⮝ One of the six lines from a bird's eye view: From infeed via filling machine to labelling and retraying. What's special here is that labelling can occur both before and after the filling process.
One of the six lines from
a bird's eye view:
From infeed via filling machine
to labelling and retraying.
What's special here is that labelling
can occur both before and
after the filling process.
7 FOR SIEMENS HEALTHINEERS –
INTERVIEW ABOUT THE MEGAPROJECT
Mr. Johnson, what diagnostic products will be processed with these new machines?
These are products that are widely used to identify a variety of health problems. They are helping to improve the lives of many people around the world. I'm afraid I can't go into further detail at this point.
The leak test was one of hundreds of criteria we used to select our supplier for this project. For our first assessment of the leak test, we examined a process that Optima was familiar with. We came to the conclusion that this would not be suitable for our application and therefore we would have to go in another direction.
That was another factor in our selection process. The service in China was something we thoroughly examined. We found that some suppliers offer support in name only and others, like Optima, have a true service location with teams that work well together on a global basis.
Our team takes an ownership approach towards the in stalled equipment, which may differ slightly from other companies. Our long-term expectation is that our teams will be able to solve most problems quickly on their own. All the same, we have already worked with service teams in China on a regular basis and with great success, and will continue to do so in the future.
The service requirements here will also be high.
⮝ The containers are sealed with sealing foil and the sealing foil contour is accurately cut out with a laser.
⮝ The line also includes two labellers.
Our team has been implementing automated systems and factories around the world for many years and therefore is already very experienced. To build something of this scale in multiple locations requires a solution with standardized platforms that would work virtually anywhere in the world. The most difficult part is to develop the first system to technical perfection. Thanks to Siemens Healthineers' and Optima's one-team philosophy, we have achieved this goal.
As part of our ownership culture, we wanted to have common solutions so that we could better support each other worldwide. If a problem were to occur in China, our team in the USA could tackle it more directly. There are many other reasons for this approach, but I'd rather not go into them in detail.
Or are they expansions?
The feedback we received from the employees directly involved in the SAT of this line has been very positive. The China-based Optima support team was praised for its excellent work during installation, right up to the SAT process. Optima's Chinese support provided us with a safe and secure installation. That was a key aspect of our demanding timeline.
We also found the support provided by the German team in eliminating program errors at the FAT in Germany and at the SAT in China to be exceptional. In the USA, we would definitely say that this team has earned our respect. Very skilled and competent people!
On this point, I'll share what I told my senior management team: "Only those who have been involved in an automation project of this scale will understand the commitment and efforts required for its implementation."
Both Optima and Siemens Healthineers have put in tremendous hours of work to get to where we are today. And we still have a long way to go. These kinds of projects are not for the faint of heart, and the people at Optima are doing a great job collaborating with us.
No project of this scale will be perfect. Both teams know this and are therefore working together very closely to solve problems quickly. Open and honest communication is the be-all and end-all, and I think we will continue with this long after the project has been completed. For both companies, this is a key to achieving a win-win situation.
⮝ Peristaltic pumps and rotary piston pumps ensure maximum flexibility. By combining both dosing systems, it is possible to fill both small and large filling volumes as well as a wide variety of product solutions.
IMPORTANT FOR YOU
- A huge project for diagnostic products: Seven plants on two continents
- This will result in solutions that could be installed in the same manner at each location. Mutual on-site support is one reason for this.
- I n some cases, new solutions – in particular a new leak test – were developed and integrated into the process within the regular project schedule.
- The main keys to success are the Siemens Healthineers and Optima cross-team approach and strategic partnership.
- The project was preceded by a selection procedure with countless criteria.
This report has been published in the Optima Magazin o-com pharma / lifescience 12 | 2019.
With kind permission of Siemens Healthineers