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January 7 2002

 UniSA seals Dynek’s export potential

Sutures manufacturer Dynek Pty Ltd has its export market potential all stitched up with savings of around $160,000 last year after adopting recommendations by the University of South Australia to improve productivity and production efficiency.  

Dynek produces some of the finest quality sutures for use in plastic, cardiovascular and general surgery. While its products are recognised as the best in the world, Dynek’s productivity and manufacturing processes were in need of a major overhaul if it was going to stay in business and be at the leading edge of technology. 

Dr Sev Nagalingam and his team of researchers from UniSA’s Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Research (CAMR) conducted an overall equipment effectiveness diagnostic study and developed an implementation road map for Dynek to systematically achieve productivity improvements of 10 per cent in the short term and manufacturing excellence in the long term. 

After adopting the recommendations, Dynek’s short-term productivity improved by 11 per cent. This represented an increase of about 10,000 dozen products since change over. Additional outcomes are greater control over production, improved scheduling of operations, staff utilisation and customer satisfaction.  

The Company President of Dynek, Mr Barry Crook, couldn’t speak more highly of CAMR’s research capabilities. “Everything that we wanted to do has been possible and we were surprised by the savings that could be achieved in internal efficiencies in manufacturing. In fact we have become so efficient that we now have the capacity to manufacture far more than we can sell in our current markets,” he said. 

Dynek’s capacity to accommodate both the domestic and export markets had reached an unsatisfactory situation where the company incurred a loss by processing an export order ahead of a profitable domestic order, according to Mr Crook.

“Although our domestic market was healthy and mature, the potential for real growth was limited. In contrast our export market had the potential for considerable growth. To be internationally competitive we needed to improve productivity and increase our output to accommodate larger orders from overseas without compromising our domestic orders,” Mr Crook said. 

Work methods, capacity planning, shop floor control, layout, material handling system design, organisation and work space design all came under the scrutiny of CAMR researchers. 

“The short-term opportunities from the study related to improving layout, managing work in progress, work procedure design and optimisation,” Dr Nagalingam said. 

The recommendations included changing the layout of machinery on tables and the space for work in progress to accommodate the entire production run on one workbench. Short-term time savings from layout improvements in the needle and thread preparation areas amounted to 10 per cent and by eliminating the duplication of paperwork, a 30 per cent time reduction was realised. This was achieved by entering stock counts directly onto a computer and interfacing so that production planning and material preparation areas could view stock levels. 

Dynek’s order packing time decreased by about 40 per cent while overall dispatch room savings amounted to a reduction in time of about 11 per cent. Staff levels were reduced from five to two for domestic orders, with three people for export orders, enabling surplus staff to be transferred to other sections. 

“By moving the shrink-wrapping machine so that stock arriving from the sterilising facility could be shrink-wrapped immediately and put on shelves ready for dispatch, we saved 11 hours on an ordinary production run,” Mr Crook said. 

As part of the ongoing initiatives recommended by CAMR, the research team has been working on integrating the materials preparation and clean rooms, and developing an intelligent electronic vision system that will eliminate the need for manual counting and sorting, resulting in a further $60,000 in annual savings. The system, costing about $30,000, will be able to sort eight different products with eight different colour codes, put them into separate bins, count and label them. It will significantly reduce labour costs and remove a bottleneck in production, according to Mr Crook. 

“In the long term, we recommend that Dynek continues to improve work methods and establishes an integrated production planning and control system in the lead-up to manufacturing excellence,” Dr Nagalingam said.  

“CAMR’s goal is to help Australian industry become internationally competitive by developing advanced manufacturing technology, management techniques and strategies for revitalising Australia’s manufacturing industry. The centre, led by Professor Grier Lin, has a pool of researchers with expert knowledge readily available to help industries improve their productivity and increase profits.”

Media contact: Geraldine Hinter (08) 8302 0963 or 0417 861832









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