Ethypharm - Pharmaceutical 1 Ethypharm – Pharmaceutical

Ethypharm

Location

UK – Romford, France – Grand-Quevilly & Châteauneuf-en-Thymerais

Problem

Damaged parts causing lengthy downtimes (weeks to months), with significant costs

Result

Turnaround by Addition was just 72 hrs. Replacement parts were back on the machine within only 4 days.

Background

Ethypharm is a European-based speciality pharmaceutical company with global reach and a committed player in the treatment of pain, addiction, and critical care. In the UK they are recognised as a key partner to the NHS and the private hospital sector with their range of quality products.

To ensure continuous, high-quality production of a range of products, Ethypharm has adopted high-speed, automated production and every product must be packaged in highly controlled environments which are regulated by strict protocols on cleanliness, material contact and repeatability.

Such high-speed production lines require regular maintenance and set-up by highly skilled engineers, and use a vast range of change and format parts to adapt the machines to different pack sizes and formats.

These format and change parts can become worn, damaged, or broken, particularly during change-over procedures, leading to unplanned–and in some cases, lengthy–downtime. While it’s common for the lead time of format and change parts to be ten weeks or more, downtime costs can be significant, particularly when involving high value product.

Why choose Addition?

Through the use of our design and production services, supported by our quality management procedures, Addition is able to duplicate critical components, digitally repair them and prepare them for manufacture using our in-house production facilities. This can be done either by sending the parts to Addition for reverse engineering, or in the case of critical parts which cannot be removed from the machine, duplication can be carried out on-site

What was the problem?

Ethypharm were experiencing issues on a vial sealing machine’s timing system within one of the company’s sterile packing environments. The parts were exposed to very high temperatures from gas sealing torches that caused the parts to melt part-way through a critical production run of high value pharmaceuticals. Ethypharm dispatched the damaged parts on same day courier to Addition.

What did we do?

Within hours of receiving them, Additon engineers reverse engineered the parts using a combination of specialist reverse engineering tools and digital scanning of critical dimensions, and with digital design checks used to ensure exact fitment, 3D models of the parts were created.

The CAD models were then sent to our in-house industrial Prodways SLS printer that evening and printed in a fully traceable food contact nylon PA12 overnight.

Removed from the printer the next day, the parts were then smoothed using the latest Powershot technology from DyeMansion to quickly remove excess powder before finishing them to give a scratch resistant, easy to clean surface. The parts where then reassembled using thread inserts, packed, and dispatched on same-day courier delivery.

In the case of critical parts, which cannot be removed from the machine, duplication was completed on-site at Ethypharm in Romford. The parts were then produced in a suitable material using fully traceable materials and supplied with certificates of conformity, in most cases less than 7 days.

Turnaround by Addition was just 72 hrs. The star wheel and guide part were back on the machine within only 4 days.

Gallery

The original part failing left us in an awkward position, mid-way through a critical production run with no spare parts! Luckily, Addition helped us to get the line up and running again in 4 days. Waiting for an OEM part could have been weeks, if not months, before production could have started again for this product.
Rob Clare, Engineering Manager, Ethypharm UK
This is just one example of how additive technology can be utilised to benefit your workflow and reduce downtime. If this something that you can see benefitting your production line, please get in touch!

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