Lean Manufacturing Produces Excellence across the Board

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Ruud Vullers, Director, Global Manufacturing & Supply Chain, Carestream

Ruud Vullers, Director, Global Manufacturing & Supply Chain, Carestream

Excellence has always been a key characteristic of Carestream. From our people, to our products, right down the individual steps in our processes—we ensure excellence is weaved throughout our entire organization. We call this mantra eXceed and it defines the customer centric culture that has been created. The five components of this mission are as follows:

– Commitment to behaviors that create a customer centric culture
– Interviews to collect data on our customers’ experiences
– Analysis to identify and implement customer experience improvements across our organization
– Metrics to track our progress
– Recognition for employees that demonstrate customer focus, and eXceed customer expectations

When it comes to our manufacturing processes, we tackle analysis and metrics with the utmost importance so that we are able to create the best products for our customers in the most efficient way possible. Carestream owns and operates global manufacturing facilities so that products can be produced right where they are being sold. These logistics allow for faster speed of delivery and lower overall costs.

Manufacturing is involved in the earliest phases of the product design process so that cost is affordable and quality is built into the design. We have developed measurement methods for all key focus areas in manufacturing like incoming material quality and on-time delivery. This data is shared every month with our key suppliers to drive improvements. This allows us to live a life of lean manufacturing—a principle that depends on getting rid of all non-value added activities and keep only those that the customer is willing to pay for.

Our production system allows us to manufacture exactly what we need when we need it. Kanban (a proven lean manufacturing concept) allows for automatic replenishment of components.  Each day, inventory is communicated to our suppliers to minimize what is kept on-hand and improves quality since any quality problem is contained to a small number of components.

Morning briefings are held for each product line with a cross-function team so any areas of concern can be immediately assigned and addressed. Anyone on the manufacturing floor is empowered to initiate corrective processes and improvement, and feedback from customer installations are brought forward to the morning markets.

Ongoing quality improvement is built into every step of Carestream’s production process. The “Carestream Manufacturing Focus” video below provides some additional details.


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