OEMs and their manufacturing partners routinely tackle the journey from innovative design to repeatable mass produced medical devices. Both sides are usually well practiced in setting up and integrating preventative quality processes. This results in stable, good quality coming out, but does not indicate material utilization or production efficiency. How to achieve standout results?
The secret sauce is what we call Sisyphean Improvement Cycles. We all have improvement cycles, suggestion boxes, statistical analysis and more. The ‘Sisyphean’ acknowledges that these efforts are endless, repeated to the product’s EOL.
With Sisyphean Improvement Cycles the team knows that beyond the current improvement there lies another. A cross-functional team is often together with a limited mandate. Analyzing and resolving this problem, or that challenge, then disbanding. The teams working on Sisyphean Improvement Cycles work together day in, day out. Improving production quality step by step, endlessly.
The fixed core team becomes minutely acquainted with the product and process. The larger support team of experts gives depth and prevents the core team from getting fixated or too accepting. The focus is to continued improvements; in first pass yields, in material utilization, in equipment design, etc…
Thus, the secret sauce is in the organizations capability and willingness to undertake these Sisyphean tasks. Therefore, there is no secret sauce, just good old commitment and hard work.