Following increasing demands for complete solutions around the sterilisation process,...
The Medical Device Industry Challenge - Lean and Effective Manufacturing
Category: Lean Manufacturing in the Pharmaceutical Industry | 15/09/2006 - 11:04:17
The industry needs to become more efficient to meet the future requirements in terms of competition. On every executive's agenda today you will find:
- Increasing R&D costs - Shorter product lifecycles
- Driving cost down whilst maintaining In Compliance
- Outsourcing/Contract Manufacturing
- Increased regulatory requirements
- Need for shorter lead times & time to market
The trend is a sharp increase in focus and efficiency expectations from the Supply Chain. We can expect an adjustment towards what we already have seen taken place within other industries, such as the Automotive and Electronics industries.
Production and Information Flow optimisation
At Compliant Logistics we believe that production efficiency is reached by optimizing the flow of material, products and information throughout a manufacturing plant, dock-to-dock.
By utilising methodologies and experiences gained from implementing Lean Manufacturing projects in other industries such as the automotive industry, the Medical Device industry can take the short cut to success. However, the expertise used in the analysis and delivery need to be complemented with individuals who possess the knowledge and experience of the specific requirements enforced upon the industry, mainly due to regulatory standards and requirements.
To secure a successful project the path starts with detailed understanding of the current and future state, e.g.:
- What is the current state of the manufacturing process?
- What waste can be eliminated to make the process more lean and efficient?
- How can the production logistics process be improved?
- Where to start with this improvement work to achieve highest efficacy?
- How will this impact the current validation of the plant and what will the cost and effort become to revalidate?
A Value Stream Analyzis is the vehicle recommended to arrive with the answers to the above. The Value Stream Analysis is a structured method for mapping the material and the information flow in the complete value chain, covering indoor logistics dock to dock, but also in some instances including customers and suppliers.
The outcome of the Value Stream analysis will be a Current State Map showing the present status of your production for the chosen products to be monitored. Productivity, OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency), bottlenecks, availability, throughput time and first time yield will be measured and quantified. The wastes (non value adding activities) in the value chain are discovered and will be the base for improvement decisions.
With the areas for improvements clearly and visibly identified by the Value Stream Analysis the next step becomes to eliminate waste. If the outlined path towards higher efficiency involves automation, which almost always is the case, you do not want to automate waste! The initial activities in reducing waste are often very easily achieved, without significant costs or hassle. They are typically also targeted towards achieving stability and repeatability in the manufacturing operation, more often involving staff and procedures than machinery etc.
Once the more significant improvement activities are initiated it should be clearly communicated and understood that this is only the start of the continuous improvement journey. The big bang does not work! With the areas for improvements clearly and visibly identified by the Value Stream Analysis one or two of the most promising activities should be selected and executed. When implemented and in effect, a new current state mapping needs to be performed and this process repeated.