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INTEGRA LifeSciences at Saint Aubin: a lean manufacturing process

INTEGRA Lifesciences is a Medical Device company providing surgical instruments and surgical devices. The manufacturing facility located in Saint Aubin le Monial, France, is specialized in surgical instruments dedicated to specific surgeries (laparoscopy, ENT and plastic surgery) built with the MicroFrance trade mark.

Since 2003 the Saint Aubin plant is driven by a lean process, established by the plant manager, and his management team:
– The plant activities are organized by product lines
– Decoupling points are setup to allow building sub-assemblies and reduce the fitting lead time
– A double bin system is used as kanbans to drive the flow from the sales orders to raw materials – kanban sizes being based on average monthly consumptions and lead time variances.

In 2015 MicroFrance got acquired by Integra Lifesciences and decision was made to include Saint Aubin in the Oracle R12 roll out.

Implementing Oracle ASCP in a lean environment

One of the challenges was to keep the lean planning process and manage it using Oracle ASCP (Advanced Supply Chain Planning). Would this tool be flexible enough for it?

Four planning process levels are identified during the design phase

Strategic Inventory Positioning consists in building the decoupling buffers

The manufacturing process is divided into machining to provide sub-assemblies and fitting to assemble and finish the products. Thanks to the decoupling points, purchasing and manufacturing lead times are under control and rather predictable.

The Optimum and Safety Stock Levels are re-evaluated on a regular basis

To ensure a Sales Driven plan the forecasts are not loaded as an input of the plan but used to calculate a safety stock and an optimum stock level. These are translated into a safety stock and a minimum order quantity for every item. This calculation and mass update occurs on a regular basis.

The Planning and Scheduling processes are managed on a daily basis

Oracle ASCP drives purchasing and manufacturing in sync:
– A relevant set up (of the pegging options) is used to mimic the double bin system
– The plan horizon is given by the last shipment requested date
– Priority is provided based on the source of the order: a high priority is assigned to demand derived from a sales order and a lower priority for safety stock based orders

Scheduling is managed through an MS Access tool built and maintained by a member of the local management team. This tool is designed to manage worker skills and available hours. To ensure full consistency with the plan, the Oracle ASCP worksheet function is used and provides a daily export to refresh the input data. The scheduling tool provides green and red tags to highlight component availability and priorities.
The production manager can schedule the tasks:
– Assign work order operations to employes based on the worker availability and skills
– Decide about building the ordered quantity or more to reach the optimum inventory

Conclusion

After one year using this system, the plant manager, considers that the Oracle ASCP setup fully preserves the lean planning principle:
– Customer demand and safety stock demand are clearly segregated
– Scheduling is fully consistent with the plan thanks to the daily export
– The system can anticipate the Kanban signals
The whole system is operated safely and brings an improvement compared to the former applications.