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Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Adopting Lean

A recent study by Invistics, an Atlanta-based manufacturing software developer, found that less than half of the 1,500 pharmaceutical manufacturers surveyed are happy with the results of their lean initiatives. That doesn't seem to be the case, however, at one of Bristol-Mysers Squibb's manufacturing facilities that applies lean methodologies.

Using Invsitics MachSix software in team-building scenarios, cycle times were reduced by 80% according to a statement released by Invistics. Work-in-progress (WIP) was reduced by 75% and inventory turns increased fivefold. Lean efforts helped double employee productivity while first-pass quality rose to 95% in the last three years despite a significant increase in product variability.

According to Invistics CEO Scott Geller, "Many companies in industries that traditionally haven't applied Lean and Six Sigma are now trying to benefit from these techniques and they are learning that it is not as straightforward as they expected it to be.

The good news is that new approaches helping to ensure sustained success are emerging, along with lean manufacturing software solutions that apply Lean principles to the reality of shared equipment and product proliferation found in complex batch processes and packaging options."

To view the paper entitled "Processing Lean: Modifying Traditional Techniques for Complex Environments," click here.

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