The market for medical kits for cleaning and disinfecting wounds in hospitals or in doctors' practices is characterized by fierce competition. There are hardly any technological barriers to entry.
Although approximately 30% of patients in hospitals receive at least one wound treatment, the hospital budget for medical kit procurement averages approximately 0.3% of the total hospital budget.
In order to achieve appropriate margins in this difficult environment, medical kit manufacturers have to be very cost-efficient.
Our client decided to introduce various lean approaches from the Toyota Production System in the production and product development of medical kits with our support.
Set production: The production of medical sets is a purely manual activity. As a rule, 10 to 12 employees pack the blisters with the required medical components as a set on a conveyor belt.
At the beginning of the machine, the blisters are formed from a foil and come onto a belt. On the belt, employees place the various set components into the blister according to a predefined sequence. At the end of the belt, the machine closes the blisters with a special paper lid and labels them. The blisters are then manually packed in a carton.
The customers of our client can order about 10,000 different set variations, which can be produced on 11 different machines. The equipment of the machine has grown historically.
With the help of our project experience in the field of lean assembling production lines, we were able to localize the most important factors influencing productivity after 10 working days in cooperation with the production employees.
We optimized the employee task at the pacemaker position (on the line) to improve the KPI "line balancing loses". This allowed us to increase the cycle time of the line by 5%.
We have been able to reduce the duration of micro-stops on the machine, which were due to the change of raw material (paper, films), by a verifiable 10% with the help of various 5S measures.
In cooperation with Purchasing, we have been able to replace some medical components. This simplified handling for the employees when placing the components in the blisters. This enabled us to increase the cycle time of the machines by a further 5%.
We have trained and certified employees and engineers in production in such a way that they will be able to carry out all our optimization tasks independently in the future using our procedures.