Dainius Zilinskas is Prototype Technical Group Lead at ICS Medical Devices. After four years, he reflects on the early days of ICS Medical and what he has learned since then.
Give us some information on your career/background. What sparked your interest in a career in medical devices?
I studied mechanical engineering in university, specialising in Biomedical Engineering in my final year. I found the lectures and projects to be very interesting as there was a huge amount to learn, but it took me a couple of years to get into medical devices after I finished college.
During my final year and directly after college, I worked with heat recovery ventilation systems and shortly after moved to recycling plant design services for a couple of years, until I got an opportunity to join the ICS team. I always had an interest in medical devices. My decision to join ICS was impulsive and after 4 years, I can still say that it was a good decision as I am still learning every day, using and upgrading my skill set.
How long have you been working at ICS Medical? What was it like working in the early stages of a medical device start-up?
I have been working at ICS for over 4 years. I joined the team a couple of months after ICS opened. Working in the early stages of a medical device startup was an amazing experience as I was able to grow my knowledge and experience together with ICS. I was involved in most of the activities in ICS at the time from prototypes to running manufacturing projects etc. The learning curve in the first couple of years was steep due to the expansion of the company. It would be close to impossible to get an experience like that in bigger companies.
How does the prototyping process at ICS Medical work?
We start communication with the customer to clearly understand project deadlines and desired functionality of the product. After review we have our input into the design outlining possible obstacles and outcomes. We always have design suggestions to improve the product to have fully functional capabilities in the early-stage prototypes.
Once we agree on the design and materials, we provide a quote to the customer with the quickest possible lead times. Once we receive a purchase order, we order all materials. When materials land we start the prototyping process and work closely with the customers ensuring they are constantly aligned with the progress and give their input if required.
Once prototypes are complete, we ship them for customer evaluation. Finally, our customers run multiple tests to understand if we need to change/improve some points of the devices. If so, we work on further development until the customer and ICS are confident to move to the next phase of the project.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of the job is receiving very positive feedback from customers with successful functional trials. It‘s very rewarding to see projects moving from the concept of an idea to developing fully functional prototypes right through to the commercialisation of the product.