A Window into the World of RefleXion’s Specialized Technicians
March 17, 2021
The technology used to deliver radiation to cancer patients contains many intricate, interdependent parts. RefleXion Medical’s X1 machine is no exception. That’s why RefleXion has extensive specialized teams of technicians with diverse skills who collaborate to ensure the company’s technology works seamlessly and is ready for delivery and installation at customer sites.
RefleXion’s technical operations staff are integral to the production, testing and assembly of the X1 machine, which occurs in the company’s 50,000 square-foot facility at its campus in Hayward, California.
Thang Nguyen joined RefleXion in 2017 as an electro-mechanical assembly technician and was recently promoted to lead electromechanical assembly technician. “From the beginning, I really wanted to work in the medical field,” he said. “Working on technology to help a lot of cancer patients is important, which motivates me to consistently do my best to make the X1 machine work.”
Nguyen coordinates the scheduled daily activities and provides guidance on subassemblies, gantry integrations, and system integration to the team as RefleXion scales manufacturing. He is the “go-to” person for the routing and dressing of cabling on the X1 machine and a key contributor in the build and upgrade of systems. He also provides feedback to improve designs and processes. “I enjoy learning from the engineers, improving my skills, and working with my co-workers,” says Nguyen. “I’m challenged intellectually in my job and I like learning every day. I also really enjoy working together and collaborating on the assembly line with my colleagues.”
In 2019, Steve Singer joined RefleXion as senior director of supply chain and logistics. “I joined RefleXion because I was very impressed with the senior leadership team, the culture they’ve built and maintain as well as the product,” he says. “I have close family members who have been affected by cancer, unfortunately, and it’s important to me to do what I can to help improve the lives of cancer patients.”
Singer, who has spent most of his career in medical device manufacturing, ensures that materials arrive in accordance with RefleXion’s production schedule and that all materials match the design specifications. He plays a key role in ensuring the products are built on time and to company and customer specifications. He also works to achieve efficiencies in overall production costs.
Xixi Peng, who joined the company in 2020, is a buyer/planner in RefleXion’s Supply Chain & Logistics Department. “I joined RefleXion because I was inspired by the product and I wanted to learn more about how it’s made,” says Peng. In her role, she sources materials and services to support cross-functional departments, manufacturing and service of complex electromechanical capital equipment operations. She works closely with R&D and product development teams to procure materials, order production and non-production materials and manages relationships with suppliers. Peng also closely monitors and tracks materials received, moved, stored and shipped into and out of the Hayward campus, and works with supply chain managers and quality and engineering personnel to identify and qualify new suppliers.
Once the X1 machine is shipped, RefleXion’s installation engineers arrive at the customer location to remove the contents of more than 20 crates, then assemble and test the X1 machine. Eric Graham, a senior installation engineer who joined RefleXion in 2020, says, “I enjoy putting the machine in place and calibrating the subsystems together. It’s phenomenal what the X1 machine will do.” The installation team ensures that the technology’s complex, interconnected components fit together and function correctly.
The RefleXion X1 combines high quality computed tomography (CT) imaging, known as fan-beam CT, with a linear accelerator to reduce motion artifacts that can inhibit accurate targeting of the radiation dose to a patient’s tumor. Its groundbreaking design rotates up to 60 times faster than other linear accelerators and modulates dose delivery from 50 points per beam station. These combined improvements may reduce the side effects of radiotherapy by allowing radiation oncologists to better localize the tumor, reduce patient setup errors and precisely deliver dose to complex tumor targets while avoiding nearby normal structures.
As a whole, the technicians of RefleXion feel an extremely strong connection to the company’s vision, and they are passionately committed to helping clinicians fight cancer. The dedicated and brilliant staff that work within technical operations are the backbone of production of the RefleXion X1 machine. They are committed to ensuring the X1 machine is built according to specifications and, once on-site, will seamlessly deliver radiation treatments to patients and ultimately improve the lives of those suffering from cancer.