Onyx Medical has a deep technological approach to medical device manufacturing. Therefore, the IT team has completed several projects during 2016, with the goal to improve business processes, increase system reliability and capability as well as reduce delivery time. Onyx Medical will continue to deliver new software tools during 2017, emphasizing the importance of accurate and immediate access to mission-critical business information.
IT solutions for optimizing and monitoring production of medical devices
During 2016, the IT team at Onyx Medical, Elos Medtech’s subsidiary based in Memphis, USA, completed a number of improvement projects. The projects encompassed everything from introducing IT support for monitoring and optimizing work in progress (WIP) and measuring the cost of goods sold (COGS) to automated delivery reporting, developing special programs for supporting various customer-related projects and data collection for new productions.
Smart solutions that gather data from the manufacturing process
The Onyx Medical IT projects were developed in close collaboration with experts from the IT team, as well as our other departments. The IT team’s processes tend to follow one of two paths; to solve a problem that has evolved within an existing process, or to create an opportunity to capture and leverage the data generated by our manufacturing processes. A characteristic example is the development of the Floor Data Collection software. In order to succeed, this application had to be contextually “smart”, requesting the appropriate information at each step in the manufacturing process and confirming that the incoming data was reasonable and correct for that specific step. Although the interface of the device is quite simple, the underlying presentation, logic, and access code is very complex.
FDA mandated UDI labeling initiative
All areas of the Onyx Medical production have been impacted in some way by our past and ongoing IT projects. An example of such a project is the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) mandated UDI (Unique Device Identification) labeling initiative. UDI-compliant labels are defined, in part, by the adoption of a 14-digit Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN). Our customers provide this number, which is then entered into our ERP system by customer service staff using the GTIN support that we built into the system. Once a GTIN has been added to the system, it can be accessed by our product labeling software. We also had to train production personnel in how to use a barcode verifier, which is a precision electronic device that analyzes the quality of the barcodes on our product labels.
Minimize time to market for UDI-impacted products
By continually improving our expertise in the UDI labeling area and offering that expertise as a service, we are able to solve a critical business problem for many of our customers. Some of our customers already have deep knowledge of UDI labeling, but in order for them to minimize time to market for UDI-impacted products, they must provide a technical specification and rely on Onyx Medical to deliver UDI compliant labeling and laser etching with a minimal amount of manual processing. Based on our product labeling and marking expertise, we also provide everything from buyer assistance and understanding UDI requirements to dynamically generated labels that meet stringent FDA requirements.
Improved information about production efficiency and flow rate
The product development within our IT department has continued in early 2017, and additional business-improving IT projects were finalized during the first quarter. One of the largest initiatives during the first quarter was the introduction of a new module in a scanning app used during production. This new module has improved the quality of critical input data, leading to improved information about production efficiency and flow rate. The hardware for these handheld PCs was developed rapidly and cost-effectively with the help of 3D printers. Manual, paper-based logs have been replaced by a newly developed web-based solution for more efficient monitoring of productivity. The IT team at Onyx Medical has also developed a touch screen for an improved control system in connection with metal cutting. This project is innovative and cost-effective, featuring the introduction of small PCs with touchscreens the size of a mobile phone. These are now a feature of various techniques used at Onyx Medical for everything from automation to work-center-based KPI’s and order instruction screens.
Other software tools that we plan to present this year are for example a production scheduling application, tools for scrap tracking and analysis, as well as a foray into plant floor automation with small form factor computing devices.
Accurate and immediate access to mission-critical business information
Well-developed and optimized IT solutions are highly important in order to meet the needs of our customers in the medical device industry. All of these innovations help us make well-informed decisions, manage our business more effectively and serve our customers better by having accurate and immediate access to mission-critical business information. Accuracy is key in the medical device industry and we believe that a team effort that includes all departments at Onyx Medical is required to deliver high-quality medical devices that exceed our customers’ expectations.
I hope you enjoyed reading my article about the development of different IT solutions at Onyx Medical. Feel free to contact me with questions or visit our website for more information. Also, don’t forget to visit us on social media!