Siemens Healthineers Diagnostics, Sudbury
Sudbury is a cutting edge facility which builds instruments and consumables for Urinalysis, Diabetes and Blood Gas analytics.
What We Do
At Sudbury Diagnostics, we are honoured to be a global leading manufacturer in the assembly of specialist instrumentation for laboratories and hospitals across the world for Urinalysis, Diabetes, and Blood Gas analytics. Being the only facility in the network to make and ship these products globally.
This flexible approach and our 80 years history give us the ability to adapt to any opportunity which comes our way, like our recent response to the 170% surge in demand for our products due to COVID-19, which the team had to respond to whilst adapting to the national lockdown and additional safety measures.
Our site’s achievements stem from our diverse and highly skilled set of employees who are responsible for the production, manufacturing, quality release and shipping of our key technologies including instrumentation, tonometering, pouch filling, blood gas consumable cartridges, reagents, and sensors, along with all support services.
Sudbury is helping lead the way in the adoption of the Healthineers Performance System which develops and implements improvement tools across Siemens Healthineers to become more efficient in our daily processes via running frequent Kaizen events and the onsite promotion of 3i. Facilitating us to create a profound innovative culture where our employees feel empowered to actively challenge the status quo via submitting new improvement productivity ideas using the 3i tool.
We place our employee’s safety and the quality of our products and services at the forefront of our business by championing our own unique motto ‘Safety First Quality Always’, which has seen us gain various accreditations and awards including the British Safety Council Sword of Honour - Health & Safety Award 2012 and Globe of Honour - Environmental Award 2013.
Our time in diagnostics...
Our journey began in 1939 as Evans Electroselenium and evolved into the acquisition by Siemens in 2007, further leading to becoming a part of Siemens Healthineers in 2019.
Since becoming Siemens Healthineers, we have achieved:
- Celebrated 80 years of Medical Device Production
- 5 millionth Wash Waste Cart
- RP500E Launch
- 19 Years of RP400/500
- 16 Years of 1200 Reagent
- 1.5 million AQC Carts
- 2 millionth M-Carts
- COVID- 19 Ventilator challenge
- Head of Point-of-Care facility named as top 100 UK manufacturing professional
- RateMyApprenticeship Award - Top 100 employees and ranked 67th
- Certified as a Great Place to Work™
'Siemens Healthineers Diagnostics fosters an environment where people can develop personally and professionally...'
A career at Siemens Healthineers Sudbury Diagnostics means you will be helping to develop truly innovative technology to produce high quality specialised instrumentation for laboratories and hospitals across the world. Individually and as a team, we recognise the vital contribution we make in creating medical equipment that transforms health care and the lives of people across the globe.
Having been with my previous employer since leaving school it was always going to be a bit daunting entering a new place of work for the first time. Add to this the fact that we were in the middle of a global pandemic, it certainly didn’t help any nerves that were there!
Walking through the doors for the first time those nerves were very quickly gone. EVERYONE at Sudbury was welcoming, friendly, helpful; whilst also clearly being focused on their mission to provide quality products to the healthcare industry that were so clearly needed at the time.
To begin with I found the level of the systems and procedures quite overwhelming, but it was something that I braced myself for coming into the medical industry for the first time.
Being a Project Engineer, you are very reliant on the team you have around you to deliver what is required; and the skill level, experience and approachability of my colleagues helps ensure I have the support and knowledge to deliver on what we say we will do.
From a personal standpoint it was refreshing to come into an organisation that clearly supported opportunities for professional development, and in the first year alone I have been on Structured Problem Solving Training and Agile Scrum Master Training.
Another aspect of a job that is important to me is the social and wellbeing side, and before starting I already knew that Siemens Healthineers Sudbury took this seriously. It’s great to have that time outside of work with colleagues and have some shared downtime from what a fast-paced environment is, especially when it involves winning the yearly Sudbury Site Rounders Competition!
Having been with Siemens just over a year I find that my passion and understanding of our products, processes and industry continue to grow each day. I know there is still so much to learn, and I look forward to what the years ahead will bring as an employee for Siemens Healthineers.
One of our largest scale COVID-19 achievements at Siemens Healthineers Sudbury was the implementation of a voluntary testing program at our 250-person manufacturing facility. This was to further reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission within the facility and as a result to surrounding communities to ensure production continuity of critical medical supplies for COVID-19 patient care.
