Digitising the production workflows at VIGO

With ‘Prodigi’, orthopaedic solutions company VIGO realised the digital transformation of their production environment. Making the shift from a paper process to an automated flow with tablets, the company now has a clear overview of the production process. Flexso designed multiple tools and apps to completely digitise the production workflow at VIGO.

Vigo production flows 2

About VIGO

VIGO is among Europe’s leaders in the area of technical orthopaedic solutions, such as prosthetics, orthoses, and exoskeletons. The company was working with a paper procedure for the planning and follow-up on the production floor, so they wanted to digitise the process.

The goal of the digitisation was well defined: less paperwork and callbacks, faster delivery and refunds and an increase in available time for production.

Image ©Ottobock

From paper planning...

The production at VIGO was based on a paper process: the planning was done with physical index cards. Since they deliver medical goods, punctual delivery is essential. This means that production line managers spent most of their time on coordination and planning, rather than assisting the craftsmen on the production floor.

For the craftsmen, the index card system required manual work to follow up on the production process. And some medical devices being produced have to pass through several production lines. So to check the status of such a product, the craftsmen would have to search through the index cards.

… to a digital workflow

The production process at VIGO is human-centered: it is executed by craftsmen rather than machines. This specific workflow means that standard SAP solutions like production automation and planning were unsuitable for VIGO.

The solution? Redesigning the SAP Production Planning (SAP PP) configuration and creating a custom planning logic. VIGO relied on Flexso for the development of the digital planning and three applications, focusing on each of the stakeholders:

  • A mobile app for the craftsmen providing a clear overview of the priorities. They can now see which of the orders are ready to progress, and register the dedicated time and resources in the app.
  • A planning visualisation app with an easy drag & drop interface.
  • A SAP GUI app where line managers can validate the incoming orders and the digital planning.
Vigo production process 2

Higher quality, more efficiency

With the digitisation of the paper processes, the workflow and planning are now considerably more efficient. Craftsmen have a single app where they can find all necessary and up-to-date product info, so they can focus on their core tasks. This helps them to achieve an even higher production quality, since they are relieved of the manual follow-up with the index cards.

The company has a better overview of their production site as well: the time and resources spent on each order are readily available. The use of scanners and QR codes in the materials-coordination department increases transport efficiency.

Considering this huge change that affects more than 250 employees in a tailor-made production process, we may conclude that – apart from the obvious initial hurdles – the implementation went smoothly. We approached the work process step by step, and both IT and our staff were highly involved in it. The result is a powerful application that allows us to raise our quality in terms of products and services, and satisfy our customers demands.

Dries Verbruggen - IT Manager VIGO

Further optimisation

VIGO already has plans to expand their new digital workflow with future innovations. As the production process is continuously changing and innovating, VIGO keeps searching for new optimisations.

The innovations in the pipeline include:

  • Planning optimisation: alter the planning logic to achieve an even better planning with less human intervention
  • Serial number tracking of component parts
  • Quality reminders with gamification for craftsmen
  • Top-floor reporting cockpit

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