By Josh Paquette, Director of Program Operations, Cogmedix

Cogmedix implemented visual monitoring in manufacturing cells to help provide real time feedback to our medical device manufacturing operations.  Two visual methods we are using today are goal boards and QDIP (Quality Delivery Inventory and Productivity) visual charts.

The goal boards communicate the higher level goals for the team in any particular cell, showing delivery goals and milestones and also allowing an area for the team to note any material challenges, concerns, or recommended changes to any item surrounding a program.

QDIP charts are implemented to effectively see and manage our medical device manufacturing performance real time each day.  QDIP is a daily process management tool that enables monitoring and assessing how various processes and cells, and the areas that are upstream to those, are performing each day.  With charts posted tracking the categories of Safety (+), Quality (Q), Delivery (D), Inventory (I), and Productivity (P), all members of the team can quickly assess how any given process is operating.  We’ve implemented this approach in our processes for medical device assembly, testing and quality control.

medical device manufacturingGoals are set collectively by the Production and Project Management teams through previous builds or right out of the gate from the quotation process. The goals evolve as more information is gathered and additional knowledge about the product and processes is obtained.

At the end of each production day, our caring associates color each cell for the day with green (the daily goal was met) or red (the daily goal was not met).  If any cells are red, an explanation for that red cell is written beneath the appropriate letter. Team leaders can address potential issues real time and at the end of the month, they discuss the goals  for the following time period (i.e., if red every day the goals may be too aggressive). They also  identify improvements that can be made to the process that will continue to yield a safe environment with better quality, improved delivery, inventory optimization, and improved productivity.  In this day and age of advanced electronics systems guiding medical device manufacturing, Cogmedix effectively complements the use of our ERP software with visual manufacturing aids.