Manufacturing space optimization and productivity improvement using lean manufacturing on a medical device company
Maldonado Vargas, Jonathan
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Medical Devices industry has been experiencing a competitive environment and striving hard to find methods to reduce manufacturing cost, waste and improve quality. To be competitive, the industry is seeking for tools to be used in order to reduce cost and improve manufacturing capacity without compromising the quality of the products. One methodology used to reduce manufacturing cost and increase process capacity is Lean Manufacturing. This methodology is used to reduce sources of “muda” or in other words, waste. “Muda” can be associated to downtime, waiting time, unnecessary movements among others things that do not create value to the customer. The proper utilization of existing man and machine is a challenge for the manufacturing industries. The layout of the manufacturing floor plays a key role in influencing productivity, throughput time and cost of the product. This article discusses the manufacturing space optimization to a particular Business Unit of a Medical Device Company with the objective of improve productivity applying Lean Manufacturing principles. The methodology used for the improvement was Lean Manufacturing and the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve &, Control) tool was applied as the systematic approach. To optimize space the layout of the manufacturing floor was modified from Flow-line layout to Cellular Manufacturing layout. Results are compared with the current layout. The results revealed an improvement of 10% in productivity. Several Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) were improved by eliminating redundant inspections, addition of Go/No Go tools, merged of some equivalent SOPs and re-arranged SOP’s steps. Key Terms Capacity, DMAIC, Lean Manufacturing, Process Flow, Wastes (“Muda”), Cellular Manufacturing.