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The Challenge

The C-Arm is an image intensifier and an x-ray tube used in a variety of surgical procedures such as cardiology, orthopedics and urology. A high profile medical diagnostic OEM asked Mid-Continent for help in solving cost, quality and delivery problems with this tight tolerance welded assembly.

The supply chain itself was one of the largest issues. Extrusion and stretch forming suppliers were spread out across the country and suffered from inadequate quality systems. In addition, the chain was literally drowning in inventory, resulting in lead times exceeding 6 months.

The Solution

The first step was to build a prototype and first article for customer approval. To reduce inventory and lead time in the supply chain we upgraded to a single supplier with vertical integration and close proximity to our plant. Finally, we developed a dedicated cell for manufacturing using lean methodologies, including kaizen events, to improve cost, lead time and quality. We developed a unique brush finish specific to the C-Arm and achieved record turns — 7 days.

The Result

Engaging with Mid-Continent as a partner in the manufacture of this part, the customer realized a number of benefits:
  • 68% reduction in lead time
  • Double-digit cost reduction
  • Significant reduction of defects
  • Consistent, dependable delivery
  • Cosmetically superior product

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