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TEQ Impressions

What can be learned from organ transplantation when creating new manufacturing facilities?

On Nov 30, 2016

Imagine you've just come from the doctor where you've found out you need a kidney transplant. You have a few options, wait on a national list, or attempt a transplant from a sibling or your identical twin. The choice to attempt a transplant from your identical twin is a no-brainer for success. Success rates from identical twin donors reach almost 90%, whereas rates from siblings are closer to 60%. Identical versus equivalent matches can make or break the success of a transplant. The same line of thinking applies to medical device packaging.

When creating additional manufacturing, manufacturing operations need to be identical, not equivalent, to keep the same high integrity of the packaging.

Take for instance, our customer who provides safety medical devices. When we first worked with this customer, we worked very closely with machine operators to design a new automation process that would put an end to rejections for quality, time delays and machine shutdowns caused by the difficult dimensions (very deep slots) of the 19 cavity tray–without affecting price point – earning us a Supplier of the Year award.

Fast forward five years to when this company was acquired by a global medical technology company, that meant they needed to move the manufacturing and packaging overseas. Given the “tribal knowledge” we had developed over the years, it would have been very difficult to start over with a new thermoform manufacturer. In addition, with our global presence we had manufacturing facilities in locations nearby the new product manufacturing facilities. However, the most important factor for this transition to be successful was our ability to validate that the facility had identical tooling.

What about you? Have you ever been challenged to produce identical results with different facilities?

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Todd McDonald

By Todd McDonald

A creative, customer-based problem solver, Todd has over 20 years of industry experience. Starting as a designer, he moved on to engineering project management, then transitioned into sales. It is this diverse background that gives him a “unique, multi-faceted understanding of business” that generates unexpected, smart solutions.

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