A Texas Expansion Highlights REVOX Sterilization’s Production Flexibility
Medical manufacturers often find the sterilization process to be a big production and logistical challenge. Long lead times, rigid batch amounts, and log-jams at the sterilization contractor can bring production to a halt and leave the customer dissatisfied. So, a sterilization solution that lets manufacturers avoid these problems stands as a big leap forward.
That’s where REVOX® Sterilization Solutions’ unique capabilities come in.
In 2016, the REVOX team plans to install a new sterilization system in Conroe, Texas, to complement the two systems already on-line at the REVOX Minnesota facility. This new system will offer MEDIVATORS® (part of the Cantel Medical group) on-site sterilization for their line of tubing, valves, and other components used to aid endoscopic surgical procedures. The Texas system will also be significantly larger with a 3,000-liter capacity (two pallet), versus the 417-liter machines in Minnesota.
John Houge, Director of Market Development, explains the new system will significantly reduce the time MEDIVATORS® needs to allocate for sterilizing these important medical components. Currently, the company uses off-site ethylene oxide (EO) sterilization. “MEDIVATORS has to build up inventory for about three days, over-box all of the product, and store it in a warehouse until they have a full truckload quantity to be shipped a few hours away to an EO facility,” Houge notes. Once Medivators gets the bulk product back, it then has to be aerated for a few additional days within their facility. This is because EO continues to emit potentially harmful residual chemicals after sterilization that need to be reduced to a safe level before the product can be used. “All in all, the whole cycle time takes a good 10 to 12 days.”
By contrast, the REVOX sterilization process is streamlined for quick turnaround. “With REVOX you can run product into the machine, sterilize, remove the product from the machine, and ship to the customer within 24 hours,” Houge says. This more efficient process makes it much easier to meet customer demand. “Lead times can go down to two or three days. It really allows great flexibility.”
Houge explains that, in addition, the REVOX system reduces the need for manual labor to over-box and palletize shipments for external sterilization. And on-site sterilization eliminates the need for shipment-scheduling logistics, which could be affected by unforeseen vendor issues or inclement weather. For MEDIVATORS, he says: “The new system will work to vertically integrate the sterilization cycle time into their production time. They will have the ability to process everything in-house and not have to depend on an outside source.” In turn, reduced lead-time and no need for outgassing allows MEDIVATORS to devote less space to inventory, including the boxes they would use for over-boxing. Less inventory build-up will allow them to make better use of their warehouse space.
This new service expansion will be an excellent growth opportunity for MEDIVATORS, but it also illustrates how the REVOX system can provide key production benefits for any manufacturer requiring sterilization. The REVOX Sterilization Solutions team provides expert validation services, flexibility with options for both large and small product quantities, and on-site processing brings the entire process closer to the goal of just-in-time manufacturing. As a result, companies only have to manufacture as much as they need to meet demands, rather than waste time, effort, and resources on building up inefficient inventory.
Houge says, “If you can sterilize just-in-time, that’s the Holy Grail of manufacturing,” Houge says. “You only make exactly what the customer needs, and only the products the customer would want, and REVOX helps you to do that.”