MedSource Technologies, Inc.

Lean Implementation

> RESULTS

  • Doubled inventory turns
  • 10% reduction in operating expenses
  • 30% - 40% reduction in overall lead time
  • 25% reduction in scrap
  • Solidified direction for attaining future lean initiatives

> COMPANY

MedSource Technologies Orchard Park NY facility is an OEM contract manufacturer of precision parts, particularly titanium and other light metals, for the medical industry. Historically the companys sales growth has achieved 40% annually. Its operations are conducted in a modern, single story facility of about 40,000 square feet. The current employment level is about 140 people, including the non-union production personnel. The working conditions and environment are extremely good, with extensive interaction between the leadership team and the work force. MedSource has put considerable emphasis on the implementation of modern manufacturing practices with particular emphasis on product quality. The company was one of the first in the WNY area to become ISO-9000 registered. They have also adopted elements of a self-directed work team concept in order to improve the quality and level of response on a customer-by-customer basis.

> SITUATION

Because of the competitive nature of its business (particularly from foreign manufacturers), MedSource recognized the need for continually improving its competitive position. Reduced lead times, increased throughput, better quality and higher inventory turns were considered key factors in achieving the desired competitive advantage. Implementation of lean manufacturing concepts was seen as being consistent and supportive with this direction.

> SOLUTION

MedSource Technologies and Insyte Consulting embarked upon a major initiative to integrate the principles of lean manufacturing into an operation that still employed many of the traditions of a batch manufacturing methodology. The first step was to expose all employees to the principles of lean manufacturing through an interactive full-day workshop. The next activity was to develop current and future state value stream maps of the company major product families for the purpose of identifying the primary opportunities for operational improvement. Once these specific improvements were recognized, joint Insyte Consulting and MedSource cross-functional teams were established for the purpose of introducing major changes throughout the production areas.

Teams focused on issues including: workplace organization at work benches; balanced workflow between inspection, heat treating and cleaning operations; set-up reduction in the automatic polishing operation; and work cell development for a high volume machine component.

In particular, a team focused on improving the flow for a product line that was continually experiencing late shipments to customers. Several secondary operations were eliminated by expanding the primary machining capability and this allowed lead times to be reduced by 30-40% for this product family.

Another team addressed set-up reduction at an automatic polishing operation. Non-value-added steps were eliminated in the changeover process and machine/fixture modifications were made to standardize the set-up for each product. Training procedures were documented and all employees were trained on the new and improved methods. This resulted in changeover time being reduced from up to 60 minutes to less than 10 minutes.

Going forward MedSource expects to see continuing improvements in operational performance that will allow them to remain a global leader in the medical supply industry.


"Insyte Consulting was instrumental in training the Orchard Park workforce and facilitating the implementation of several lean projects. The next phase, with the assistance of Insyte Consulting, will be to assist in creating and driving through the organization a 'Lean Culture' so all areas and functions within MedSource speak the same language and are continually looking at ways to reduce costs and remain competitive with the market. The expertise, outside resources and ideas that Insyte Consulting engineers bring to the Kaizen teams is invaluable. It helps the teams think outside the box, breaking down the old paradigms. The influence of Insyte Consulting with the work they have done at the Orchard Park facility will be seen for many years to come. The teams have embraced the energetic and hands on style/approach Insyte Consulting provides - they in a sense have become part of the organization." - Craig Stryker, General Manager