This video shows the main concepts and tools that we use in KMC Systems' lean medical device manufacturing environments to deliver medical instrumentation in a quicker, more cost-effective manner.
We begin with the internal kanban system used for the purpose of replenishing system tubing when it’s depleted after the point of use.
The assembler brings the empty bin to the rack, deposits the empty bin in the empty bins container and takes a bin with tubing to replenish their work station. Each bin is labeled to identify the part number, length of tubing and quantity required for two weeks or three weeks depending upon what our customer’s timeline is.
By utilizing this type of medical device lean manufacturing system, we save about an hour and a half of assembly time per unit.
This is the beginning of the horseshoe where we build our modules and subassemblies. When an assembler is finished building a product, they place it on the rack and look for the next instruction in production or the next product that needs to be built. We don’t overproduce or under-produce. We build what’s needed when it’s needed.
The materials that we use and the tooling that we use are point-of-use. We have 15 work stations in this production cell, and each work station is dedicated to building a very specific module or subassembly built at that location. The reason that’s important is that our lean medical device manufacturing processes are based on point-of-use for material and we’ve pre-designated what tools and equipment are needed to build that module.
As the assembler pages through the steps of the work instruction, there are very specific pictures, color codes and descriptions for which part is to be produced at that particular work station during that stage in the medical manufacturing process.
This is an example of the module kanban system in our manufacturing cells. Each bin is labeled with a part description, part number and part quantity required. The user knows what exactly needs to be produced or tested at this station.
Building to order
Our goal is to identify real-time problems and provide real-time solutions on the production floor. That is why we have eliminated the use of a failed-parts collection area.
“Building to yield” is not a lean philosophy, nor does it help the manufacturing process. It only masks issues that may be taking place on the supplier level or in the manufacturing process itself. By building to order, KMC is able to react to failures in real time and communicate and correct issues as they happen. Building to order allows KMC to meet the changing demands of customers in a dynamic marketplace while accurately and efficiently delivering complex products with optimal quality and accelerated time to market.
When the replenishment racks become empty, the system tech goes to the module test kanban, retrieves an untested module, brings it to a test system station and performs a test on the untested module. That is the point where the internal kanban system ends and the internal assembly process begins.
Through the use of kanban systems, KMC connects all process steps. This opens communication between the test techs testers and assemblers in the manufacturing process.
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