Six professionals were trained to administer tests at socially distanced workstations, up to 400 tests were performed over a particular 3-week period around the holidays. Moving forward, we offer 55 test appointments per week.
The result of our Rapid flow testing identified one infected individual and one additional employee was required to quarantine. However, having the Rapid flow tests available onsite prevents staffing and production issues as well as avoided costs for third-party testing and wait time for lab results.
A comment from Ali Burns, Managing Director, Siemens Diagnostics Manufacturing:
“One of the program’s greatest benefits is the added peace of mind it affords employees. We all know not to come to work if we have COVID-19, but if we can identify infections in real time and proactively limit exposure to colleagues, we’re ahead of the game.”
Our Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) team had an extremely important role of making sure the site was safe, for all staff members during this pandemic, they worked to align the sites to create safe working environments whilst keeping open existing and new opportunities for the business. Along this journey the EHS team accomplished many achievements and did an amazing job of doing so. The precautions they successfully achieved were creating a single entrance and exit, this way it prevented a crossover of people, in addition they placed a sanitiser at every entrance door for staff to use upon entrance of the building. The EHS team put-up office and production screening between workstations this was to help social distance in small areas. Touchpoint cleaning was also introduced, this was put in place, so door handles were being cleaned around the building regularly to prevent spread of germs.
A further achievement was the implementation of bio-fogging, this was a disinfectant that would be sprayed in an area where an individual with COVID-19 had been present and kills all bacteria on surfaces within one minute. Moreover, the EHS team set up wellbeing calls with our site nurse Sharon, so she could have regular check-ups with employees working from home or isolating to make sure they are all okay.
On top of this, antibody testing was introduced onsite, which allowed employees to be tested to detect whether they had previously had COVID-19. Contractor protocol, COVID-19 signage, and risk reporting for cleaning requirements were implemented. Signage was placed around the site building, reminding people to wash their hands, wear a mask and social distance. We administered a track and trace QR code for our employees to scan and check in to. The EHS team supported through distribution of face coverings for our employees to wear and stay safe, these were worn when walking around the building and in areas outside of individual departments. Our pool car was fitted with a separation curtain for the driver and employee in the event of transporting an employee should they become unwell. Additionally, we hired a minibus to transport employees to and from their place of work due to shift time changes and not being able to use public transport.
A comment from Bob Cox, Head of EHS:
"We only had one COVID-19 case in the time frame between our first lockdown and Christmas, this showed that the measures we implemented and put in place were working and keeping everyone safe.”
Our Engineering team identified and implemented changes necessary since the start if COVID-19. They achieved several accomplishments including the implementation of the Agile Methodology for design transfer projects, this enabled the team to track tasks and projects and is a more systemised way. This benefited R&R (Reward and Recognition) to visually see the projects and the quality of them. In addition, the Engineering team also implemented AQC Leak and flow, which involved the first robot onsite. A Luer mount press was installed in RL1200.
The Engineering team created a MindSphere dashboard, this was for the water plant to check and maintain the water quality. The annual shutdown was successful during COVID-19, which is one of the biggest events of the year, this is where the machines are stripped down, to check everything is running correctly and nothing is wrong with the machinery. Screens were put up in the engineering department, this was to help shield employees at workstations.
Another great innovative achievement from the Engineering team, in which they invested in personally going above and beyond, was an answer to a request on social media from a local hospital. The hospital were after a simple IV bottle holder which could be 3D printed. The Siemens Healthineers team, using a 3D model, set about manufacturing the bottle holders quickly and responded to the request. The product is now being used in local hospitals and was recognised by Make UK a manufacturing standard for great achievements.
A comment from Dave McMahon, Head of Engineering:
“We have had engineers working from home as well as in additional areas around the site to meet COVID-19 measures of social distancing and so we feel safer in our areas of work, it has been challenging. I have a bi-weekly call with each engineer, and this gives our team more structure, we have worked well as a team and have most certainly risen to the challenge.”
During the COVID-19 crisis our IT team have accomplished many achievements, Sudbury have been able to utilise Microsoft HoloLens and the RA software to support production lines by always accessing the experts who are self-isolating. This has enables us to continuously direct, coach and educate team members who are on-site, ensuring the safety of all employees at the production facilities and those shielding at home. A new queue creation for Sudbury has dedicated support, the queue within our SHARP services now includes a wider scope of work requests from procurement, password and permissions, hardware, or software faults or to request some assistance with any close calls or project works. Every IT site support function in one location.
