The Manufacturer of the Year Award, sponsored by Doosan Babcock, recognises a regional manufacturer who can clearly demonstrate outstanding performance during 2018. Commercial success and evidence of growth, delivery of innovation and continuous improvements, environmental credentials, enhanced supplier relationships and supply chain development are all taken into account.
The manufacture of biologics involves complex multi-stage batch processing and provides a challenging environment for operational excellence. In 2014, the manufacturing performance at FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies’ Billingham site lagged well behind the business expectation. A series of batch failures undermined the site’s ability to meet customer requirements and posed a potential threat to the long-term future of manufacturing on the site.
The challenge of delivering reliable manufacturing performance was taken up by the site operations group, under a programme which became known as Biomanufacturing Excellence. Through a collaboration with FUJIFILM’s colour photographic paper factory in the Netherlands, change project leaders were appointed to lead efforts to improve Maintenance & Reliability; Manufacturing Readiness and Capacity Squeeze.
Lean tools were used to define and measure areas of potential improvement; engineering and manufacturing organisations developed and deployed best practice techniques and a 5C technique was implemented to capture and remove equipment failure modes.
The manufacturing team brought into play a set of visual equipment readiness checks and new product introduction colleagues applied potential problem analysis to incoming and repeat manufacturing documentation. All of these were designed to identify and remove what is known as “batch killers”.
FUJIFILM is half way through its Biomanufacturing Excellence initiative but since 2014 have increased the baseline right-first-time rate by a fantastic 19% and are currently operating at a record level of >97%. This achievement is made all the more impressive by the fact that output has increased by 130% during the same period.
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