CBC Designs a Customized Solution to Tackle Siemens' Lockout/Tagout Challenges
- Ensure that certified technicians repairing medical equipment in the field have correct lockout/tagout products
- Cut time and money spent on unnecessary machinery and equipment repairs
- Implement Lean processes
- Standardize repair processes for technicians across the country
Carlton-Bates (CBC) worked with Siemens' medical, environmental, health and safety manager to cut back substantially on the number of safety locks needed for each of their 2,000 technicians. CBC took the extra step to integrate a customized labeling and packaging system. All the locks were kitted and put into a custom lockout/tagout bag bearing Siemens' name.
- Siemens' lockout/tagout products were standardized throughout the company.
- All products were labeled and kitted, saving time and money in materials and man-hours.
- Siemens' established a safety partner to develop Lean methods, money-saving ideas and creative solutions.
- CBC managed logistics and inventory, keeping delivery JIT (Just-In-Time).
"Our relationship with Siemens Medical has grown over the years due to CBC's powerful line card (i.e. Brady, Panduit, Fluke, Honeywell/Salisbury, etc.) and our ability to provide services they cannot match from other suppliers," said James Brantley, Carlton-Bates District Manager in Raleigh.
Lean Thinking in Action
Siemens is a global company specializing in energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies in the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. Their medical imaging division has over 2,000 certified technicians throughout the U.S. who service their cutting-edge equipment. Technicians are trained by the EHS Safety and Technical Training Manager, Gary Konyesni, to make sure each piece is locked out for safety. The medical machinery, such as MRI and ultrasound systems, can be found in many models and years in various facilities. With so many variations, technicians were required to have many different lockout/tagout products on hand.
Siemens' Medical, Environmental, Health and Safety Manager Joe Fass knew that dragging so many lockout/tagout products around was making the repair process slower and more cumbersome than it should be. CBC Raleigh's Field Sales Rep Julie Cratch and Inside Sales Manager Ken Weber stepped in to help him streamline the process. The Carlton-Bates team conducted meetings over seven months. The solution was a Lean approach that reduced the number of lockout components needed and created a kitting solution.
All the different kinds of locks are individually labeled, packaged, and come with instructions from Siemens. All the locks come in a special container with Siemens' name on it. The integrated kit conserves technicians' time and saves Siemens money on products and man-hours.
“CBC played an important part in delivering a kit to the CSEs in a timely manner,” said Joe Fass. “Providing a single source solution allowed me to utilize several different manufacturers’ adapters and products in a single Siemens solution.”
"There are many very good supplier line cards in our industry, but components without CBC's Assembled Solutions' services are of little value to Siemens. They employ over 2,000 technicians in the United States whose job is to service Siemens-installed medical equipment, i.e. MRI, PET/CT, ultrasound, and X-ray," Brantley stated.
"Primarily these technicians work from their home, so getting kitted material to their doorstep is a critical part of our service. Carlton-Bates Raleigh and Assembled Solutions have met their needs for the next 10+ years," he added.
Joe Fass elaborated, saying, “The most challenging part of this project was identifying the products needed to meet the needs for my energy control kit. CBC brought in two different manufacturers' reps to discuss their products. When I asked CBC to bring a different manufacturer as the first two still left gaps in my solution, they brought me the correct contact for the products I requested. I was able to deliver a final solution. As I said before, the single source through CBC and the kitting solution allowed this kit to be successful.”
A Vision for Continuing Safety
Konyesni realized that the technicians were still experiencing a hindrance because their safety glasses were too dark. He reached out to CBC for a solution. Ken Weber knew that Honeywell recently came out with new safety glasses. He requested a sample for Knoyesni. The newly-released glasses were perfect for technicians working with sophisticated medical machinery. A sample was quickly sent and within two weeks, they were approved. Another safety problem was solved.
“Overall, I am satisfied with the outcome of this project,” added Fass. “The communication throughout the process ensured success. I believe that the timely responses and progress updates were key to delivering the final solution and ensuring customer satisfaction.”