Another key achievement from our IT team was Win Server and SQL Server EOL Migration, the goal of this project was to accomplish a server refresh of end-of-life savers ensuring that the infrastructure and its security maintains reliable operations. At Sudbury, we are gradually adopting the Microsoft landscape of applications available to support and enhance virtual collaboration and facilitation across the sites departments, including our daily and strategic reviews of metrics, countermeasures, and escalations.
Siemens Healthineers pledged its assistance to the Ventilator Challenge UK consortium, by working alongside businesses from the automotive, aerospace and technology sectors to produce protective equipment urgently needed by the NHS. The Sudbury team provided medical device manufacturing advice to other companies in the coalition to ensure that the ventilators complied with the Government’s strict safety regulations and that time was not lost during the highly accelerated production process “The company is motivated to help the Ventilator Challenge, stating that every ventilator made could save a life.”
Our Materials team did a great job in securing continuity of supply, despite countries closing their borders, they were able to pull in inventory in the UK, ahead of the borders being closed. During the pandemic there was quadruple the demand on our instruments, and they were able to achieve the output and ship instruments when they were required. When we were faced with split shifts, the Materials team managed to achieve a record output, delivering a regular year’s demand in three months, which is outstanding. The warehouse, as well as being on split shifts, consistently delivered against their target of 95% and greater on delivery performance.
A comment from Gary Mason, Head of Materials:
"I am really proud of the way my team reacted and pulled together when entering lockdown on a split shift and having the highest demand place on us ever. Utilising new technologies and entering the world of virtual meetings while working remote, the team have been able to over deliver on promises, keeping the business running and smashing delivery records each month. One of the positives that has come out of the whole experience is the collaboration between the teams has never been so good and I am glad that it has continued.”
Our Operations team accomplished some staggering milestones achievements in their efforts to maintain demand. The 2 millionth measurement cartridge, the 1.5 millionth AQC cartridge, 20,000th RapidPoint series blood analyser and 750,000th DCA were all manufactured during the pandemic. There was a ramp up in RP500 production and our team worked hard to step up to the challenge of coping with the demands, which they successfully achieved. A new shift pattern was implemented to create additional capacity, already being utilised in MCarts and Wash Waste with the night shift implemented earlier than expected.
A comment from Linda Cummings, Head of Operations:
“Preparation has enabled us to meet spike demands due to the current COVID-19 situation worldwide.” Split shifts were also implemented to protect business from risk of COVID-19, this meant employees had to make a change to not only their work life but their personal life, despite this everyone has worked together as a team and overcome the challenges that we faced.
The Finance team faced a tough challenge throughout this pandemic, the whole team was working from home, this enabled the team to stay safe from COVID-19. However, despite this they still managed to overcome the challenges they faced. The Finance team handled the first peak, March until June 2020 without a Finance Director. The team also worked together efficiently and remotely and made a great 3i (internal improvement programme) saving of £100,000. They were the highest achieving department, showcasing that they were still contributing despite not being onsite. The Finance team then took on a Finance Director and a Finance Graduate, who was set to take over the finance role of an employee leaving for retirement, the transmission of this role went smoothly despite all being managed remotely. They worked through the challenges which enabled ‘Point of Care’ to prep for life after COVID-19.
A personnel achievement was that the team were able to keep each other going throughout this pandemic.
A comment from Joaquin Perez Alarcon, Finance Director:
“A key challenge for us was working remotely, but the team were able to keep people moving forward due to being isolated from working at home, and everyone looked after one another, not just through work but through personal circumstances too, they worked as a team, and they worked efficiently.”
Our Quality team accomplished many achievements throughout the pandemic. Four Quality team members were trained to administer the Rapid Flow antigen testing. An additional phlebotomist was trained to support shifts and keep QC running and a management process for phlebotomists/donors were established to ensure continuity of supply. The quality team were split across the shifts to ensure continuity of support in; IQA, to provide incoming inspection across the shifts to support the manufacturing lines.
Quality Operations, providing cover across the shift pattern to address any quality issues are identified so that there is minimal impact on production output. QC Testing, working closely with planning and production to ensure that appropriate testing resources are available to test product against the manufacturing plan requirements. Product release, syncing into the manufacturing process so that product can be released to meet the shipping plan. Supplier Quality, working with supplier who themselves are under COVID-19 restrictions to ensure that quality issues are resolved, and deliveries continue. Quality Systems continue to maintain and develop the QMS to support the site and meet the regulatory requirements.
