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Seamless supply system for global medical company

26 Mehefin 2008

The University has entered a Knowledge Transfer Partnership to shape up the supply system of international medical technology company Becton Dickinson.

The US-based company manufactures and sells medical devices, instrument systems and reagents which help fight some of the world’s most serious diseases. The company’s UK plant makes blood collection products for markets across Europe and around the world.

IMRC logo

The University has entered a Knowledge Transfer Partnership to shape up the supply system of international medical technology company Becton Dickinson.

The US-based company manufactures and sells medical devices, instrument systems and reagents which help fight some of the world’s most serious diseases. The company’s UK plant makes blood collection products for markets across Europe and around the world.

The company has entered the partnership with one of Cardiff University’s major research centres as part of a long term strategy. The aim is to develop a highly efficient Lean Manufacturing System which will allow it to achieve Best in Class Manufacturing status. Working with Cardiff University Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre (CUIMRC), the approach will be to reduce waste in the manufacture of Vacutainer blood collection systems while maintaining the exceptionally high quality levels required in the medical industry. The company’s goal is to reduce unit-manufacturing costs, delivery times and defect levels through ensuring that production facilities are both reliable and productive.

Becton Dickinson logo

The Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre, which brings together research teams from Cardiff Business School and the Manufacturing Engineering Centre, is widely recognised as, amongst other things, a world leading authority in the design, development and application of leading-edge Lean manufacturing techniques. A key role of the Centre funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, is to transfer the results of its research to industry. In this respect, the Centre will provide the necessary skills and knowledge in Lean manufacture so that Becton Dickinson can create its own manufacturing resource during and after the project. After a recent analysis of the supply chain system, CUIMRC has identified huge potential to create a seamless supply system, significantly reducing the size of in-factory stock areas and thus allowing the company to increase its production space.

In addition to industrially focussed benefits, the partnership, which is backed by the Government’s Technology Strategy Board, is expected to yield a series of high quality academic outputs including student project opportunities, conference papers and journal articles.

The Managing Director of Becton Dickinson’s Plymouth site, Peter Burgess said: "The clear advantage to us of using the partnership as a cornerstone to our strategy is that we can bring knowledge in to the plant which does not currently exist within our whole group. This knowledge transfer is by no means restricted to the Plymouth site, our corporate policy is to capture best practices and then share them within the group."