A start-up needs to hit the ground running
ArchForm is an orthodontic software startup that uses 3D printing technologies to develop custom aligners for every patient in half the time and half the cost of their competitors. Achieving these metrics was no simple task, especially when this startup had to train an entire workforce from scratch to build custom products that adhere to the good manufacturing practices (GMP) requirements of class II medical devices
“I knew that in order to scale our production capacity, we needed an eDHR solution that was seamless, flexible, and could integrate with our custom software. We wanted a paperless system that could help us error-proof our processes.”
In order to be competitive, they had to scale quickly. Their production needed to be reliable. They wanted an eDHR solution that was streamlined, didn’t add extra time to operator workflows, and could expand with their business needs. To minimize errors and increase productivity across their operations, ArchForm chose Tulip.
Tulip is a paperless end-to-end solution for eDHR and tracking custom parts
A manufacturing engineer at ArchForm leveraged Tulip alongside custom-written code to follow each patient’s case from the Dentist Portal where orders are placed all the way through to packaging and shipping.
Every operator was presented with digital work instructions to ensure that the product was made to fit each patient. This simplified the complex process as the aligners transformed from a batched 3D print, to a custom part, to part of a kit.
Tulip also provided reliable eDHRs that ensured data is added properly, is attributable using e-signatures, and can be reviewed by exception. This capability gave ArchForm the freedom to track information, categorize them with Tulip’s flexible data structure, and be confident in its integrity.
“Tulip’s data flexibility makes it easy for our eDHR to track parts that start as batched, become unbatched, and then need to be organized in a separate way. This allows us to track parts that are part of a 3D print batch, separated individual aligners, and ultimately sorted into kits.”
Director of Manufacturing, ArchForm
On the manufacturing floor, the developed Tulip apps automated tasks for frontline operators, such as entering serial-code data, monitoring all of their 3D printer activity in real-time, and sending aligner data to 3D printers from their software.
Packaging and shipping is easy with Tulip.
When it was time to prepare for shipment, the frontline operations engineer set up Tulip’s pick-to-light system to pack every order right the first time. With a simple tap of a button, operators could print the correct shipping label and make the shipping information available for the customer to track.
After 3 months with Tulip, ArchForm is better able to scale with their demand, doubling their maximum production capacity to 5000 parts per day.
The work instructions ramped up new team members and increased the right-the-first-time metric across the company. Automating tasks such as entering serialized data, setting up the 3D printers, and preparing shipping labels boosted operator productivity. Just automating shipping labels reduces the time spent from 3-4 minutes to 5 seconds. An operator used to be able to print a maximum of 120 shipping labels per 8-hour shift - that now takes the same operator 10 minutes.
"Through our partnership with Tulip, ArchForm was able to increase our productivity, effectively upskill our team members, and raise the quality of our product. We’ve doubled our production capacity with Tulip once already and look forward to doubling it again.”
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