire, General Manager, Orchid Design