Manufacturing | 26 April 2018

Client: e-Medix Precision Medical Engineering

Assignment: Assess the current manufacturing processes and working practices to establish growth capacity

Cutting through productivity issues at medical knife manufacturer to double output

The Problem

E-Medix is part of the Core Surgical offering to a growing global market in single-use ophthalmic surgical knives. The business employs five personnel manufacturing circa 40,000 patent protected units per year. Increasing customer demand meant that they needed to double output in 2017.

Recent development of new equipment had theoretically created more available capacity.

There was also great potential to increase sales of the current products.

Phase 1 of this assignment was to:

Assess the current manufacturing processes and working practices, establish theoretical capacity and identify what improvements were needed to double existing volumes.

The Solution

Bourton Group visited the production facility and through a combination of work study methods, Process Mapping, data collection and detailed analysis  quickly identified opportunities to increase outputs and increase quality.

Measurement Systems analysis was conducted to identify issues with the consistency of the checking processes which showed evidence of ineffective inspection procedures resulting in good project being rejected. Once improvements were made to the inspection process the team went on to optimise machine settings to increase outputs and reduce the number of manufactured defects.

Work methods and cycle times were analysed to establish new working methods and a balanced flow of work; resulting in more efficient working and better defined roles and responsibilities.

The Benefits

  1. Better quality product and improvements to the inspection process resulted in a 80% reduction in scrap rates and increased output.
  2. Changes to working methods and optimisation of machine settings increased output from 3,600 to 8,000 units per month.
  3. Capacity has increased from 40,000 to 84,000 units per year without any increase resource or equipment.
  4. Benefits are estimated at £560k through increased sales, profit and more efficient working.

What e-Medix Precision Medical Engineering said about us

“For some time now I have believed that we had the capacity to produce approaching 100k products per year. However, despite significant efforts from the team, we were unable to achieve it and actually struggled to break the 50k barrier.

Four months ago Bourton Group were introduced to the facility and immediately interfaced with the team. The team had been briefed and embraced the challenge, welcoming the opportunity for professional help from a fresh pair of eyes. ”

Simon Checkley, Owner