Roche Carolina is a division of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche that specializes in the production of highly active pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediate drug components. A special feature of the workflow organization in the campus laboratories is creating and implementing the 5S standard for manufacturing practices. The main objectives of this essay are to highlight each of the 5S principles, consider the effectiveness of this policy, and reflect on possible improvements in the company’s manufacturing process.
The lean manufacturing tools employed at Roche Carolina are effective and make employees more productive. Sorting helps select the right tools and supplies, clearing space for unnecessary items (Drickhamer et al., 2022). These things should be logically labeled and correctly placed so workers can easily find the equipment. Roche has implemented the mechanics of frequent cleaning and repairing promptly. In every department, the people in charge conduct audits to identify irregularities in certain tools or to find violations of cleanliness standards. New standardized labeling schemes have appeared in company offices, and operating lists and logs have begun to be filled out regularly (Drickhamer et al., 2022). The last principle of sustainability determines how employees can support the implementation of 5S in the work process, reducing the required audits and increasing self-monitoring of these tasks.
The 5S policy is a high-quality solution for improving flexibility and workflow management in the labs on campus. If the auditor puts himself in the place of a quality engineer, he will decide that no new changes are necessary. Roche trains employees in new methods using kaizen, bringing excellent results (Drickhamer et al., 2022). In those buildings whose employees have been trained to use 5S tools, the time between the creation of the final pharmaceutical product and its shipment has dropped from two-three weeks to six days. An important plus of implementing this policy is that the campus has no problems with the FDA. The agency leaves it to the company’s employees to maintain quality control, and because the raw materials and products produced at Roche meet the standards, the process is set up correctly.
The Roche improvements are steady, and the department has increased its efficiency in dealing with force majeure and crises, as well as the organizational skills of its employees, who handle their duties in a safe and optimized environment with quality and speed. It is especially true when demand for certain drugs increases. The company was faced with an urgent need to increase production during the flu epidemic, in which the 5S principles proved very helpful (Drickhamer et al., 2022).
At the end of this essay, it should be noted that using 5S principles in the company has brought obvious benefits to the production and research process organization. In the chemical industry, lean production tools play a special role because employees are constantly in contact with hazardous compounds and complex equipment. It increases the risk to workers and the time required to produce the final product. The implementation of 5S solves a great many operational problems.
Drickhamer D., Taylor T., & Bonner, D. (2022). Lean Labs at Roche Carolina Define Good Manufacturing Practices. CaseStudy.