Medical Device Manufacturer Front End Software - FDT Consulting Engineers & Project Managers Ltd

Medical Device Manufacturer Front End Software

Project Brief

The Medical Devices Manufacturer uses the software system SAP for all of their business management activities, including maintenance management. The maintenance management module of the system was seriously under-utilised prior to the project. The maintenance technicians would fill out paper-based “Maintenance Work Request” forms for corrective and breakdown work, and the maintenance planner would then transcribe the results back into the SAP system.

The client asked FDT to develop a user-friendly “front end” system, a piece of software that would sit in front of the SAP user interface and automate the entry of maintenance data into the system.

The Solution

A series of workshops were carried out:  
·   Workshop 1: Visual    
This workshop was key to getting buy-in from the end users. We worked directly with the maintenance technicians to develop a user interface that they helped design, and which they would be happy to work with. The end result was based on a very similar format to their paper-based "Maintenance Work Requests".

·   Workshop 2: Transaction Mapping 
Based on the results of Workshop 1, we needed to map all of the agreed user interface controls to the SAP user interface controls to allow the system to automate like-for-like system transactions. As part of this, we also mapped out a new "Corrective Maintenance Business Process" map to ensure correct use of the system.

·   Workshop 3: SAP Script    
The actual automation coding workshop. We used this system to obtain the SAP related code we needed to physically automate the SAP user interface based on the results from Workshop 2. The resulting application was then developed by FDT, tested, and deployed down to all end users. There are currently around 100 users of the system on site.

Results:

We used the opportunity of developing the “front end” system to add extra functionality to the system which is not available in SAP, e.g. high speed, offline spare parts searching, automatic shift handover documentation creation and circulation, offline on-demand maintenance reporting.

The result is an intuitive, fast data entry system that the technicians can engage with, with minimal onboarding, and with which management could obtain valuable business intelligence. All SAP related data security was maintained, as SAP remains the ultimate datastore for all information.

Some example performance metrics are:

  • 24% decrease in corrective and breakdown maintenance in Pen Needle Assembly (July 2018 to January 2019).
  • 47% improvement in mean time between failures in Pen Needle Assembly (July 2018 to January 2019).

Simple business case:   

  • There are 14748 maintenance work requests logged to date in the system. 
  • Average time saving per maintenance work request: c. 5 minutes.
  • Taking an example technician hourly rate of €50/hr, this equates to a cost saving to date of: €61,450.
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