To say that 2018 marks a monumental year for BC Group International would be a vast understatement: The St. Charles, Mo.-based company—which distinguishes itself as a leading provider of biomedical test equipment and measurement equipment for the global medical device technical services marketplace—celebrates 30 years in operation this year.
But perhaps even more impressive than BC Group’s longevity is the company’s ability to innovate and constantly adapt to changing customer demands. Just look at BC Group’s recent investments in its production capabilities, maintains Ken O’Day, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing.
BC Group recently installed a new pick-and-place line to increase its circuit board production capacity—a move, O’Day says, that allows the company “to increase the output of products to help keep up with the ever-increasing [customer] demand.” After all, he points out, “As the number and volume of products have increased over the years, we have had to do everything we can to deliver quality products to our customers in a timely manner.”
Biomeds’ One-Stop Shop
In addition to manufacturing its own BC Biomedical line—“[We have] something for every modality biomeds commonly use,” O’Day says—BC Group distributes more than 100 product lines, including TSI, Jensen Tools, Gammex RMI, and RTI.
The latter business relationship is particularly new, with BC Group and Towaco, N.J.-based RTI Electronics, Inc. linking up only last summer. Under the terms of the deal, BC Group now distributes the entire RTI Imaging product line via its BC Marketplace. The partnership is mutually beneficial, officials say, since BC Group is a leader in the manufacturing, servicing, and selling of biomedical testing equipment and RTI is a leader in the manufacturing, servicing, and selling of imaging test equipment.
“This is a perfect match and we look forward to expanding our coverage with this new partnership with BC Group,” says Fran Hackett, RTI’s CEO. “BC Group will be marketing all of the RTI products, including the Black Piranha and all its options.” After all, Hackett says, “The Black Piranha—with its industry-leading, two-year calibration cycle, and up to 10-year warranty—makes x-ray [quality assurance] easy, fast—and foremost—the most cost-effective solution.”
BC Group’s president Mel Roche also spoke out about the partnership, commenting: “We have been looking to expand our Marketplace offering to include imaging test equipment for some time now. With RTI’s great reputation and outstanding product offering, it is the perfect product line to fill out our one-stop biomed shop concept.” In addition to this exciting partnership, BC Group officials are equally effusive about the company’s new IPA-3400 Infusion Pump Analyzer series.
The IPA-3400, manufactured by BC Biomedical, offers biomedical professionals a host of advantages, including the ability to be configured with one to four channels. What’s more, the individual channels or modules can be easily removed and sent in for calibration or repair, allowing the IPA-3400 with the remaining channels to stay operational. In other words, O’Day says, biomeds will experience no downtime as they wait for the entire device to be returned.
Another major advantage with the IPA-3400: The device uses patent-pending technology to determine flow. Specifically, O’Day says, “This new, cutting-edge method uses a dual-syringe stepper motor that provides continuous monitoring of the fluid flow without the need to stop and perform intermittent drains like older technologies do.” Such an innovation, he says, provides a more realistic flow path and, consequently, more accurate readings.
Plus, O’Day says, “This new design not only allows the system to run more quietly and smoothly, but it also allows for a bidirectional-powered fluid flow for use in the built-in cleaning cycle.” And that, he maintains, is a win-win for biomedical professionals, indeed.
Although serving as a “one-stop-shop” for biomeds is BC Group’s top goal, quality is infused into everything the company does. A highly accredited organization—BC Group’s certifications include ISO 9001:2015, ISO 13485:2016, ISO/IEC 17025:2005, ANSI Z540-1, along with U.S. FDA registrations—the company also follows Good Manufacturing Practices and complies with Quality Systems Regulation 21CFR820.
Recently, BC Group took its commitment to quality even further with the appointment of Madeline Roche as quality manager. In this position, Roche is tasked with maintaining the company’s ISO and FDA standards—and she has big plans for the role. Currently, her top objectives are streamlining BC Group’s internal auditing practices and developing a more robust training program to promote organizational growth.
“Madeline has already started working with multiple departments to improve their documentation, and she hopes to continue to foster an environment of quality focus and a continual improvement mindset,” O’Day reveals. Roche’s expert advice to biomedical professionals? When purchasing test equipment, make sure that the device manufacturer is ISO-certified and FDA-registered, when applicable. After all, she says, knowing that an independent party already audited the product “takes the burden off the customer.”
Stellar Equipment Service
Roche isn’t the only strategic, new hire at BC Group, however. The company also recently welcomed Ken Racen, who will serve as head of service. When it comes to maintaining the BC Service Calibration Laboratory, Racen says: “Our challenge is to provide our customers with the highest-quality calibrations that meet or exceed their quality requirements while providing a quick turnaround time at a competitive price.”
Suffice it to say that BC Group is already executing this goal. The company, which provides in house (depot) calibration and repair services for virtually all biomedical and general-purpose test and measurement equipment, also provides onsite calibration to more than 220 U.S. hospitals and healthcare facilities, O’Day reveals.
And BC Group also provides metrology services for some of the world’s biggest healthcare providers via its in-house calibration laboratory—with the company’s service group performing complete OEM calibration and repair services on BC Biomedical and Ohmic equipment. O’Day says: “The flat-rate repair system provides customers with a fixed price that covers most failures, eliminates unnecessary delays, and provides comprehensive repair service,” including:
- Fully evaluating the unit
- Repairing and/or replacing defective or substandard elements
- Restoring the unit to OEM specifications and operating conditions
- Testing and—if necessary—replacing standard batteries
- Performing minor cosmetic repairs and cleaning
- Completing all applicable hardware/firmware upgrades
- Performing OEM testing and burn-in
BC Group also stands behind its work and offers a six-month, limited warranty on all flat-rate repairs, O’Day reveals. “And the future of BC Service will only continue to improve,” he says, “as Ken Racen is focusing on improving quality compliance through automating calibrations and upgrading BC Service’s existing metrology database with a system, which will streamline its processes, enhance customer service, and provide customers with access to their calibration information via [our] website.”
No doubt these endeavors will serve BC Group well as the company embarks upon its next 30 (plus!) years of success. For more information, visit BC Group International.