Value engineering is a standard methodology for studying potential improvements by reviewing the relationship of functions and cost. Originating during World War II, the idea is that you can improve products through extensive examination of the functions and eliminate or replace parts or materials.
What is different is that it looks at the total line of manufacturing, supply chain, and quality control. “Engineers are used to designing something and turning it over to manufacturing while value engineering involves a deeper level of collaboration,” says Hans Mische, Senior Director, Business Development & Strategy, Cyient.
Mische says this may be the first time departments work together, but that collaboration is critical for building efficiency into design and improving cost. He will be presenting a webcast this week to review the challenges of implementing value engineering in the medical technology space.
The method has three main stages with eight total phases, which may involve other types of engineering processes and analysis to discover potential changes for cost reductions and improvement in value. Other solutions could include performance and functional enhancements, alternate manufacturing processes, modeling and prototyping, reverse engineering, redesign, low cost country sourcing as well as product and other engineering optimizations. Understanding these optimizations is critical to applying value engineering tools to the medical device process.
The medical industry is evolving globally. In this dynamic market, companies that fail to recognize the need to implement a value engineering or similar process for their products or organization, run the risk of not only losing their investments but also the market relevance of their products.