…and now, for something painfully obvious: COVID-19 is impacting the globe.  As the world economy is currently experiencing a global pandemic not seen in generations, organizations of all sizes will be faced with tremendous challenges.  To say that many will experience the proverbial “fork in the road” in their development is not an overstatement.  Uncertainty can be daunting.

Innovation begins with a problem

In mid 18th Century, the world experienced a time of great transition.  Beginning in Great Britain and spreading to other European countries and the US, the Industrial Revolution ushered in the modern era.  The Revolution began because of demand generated by war, transportation deficiencies, a growing populace, and massive need of new textiles. The driving force behind the Revolution was the inventions and innovations which provided better means to increase productivity, develop new processes and enhance distribution. 

“Demand generated by a problem…leading to innovation that increases productivity, new processes, and enhanced distribution.” Sound familiar?  We appear to be at a similar precipice, as Industry 4.0, IIOT, and AI are primed to move manufacturing through the next industrial transition. 

As with the first industrial revolution, innovation is often the result of challenge.  As Innovation and Creativity author, Jeffrey Baumgartner states, “Corporate innovation – and indeed any kind of innovation – is never the result of spontaneous ideas appearing for no reason. Rather it is a process that begins with a problem or a goal and ends with the implementation of one or more ideas deemed to offer value to the organization.” www.creativejeffrey.com

COVID-19 Creates A New Challenge. And a New Opportunity

A time of uncertainty may be the best time for innovation.  Challenges require new ways of thinking.  Although implementation of new technology and new processes may seem daunting during this difficult time, it may be an ideal time for manufacturers to take a deep breath, analyze their current status, evaluate challenges and opportunities, and plan next steps in moving forward in the “post COVID19” economy. 

Innovative Manufacturing Processes Required to Move Forward

Siemens Opcenter Execution Medical Device & Diagnostics (SOE-MDD) creates a paperless manufacturing environment, enforces industry best practices and compliance, eliminates non-value-added activities, and creates a self-auditing electronic Device History Record (eDHR) and electronic batch record (eBR) – leading to a more efficient and effective production. Specifically, this solution can help manufacturers by offering the following benefits:

Reduced Cost and Risk of Compliance.  SOE-MDD creates an electronic device history record (eDHR) and electronic batch record (eBR), thereby eliminating the cost of labor for manual creation, review, research etc. of a paper-based DHR.  In addition to the lowered cost, there is also a significant reduction in product quality issues and customer complaints. 

Increased Productivity and Profit Margin.  The SOE- MDD eDHR and eBR enables operators to focus time on product production and quality rather than collecting data, reviewing documents, and completing paperwork.  In addition to a more-efficient manufacturing floor, costs are also reduced by elimination of paper, scrap reduction, and increased manufacturing velocity.

Enhanced Decision Making.  Because SOE-MDD includes actionable intelligence from dashboards, preconfigured reports, and the collection and correlation of data, companies utilizing this MES gain significant knowledge regarding the entire manufacturing process – allowing for enhanced, accurate decision making.

Increased Throughput and Yield.  Real-time visibility of the entire manufacturing process and work in process (WIP) is a significant advantage of SOE-MDD.  This visibility allows for better process enforcement and right-first-time production – leading to a reduction in scrap and rework.

Product and Process Traceability.  With SOE-MDD, a product, lot or unit can be traced across the supply chain, factory, multiple factories, or entire enterprise.  Traceability data includes forwards and backwards genealogy of materials consumed, processes and equipment utilized, exceptions, rework, signatures, and more. 

We have been thrust into uncertain times.  Manufacturers of all sizes will be forced to respond with innovation and new processes in order to stay competitive.  Exploring paperless manufacturing is an opportunity for small-to-medium manufacturers to increase their competitive advantages. Stepping into the paperless revolution creates a more secure and more accurate process, while leading the way to greater revenues.  

Siemens Opcenter Execution is by far the most widely used and well-known MES in the industry.  It allows an organization to improve its competitive position, ensure compliance, and reduce product risks – all while significantly lowering costs.  It has been our experience that companies that utilize Siemens Opcenter Execution can quickly realize significant reduction in paper cost, cycle times, manufacturing-related complaints, scrap, and product review and release time. In addition to the many benefits, the ease of implementation is often easier than expected, regardless of the size of implementation.

Worried?  Unsure of your manufacturing future?  We are here for you.  We at Seabrook Technology Group are happy to walk you through pain points and address challenges that may arise during this time of uncertainty.  Seabrook Technology Group consists of a team of global manufacturing experts and industry thought leaders.  As Connected Manufacturing experts, we bring end-to-end manufacturing solutions (people, processes, technology) together in a harmonized fashion to enable operational excellence for medical device manufacturers. 

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