Clean Room Expansion in Saltillo: An Interview Series with José Fuentes

Part 1: The Project and Training in Switzerland

José Fuentes, our Quality Assurance Manager at Saltillo, Mexico, visited Switzerland at the end of November 2023 to prepare for a significant project establishing new production lines in Rapperswil and Saltillo. During the first part of this interview, he discusses the key quality issues addressed during the visit and the training received for the project in Mexico. The focus is on understanding and replicating quality processes between Switzerland and Mexico.

Viola Frey

Hi José, it’s good to sit down to talk with you today. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

José Fuentes

Hi Viola, sure, I’m a Chemical Engineer from Mexcio City and have worked for Weidmann Medical for four years. I started in November 2019, just before the pandemic. I’m married and I have a 6-year-old son. My wife is an Industrial Engineer and works in the automotive industry, which is the main industry here in Saltillo.

I have been working in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry for 23 years, always from the quality side but always in a very dynamic way with the production or operations departments. So, I joined Weidmann Medical as a Quality Assurance Manager and have enjoyed my time here since starting.

Viola Frey

So José, you have been to Switzerland for this new project?

José Fuentes

Yes, I was there at the beginning of November 2023. During our visit, we spent one week between both facilities, Bad Ragaz and Rapperswil.

Viola Frey

What was your primary purpose for visiting Switzerland? 

José Fuentes

We used the visit as an opportunity to learn as much as possible. Most importantly, we wanted to discuss the key quality issues that are of the highest priority. To further our insights, we met with the entire quality team, led by the Director of Global Quality, Dr. Jens Maximilian Friedrich. These conversations helped to build our knowledge of what quality processing looks like in Switzerland compared to Mexico. We also took the opportunity to receive training to help with the project of setting up new production lines at the Rapperswil and Saltillo sites.

For this training, we spent two days in Rapperswil, mainly reviewing the new production processes and touring the facilities. We also saw the new machines in operation; they were running as part of the project set-up.

In addition, we reviewed the quality aspects, including strategy issues, for this new customer project. We learned about documentation and test methods we need to implement here in Mexico for a successful technology transfer from Switzerland to Mexico.

In that sense, we plan to reproduce not only the production processes but all the quality aspects. Specifically, we have to develop every single testing method here in Mexico. We will standardize the testing methods in Switzerland and Mexico according to the work our colleagues in Switzerland have done in the past.

Read the second installment of this interview series here.