Using Lean Six Sigma Tools for Packaging Machine Rebuild and Automation Process Improvement
Gandiaga Cabrera, Juan Carlos
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This document describes the process of improving an existing packaging machine using lean six sigma tools and automation technology for the medical device industry. The ideal manufacturing site that has volume increase and high demand, will have no problem in spending capital for new machine or lines. In the case of a manufacturing site that has managed to maintain market share and has a steady volume rate for years, the machinery and process lines will eventually reach obsolete technology and a decrease in output. This is the case of a packaging machine which was built in the 1960’s and is currently packaging forty (40) million surgical blades per year. Using Lean six sigma tools and automation process improvement it will be possible to understand better the causes of machine issues and create plans to improve them. Analysis from process data shows the major causes of quality issues are empty packages and major downtime comes from lot changes. This type of analysis can be used to include in the machine rebuild scope and process improvement technology as-well. Key Terms - Empty Packages, Lot Changes, Medical Device, Surgical Blades.