Boddingtons to Shine at Compamed 2023

Leading UK injection moulder, Boddingtons will use next week’s Medica Compamed exhibition in Düsseldorf, November 13-16, to further drive its award-winning medical manufacturing services to the visiting international medical and healthcare businesses and OEMs.

To paraphrase an advert from a leading UK retailer: there’s injection moulding in manufacturing, and then there’s medical technology injection moulding.

And within that select latter category, there’s South East-based Boddingtons. For the eighth year running, the company will be exhibiting its expertise at the world’s leading medical exhibition next week – Medica Compamed, Düsseldorf.

Boddingtons operates a state-of-the-art facility in South East England for the production of injection-moulded components, medical devices and assemblies. All manufacturing is included within the scope of ISO 13485 and MDSAP accreditations.

For many clients in the medical sphere, Boddingtons also takes primary legal responsibility for all regulatory matters of medical manufacture and care, process validations, conformity to international medical standards, device registrations along with many other matters whilst working within the Medical Device Regulations (MDR).

Boddingtons is increasingly blazing a reputation and a thriving business in these areas, particularly from the time that Lord Digby Jones opened the company’s new and purpose-built £4.6m facility in November of 2016.

A modular Class 7 cleanroom was established within the new factory straight away, simply because to succeed in med-tech injection moulding, Class 7 technology assets are essential and mandatory to make approved Class 1 and Class 2 medical devices.

The Boddington’s cleanroom facility has now doubled in size since the factory opening. Boddingtons Commercial and Technical Manager Chris Philpott notes that “the medical sector requires so much from its suppliers in terms of complete control, traceability and following validated manufacturing processes that our Class 7 cleanroom was always the way to go.

“It has paid us back handsomely over the past five years. And now that we are well along the curve of our Class 7 expertise, we don’t hesitate to apply manufacturing lessons to other areas of our business, building additional cleanroom resources for certain new projects and applying cleanroom manufacturing disciplines across the whole of our manufacturing business.”

Throughout the whole COVID-19 era, the Boddingtons Class 7 cleanroom was testimony to the ‘can do’ spirit at the company and indeed, it helped win a variety of contracts during the pandemic crisis, including ventilator components, breathing apparatus and PPE equipment.

Philpott points out that “injection moulders should take note that – even after investment and capital outlay – Class 7 cleanroom benefits do not come without ongoing costs – in terms of energy, rigorous maintenance, deep cleaning and an audit process that could see inspectors arriving unannounced at any time – day or night.

“All of which requires us to properly resource and commit to our cleanroom moulding, not least in terms of our people,” says Philpott.

Accordingly, Boddingtons was shortlisted last year in the prestigious Plastics Industry Awards (PIA) awards for its Cleanroom Training achievements. “Our operations are so commercially vital there,” says Philpott, “and so visible to our best customers and to the inspectorate that it really behoves us to equip our staff with the best possible training for the maintenance of standards and quality.

The full operation of the Boddingtons Class 7 cleanroom means a failsafe and scrupulous approach to standards, now expressed in the pages of the operation and training manual at the company. No staff at Boddingtons are allowed access to the cleanroom without a minimum of two full days of training. There are no exceptions.

These high standards need to accommodate and prevail for all new Class 7 projects in all circumstances: Any item, person or material entering the cleanroom environment is subject to its stringent protocols.

For example, when new injection moulding machines were introduced to the Boddingtons Class 7 environment, the material feedstock from outside the facility needed to be expanded – but not so as to interfere with existing production and standards. A second materials link was accordingly created, ensuring a dedicated material flow to the new moulding machines while enhancing material control and full traceability.

Philpott says that it is the nature of the facility that “training will always be updated via continuous improvement. New moulding projects always help to modify and improve our skill sets going forward.”

The Class 7 environment, the lengthy medical process validations, the general demands of med-tech manufacturing and the customised manufacturing described above do not exempt Boddingtons in any way from the specifics of general manufacturing improvement and efficiency.

As today’s manufacturing world moves towards Industry 4.0-based manufacturing and Continuous Improvement (CI) techniques, so the past two years have seen Boddingtons investment in plant planning and monitoring all across the board.

The Intouch system chosen by the company for this purpose is a British-based Manufacturing Execution System (MES) solution that has its historical roots in the world of injection moulding. It provides at-a-glance ‘live’ information on the fleet of Boddingtons injection moulding machines. It is used in all daily production meetings, is Cloud-based and can therefore be used and consulted on and off-site.

Boddingtons Operations Manager Wayne Allen says that the primary objective for any such system was to get “fast and accurate data in order to monitor our 39 injection moulding machines properly.”

Allen describes multiple benefits from the system, which include instant visual management from anywhere around the world (including a Gantt-style planning board); Cloud-based storage and access; automatic download to the company’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system; MES Intelligence reporting systems for reports and analytics on moulding cells, jobs and tools.

The Intouch system is also a vital servant in helping Boddingtons produce and improve the company’s key performance indicators (KPI’s).

The contemporary sciences of organisation and method, manufacturing efficiency, 6 sigma, or continuous improvement have an established language of measurement, using terms such as On Time In Full (OTIF) and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

The Intouch system at Boddingtons has helped improve these metrics in the efficient service of the company. Wayne notes that Boddington’s OEE in particular, has been driven to its current level of 85% and is still rising.

Just as CI and Industry 4.0 are sweeping through the manufacturing world, so too are the demands for environmental and sustainable manufacturing with products to match.

Boddingtons has listened: May 2023 saw the company gain its accreditation to the ISO environmental standard – ISO 14001. Boddington’s Quality Manager, Jay Cheema, led the related work for the past 18 months. He notes that “we have always worked hard to minimise our impact on the environment, and formalising our Environmental Management System was an important business objective for us.”

The BS EN ISO 14001:2015 standard is considered a key enabler for environmental improvements such as waste reduction, energy efficiency and reducing carbon footprint. Jay says the certification “provides us with formal recognition for the excellent environmental controls and practices that we’ve operated here for many years – playing our part to protect the environment and our futures.”

Boddingtons will be showing all of these key injection moulding features and more at Medica Compamed, Düsseldorf, November 13-16.

Read more news from Boddingtons here.

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