A comment from Pete Lloyd, Head of Quality:
“In addition, a successful MDSAP surveillance audit was managed by the quality team which resulted in the continued certification of the site with no non-conformances identified. Effective communication between the shifts was essential to ensure that the appropriate resource was in place to support the continued manufacturing and shipping of product to meet our customer needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Healthineers Performance System (HPS) team dedicated their time during the pandemic to accomplish achievements with the 3i unlimited engagement during financial year (FY) FY20 and the fact that despite the lockdown, working from home and employees self-isolating we still managed to see a significant number of ideas implemented and savings generated. Sudbury’s FY20 performance consisted of 74% participation, 394 implemented ideas and a saving of £748,440.00. Using 3i unlimited, 24/26 CIP teams engaged in continuous improvement activity and 279 improvement measures Implemented (included in the above 394). Our team also held a successful Kaizen event throughout the pandemic in production “Amazing teamwork from the AQC team.” The kaizen took place to introduce 3 bags at AQC instead of 5, to rebalance the line and for a target of 90p/hr. to meet peak FY21 demands. The outcome of the kaizen as listed; Reduced WIP from 100 to 23pcs, reduced variation by 50% at final build, reduced space by 77 sqft, balanced overall line capacity from 11 to 8 to meet target, combined work content at bag clamp assembly from 2 people to 1-person, reduced material delivery route time, 3i unlimited system used to capture savings identified by the team.
A comment from Stuart Lillie, Consumables Manufacturing Manager:
“The whole AQC team got involved and joined in. They all really enjoyed it and every single person was engaged in decision making.”
Despite going through a pandemic and life not being quite as normal, we were still able to welcome 5 new apprentices to Siemens, Lucy McLaughlin in the Admin team, Keira Goodchild in the Operations team, Rose Denny in the Quality Control team, Harry Cook in the Supply Chain team, and Morgan Hopkins in the Operations team. As well hiring new apprentices, we also hired approximately 70 temporary employees between March and July 2020 to help meet our demands. Each person completed their 23 mandatory training courses, totalling approximately 1,610 additional training courses completed. Further to this, during the first three quarters of 2021, we have employed 30 temporary staff, totalling 690 further additional training completed.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Sudbury's response to COVID-19 hospital social media request
The Engineering team here at Sudbury worked extremely hard to answer a request to help from a local hospital member on social media. The hospitals were after a simple IV bottle holder which could be 3D printed. The engineering team, using the 3D model set about manufacturing the bottle holders quickly and responded to the request. The product is now being used in local hospitals and was recognised by Make UK a manufacturing standard for great achievements.
Not only did Siemens Healthineers Sudbury help hospitals with their IV bottle holder request but we also made material donations to the NHS to help towards getting new scrubs during the pandemic. Since then, our site has voted the NHS as our charity of choice for 2021.
The Sudbury team took on the challenge to climb Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. The Snowdon summit is 1,085 metres above sea level, and there were 13 climbers who in total travelled 537 miles. The team walked more than 24,785 ascending steps each, got lost, but eventually found the summit having completed the climb in 7 hours and 40 mins.
Three Peaks Challenge
The Sudbury team took on the task to complete the Three Peaks Challenge, which involved climbing the highest mountains in Scotland, England, and Wales (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, and Snowdon) in one weekend. There was a team of 21 climbers plus a RP 500 instrument. The team travelled 1,247 miles in total and climbed 31 miles of the mountain. They also walked over 80,000 ascending steps each and completed the whole challenge in 36 hours. They broke down once... but still managed to get home!
Peak District Ultra Challenge
The Sudbury team set out to complete the Peak District Ultra Challenge. We had a team of 32 walkers in which; 15 people walked 25km each which totalled to 15.5 miles, 3 people walked 37.5km which totalled to 23.3 miles, 11 people walked 50km which totalled to 31 miles and 3 people walked 100km which totalled to 62 miles. The team walked a total of 831 miles and again broke down... but still got home!
Sudbury to Boston, USA
During the pandemic one employee at Sudbury created a team challenge of trekking the equivalent distance from Sudbury to Boston USA, locally here in the UK. This involved the team peddling, walking, running, and swimming across the UK to achieve the same comparable distance all the way to Boston USA and back to Sudbury totalling 6,586 miles all together.