In 2013, analytical-instrument manufacturer Waters Corporation set out to develop a cost-effective mass detector that met specific size, usability, and affordability requirements. The detector required an agile development organization and a particular time-to-market window while meeting high quality standards.
The detector, called ACQUITY QDa, came from a technically complex project because Waters engineers planned to use innovative concepts, technologies, and materials. What’s more, the instrument required full traceability and cleanroom manufacturing.
The way forward
Because of a strong strategic relationship, Waters approached TT Electronics Integrated Manufacturing Services in June of 2013 and began a collaborative engagement with the same goal, to bring Waters’ latest mass-spectrometry innovation to market quickly. The brief was simple: Support Waters engineers in the development of new designs and processes for the ACQUITY QDa Detector as efficiently and promptly as possible.
From the start, TT Electronics supported the new product introduction with an unmatched level of flexibility. For instance, engineering and purchasing teams immediately began evaluating the manufacturing specifications, proposing alternative materials and components that could be localized near TT Electronics’ world-class manufacturing centre in Suzhou, China. Only a close collaborative working relationship between both TT Electronics’ and Waters’ engineering teams would deliver the required results on time.
Working alongside Waters, engineers at TT Electronics offered solutions and modifications throughout the entire development phase. This process involved a large number of engineering changes during the Research & Development phase, and the manufacture of several assemblies demanding precise attention in the areas of machine tolerance, surface science and state-of-the-art cleanliness requirements.
Because engineering teams from both companies worked in close collaboration, TT Electronics was able to deliver new designs in just four weeks. The unique combination of engineering collaboration and technical expertise meant that the ACQUITY QDa Detector could be launched on time, exceeding initial expectations and letting Waters enhance its market position in complementary analytical technologies.
Today, the Waters ACQUITY QDa Detector continues to transform laboratories worldwide by giving them an ability to generate mass spectral data within their current workflows. The unit was designed to seamlessly integrate with an existing laboratory set ups so chemists are now empowered with the analytical confidence of mass-spectral information, for more value from every analysis.
As the relationship between the two companies grows, TT Electronics will continue to provide Waters a wide range of electronics manufacturing services. From simple and complex PCBAs, cables and harnesses, to high level integrations, TT strives to provide early supplier involvement design support, value engineering, and ultimately – cost reduction.