A leading manufacturer of medical monitoring devices for doctors, nurses and consumers, Nonin Medical Inc. knows better than most how to gauge a pulse rate. So, when the company decided to purchase new workstations as part of its lean manufacturing implementation, it makes sense that Nonin would figuratively take the pulse of the very people who would utilize the workstations.
Nonin Medical Inc., of Plymouth, MN, specializes in manufacturing precision devices that measure physiological variables such as oxygen levels and pulse rates. The technicians who operate the company’s assembly flowlines were given the opportunity to try three different brands of workstations. The operators were then asked to fill out a questionnaire designed to determine which workstation best satisfied all of their needs. The most popular choice, by far, was Lista International’s Arlink 8000 Modular Workstation.
Prior to this trial period, productivity in Nonin’s assembly department had been stunted by cumbersome, immobile, difficult to reconfigure, and ergonomically lacking workstations. In his effort to set up three new, more flexible assembly flowlines, Nonin industrial engineer, Bill Hartman Sr., knew that superior workstations would be a central component.
According to Hartman Sr., “Our old workstations did not allow for easy access of tools and parts, they featured non-adjustable shelving, and even the lighting was poor. Also, as we had people of different sizes and proportions operating the same rigidly configured workbenches, we knew we needed to move into a much more modular and flexible category of workstations. The Arlink 8000 bench certainly fit the bill.”
Lista’s Arlink 8000 Modular Workstation System is, designed for extremely quick assembly and reconfiguration. The workstations can be configured in a variety of heights and lengths to suit unique needs. They are available in five industry-standard widths and three different heights up to 84 inches. The 8000’s “starter and adder” system enables a wide range of layout possibilities, including back-to-back options, so they can support any process requirements and adapt to any space.
To address Nonin’s ergonomic needs, the Arlink 8000’s Definite Positioning System makes it extremely easy and fast to relocate and adjust worksurfaces, storage, shelving, lights, power beams, footrests, etc., without requiring any extra tools.
“To further meet our needs for flexibility – so important when we change shifts or applications and want to reconfigure the flowlines – we took advantage of the Arlink 8000 mobility option,” Hartman Sr. continued. “Lista’s smooth operating casters allow two people to rearrange the production floor in just minutes.”
Today Nonin’s assembly team is extremely pleased with the workstations they helped select. Adjustable height shelving and tool storage accessories keep items like soldering irons, adhesive dispensers, wipes, and other application-specific supplies within easy reach. The Arlink 8000’s lighting is a huge step up from the often dimly lit old workstations.
“Our assembly technicians are very comfortable with their recommendation, and just as comfortable with the workstations themselves,” concluded Hartman Sr. “And we at Nonin are reaping great benefits from our successful foray into lean manufacturing. In fact, we are growing at such a pace that we plan to add multiple additional flowlines in the near future, and of course, multiple new Lista Arlink 8000 workstations."