Product Flexibility and Machine Throughput Optimization
Oliver Márquez, Pedro J.
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For almost five years, a pharmaceutical manufacturing company has been operating an automated manufacturing line with only two full-time (8-hour) shifts, four validated codes/products and left with 28% availability of run-time daily. The main goal of this project was to manage and validate more products within this automated manufacturing line that could improve the equipment’s material throughput and running time. It brought forth ideas such as product flexibility, process automation, and product family standardization, which resulted in an increase in material logistics and material and production scheduling. Based on Lean manufacturing practices and SIPOC methodology tools, the project had rigorous results. The tested idea brought a 29% increase in material throughput and 11% in the machine’s running time, ensuring a future manufacturing capacity within other manufacturing lines that could be used as an example for other internal sister sites and/or regular manufacturing entities. These results provided numerous future follow-up ideas that could help improve the idea of production optimization within the manufacturing scenarios. Key Terms ⎯material throughput, medical devices, product flexibility, SIPOC.