Legacy technology can be a significant barrier to digital transformation. Carestream Health, a medical device company that spun off from a larger company in 2007, provides a road map to technology modernization success.
Based in Rochester, New York, with sites all over the world, Carestream Health provides digital X-ray products and X-ray film for the medical and non-destructive testing market worldwide. When Carestream became an independent company 13 years ago, the biggest challenge was transferring all of the inherited legacy tools. To avoid disruption, the company brought over the enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, design tools, databases and everything else as part of the divestiture.
Recently, Carestream has taken steps to modernize its application ecosystem to connect quality and manufacturing processes on a single platform globally.
One of the company’s priorities was to replace its device history record (DHR) system, which relied on an unsupported platform over 15 years old. The legacy system was essentially a homegrown system that required a lot of manual effort to build the DHR content.
Carestream had a list of important DHR requirements for its X-ray film and digital imaging lines. Particularly for its high-end digital imaging production, in which each machine the company builds is often customized to a customer’s unique requirements, the company’s DHR has to support rapid user configurability needed to support highly mass-customization.
By switching to the MasterControl Manufacturing Excellence™ solution, Carestream can easily build, execute and review electronic DHRs (eDHRs), which provide real-time production data, much faster than before. Data input errors have been virtually eliminated, improving data integrity on the shop floor and giving Carestream the ability to segregate production data between sites.
The company also wanted a solution that would make it easier for work instructions to be created, version controlled and accessed by front-line workers. The MasterControl solution lets Carestream bring in and standardize its work instructions, ensure operators and shop floor personnel always access the latest version, and tie them directly to employee training under the same platform to enforce training compliance.
Using MasterControl to standardize new templates and workflows is going to help the company immensely, according to Eli Tuber, process manager at Carestream.
“Under legacy systems, we have a lot of processes, different tools, different ways of accessing data,” Tuber said. “We're trying to standardize, and that's critical to what we're trying to do in the future – reduce the footprint, reduce the risk and increase the productivity.”
One of the things that Carestream is looking at in standardization is moving crucial manufacturing and quality functionality to the same platform, so everyone is carrying out procedures uniformly.
“That's critical to what we're doing,” Tuber said. “We can have our SOPs, we can have our corrective and preventive actions [CAPAs], we can have our complaints – all under one platform.”
With MasterControl, Carestream has a platform that brings together documentation, eDHRs, digital work instructions, SOPs, CAPAs and complaints. That made it easier to get stakeholder buy-in on the technology investment.
“We looked at this as an opportunity to bring in additional pieces of the puzzle under one roof. That made it extremely easy to sell – that we were all using one tool instead of having distributed tools that we were trying to connect, in versioning, sign offs, training and things of that nature.”
Carestream now has a digital solution that will support its global footprint with diverse needs, allowing the company to easily integrate between all its sites and systems with one platform, now and in the future.
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