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A Global Leader in Medical Device Manufacturing

A global leader in medical device manufacturing uses Drishti to make line transfers faster while cutting travel time and costs.

Client Overview

When they're not busy being one of America's best large employers, this global leader in structural heart disease transfers production of certain products from its main site in the US to lower cost regions to remain competitive. Line transfer projects are expensive and time-consuming, due to travel requirements for personnel and the amount of tribal knowledge that needs to be shared with the facility receiving the line.

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COVID-19 has obviously made line transfer even more complicated due to a lack of travel. But even before COVID-19, this manufacturer was seeking new ways to accelerate line transfers. If Drishti could simplify the process, they would never need to go back to the old way of doing things.

The challenge: control line transfer costs

Before COVID, teams of line associates would travel from the receiving site to the sending site to learn the ins-and-outs of production.

This personnel shuffle created big tangible and intangible costs:

  • Travel costs for the line associates, including HR overhead for visa processing
  • Labor costs at the receiving site to backfill for the line associates who are currently traveling
  • Opportunity costs for both sites as days of effort is invested in education and training
  • Reduced production volume during the period when the new line is spinning up, which mandates either extra production ahead of time or catch-up production after the fact
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Once the trained line associates returned to the receiving site, they needed to implement what they learned, train their fellow line associates, and troubleshoot the inevitable growing pains as they attempt to recreate the assembly line. Overall, this expensive process takes 3-12 months from start to finish.

The solution: Drishti traceability streamlines benchmark data and training processes

This manufacturer is deploying Drishti to document the process at the sending site, benchmark its replication at the receiving site, and facilitate new line associates training.

Here’s how the new process worked with Drishti's solution.

  • Baseline data from the sending site. The project kicked off with the deployment of Drishti cameras at every station on the line at the sending site. Working together, Drishti’s Continuous Improvement Advisers and the manufacturer’s engineers used Drishti’s annotate feature to create a Lean Report dataset that includes definitions of the process on top of numerous clips of video. This dataset, which includes line balance, cycle timing, and standardized work details, helped with both process transfer as well as provide training content for line associates at the receiving site.
  • Benchmarking the receiving site. The receiving site deployed Drishti video streams on the line they'd set up. The annotation process and new Lean Report for benchmarking purposes were repeated. And because it was so easy to measure very high volumes of cycles, it was clear where the receiving site was out-of-sync with the sending site. The act of deciding on the standard process was much quicker and smoother because Drishti’s data and video made differences very clear.
  • Training new line associates. Drishti was used by associates at the receiving site to speed learning and improve their standardized work performance. Line associates reviewed video playlists from the sending site to familiarize themselves with the new operations. They also used Drishti’s video replay capabilities to compare their actions with those of the experienced line associates at the sending site.

The results: accelerated learnings save time and cost

The new line transfers process meant the engineering teams now bring up a new line or an existing line in a different location without the risk of travel (in the middle of a pandemic) and at a much lower cost. Video flows easily between sites with the Drishti portal accessible to answer any process questions.

It helped reduce the time and cost of training new line associates; shorten the duration of the line transfer process; and minimize the interruption to production caused by site transfers.