A Takeover Tool Study – Blood Filtration Systems for Surgery
A leading medical device manufacturing firm, accustomed to only molding internally for more than thirty years, wanted to focus on its core capability and expand its assembly operations by outsourcing. They needed to find a new injection molder to take over and deliver an extensive project within 90 days for a crucial blood filtration and dialysis platform.
Pexco began with a capabilities overview at the company’s facility, then rallied their internal forces from the project management team to the tool room, securing rock-solid communication and delivery expectations. Following an informal audit of Pexco’s facility in March of 2013, the program was awarded one month later.
The aggressive timeline presented the biggest challenge. A schedule of 90 days in qualifying time for over 35 tools and in excess of 85 part numbers was demanding and not always easy for the team. Pexco answered by establishing complimentary daily deliveries and ensuring flexibility in providing what was asked for; when answers were needed quickly, Pexco reacted quickly.
Another challenge was that many of the tools had aged -- some were over twenty years old – and then there were the multiple interchangeable inserts in the tools that made up for the larger part number amounts. Roughly ten percent of the tooling required updates, because the customer had been molding internally for so long. So quality and performance issues also cropped up that were not anticipated. It was a test of the tool room’s organizational skills to keep track of everything the project entailed, and they took charge in ensuring constant communication to accommodate the speed and precision required in running the parts.
There was also an emotional aspect to the project and developing relationship; it was a difficult time due to recent loss and change of personnel on the customer’s end. Again, Pexco ably managed a very delicate situation through considerate and regular contact.
The material may have been standard, however the finished product was anything but. Using polycarbonate and polypropylene thermoplastic polymer solutions, Pexco produced the parts on time and on budget. The collaboration generated two key objectives: products that are truly critical to surgery and kidney dialysis work and blood filtration, and a remarkable working relationship between the companies that had been established through expertise, flexibility and communication.
- Setting and exceeding expectations under an aggressive tool transfer deadline
- Flexibility and expertise in re-crafting tools
- Daily deliveries of Quality Production runs
- “There is something about your workplace culture, caring, urgency. You can sell that culture plan.” – VP of Supply Chain Logistics
- “You got things done quickly. There was a good sense of urgency.” – Operations Engineer Project Manager
- (It was) really not realistic, what we asked you to do.” – Director of Filtration Manufacturing
- “We laid before you a difficult task. You continued down the path in getting it done. Now we have time to breathe.” – VP of Supply Chain Logistics
Based in Atlanta, Georgia with several manufacturing plants across the United States and Mexico, Pexco is a North American leader in the design and fabrication of specialty plastics products. It provides standard and custom products and components to manufacturers and end-users for a broad range of market applications, including the Aerospace, Medical, Filtration, Lighting, and other Industrial sectors. Pexco offers a full range of design, engineering and fabrication services. It operates six Class 7 & Class 8 medical clean rooms. Pexco meets the requirements of ISO 9001:2008, and holds ISO 14001, ISO 13485, 21 CFR 820, OHSAS 18001, GMP, AS9100C, ITAR and other registrations and/or certifications for its manufacturing operations. Pexco is your trusted plastics advisor for specialty plastic products and solutions. For more information, visit www.pexco.com or contact 404-564-8560.
In 2013, the company decided to outsource all of their in-house injection molding, and Pexco was the chosen transfer molder.
Attention to Detail
Over 35 tools and over 85 part numbers.