QR_ and Ventilator Challenge UK
Working as part of the consortium supporting the ramp of Penlon’s ventilator production in Abingdon, QR_ have implemented systems and human processes that ensure there is ‘a plan for every part’. These manage and report a component’s journey from an engineer’s screen, through prototyping, procurement, and onto the assembly line.
Key focuses were the roll-out, maintenance and validation of a Bill of Materials that tracked component design maturity, the interactions and interdependences of one part relative to others, and quantities required. Moving from design to procurement, a bespoke, lightweight Material Requirements Planning system comprising over 10,000 lines of code was created and deployed in under a week, while production training packages were devised and delivered across multiple sites.
Additional support was provided through the creation of a helpdesk, information management system and consortium-wide operating handbook. Leveraging QR_’s UK, German, Australian and US-based teams ensured 24-hour progress.
Ian Quest, director of QR_'s consulting arm and on site in Abingdon summed up, “sprinting a marathon is probably a good analogy for what the Ventilator Challenge UK consortium has achieved over the last four weeks; a more usual development and approval timeframe for a new device would be around 18 months, so delivering this first shipment in around 6% of the usual time really is a credit to all involved! It's also a great example of how a dedicated PDM function can release engineers to focus on the product, not the data.”
Expanding further on QR_'s work, Quest added, “we’ve focused on curating information that can inform and drive action, rather than merely report. The foundation of this is product data quality, which is where our BoM management and validation work has really paid dividends across the whole project cycle. Similarly, the lightweight MRP system coded from scratch in under a week focuses on what is needed to drive action, and no more. Of course, while systems and data flows can inform decisions, actions are driven by people so we’re put a lot of emphasis on getting the processes right around change management and deviation sign-offs, assembly training and reference materials for those rotating onto the project."
Associated LinkedIn posts:
16th April - QR_ support revealed
17th April - First batch of ESO-2 ventilators shipping