Case Study

Seahorse Bioscience Keeps Product Development Information In Sync With Omnify Empower

Biopharma Product Development Processes

The Company

Seahorse Bioscience provides analytical instruments, biomanufacturing systems, and consumable labware products for biological research and drug discovery. Seahorse technology is used to advance understanding of the role of cell metabolism in neurodegeneration, aging, cancer, cardiovascular, cell physiology, toxicology and hepatobiology, immunology, infectious diseases, mitochondrial diseases, model organisms, obesity, diabetes, metabolic disorders, screening, and translational medicine.

Challenge/Situation

Keeping Two Corporate Divisions In Sync With Paper-based Product Development Processes

Seahorse Bioscience was managing product development with paper-based processes. Information such as part numbers and Engineering Change Orders (ECOs) were processed using Excel spreadsheets. This eventually became inefficient, risky, and laborious. In addition, the company had two corporate divisions. With the data spillover that can result from any collaborative work between multiple corporate divisions, a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system became a necessity in order to centralize and control product information. This is an issue all Omnify Software customers face: creating centralized and controlled product information. But the fact that Seahorse had two corporate divisions (an R&D site and a Design and Manufacturing site) with two different manual business processes made the need for a PLM system much more urgent. ECO’s were not visible in real time to pertinent departments in the supply chain (Purchasing, Instrument Mfg., etc.) Purchasing could not track with any certainty what changes transpired to what items.

Goal

Centralize And Control Product Information

The company’s primary goal was to find a means to centralize and automate their Document Control tasks. They wanted to have one corporate source for part number generation, ECO generation and tracking, and a secure corporate repository for design/product data with automated revision control.  Another key requirement was the ability to control access to the system through definable user accounts and passwords for the two facilities. The company had an ERP system, but it did not provide a central, secure environment to access key product development information. The ERP system was Manufacturing-centric. Design and development still required a means to organize and archive development and design data, as well as a stable methodology to create, track, and release to production any and all Engineering Change Orders (ECO’s).

Solution/Success

Omnify Empower was deployed enterprise-wide at both Seahorse Bioscience divisions. The system is used for managing and tracking parts and ECOs. All Seahorse part number generation is facilitated only through Omnify Empower, as well as electronic sign-off and release to Manufacturing. It is also a secure, user-facing repository for public viewable documents (PDF files) of their Electrical, Mechanical, Software, and Product deliverables.

“With Omnify Empower, ECOs are now fully tracked, as opposed to misplaced or forgotten, and our vendors always receive the latest revision of a drawing from which to work,” stated Bill Beard, Manager of Engineering Services for Seahorse Bioscience.  “Another benefit is the ability to generate custom ECO reports that can be sorted by Business Unit to provide executive management with visibility into the resource requirements needed to bring a product from concept to full production.”

Following the implementation of Omnify Empower, Seahorse Bioscience has saved thousands of dollars by no longer purchasing parts from incorrect or outdated revisions.  Material scrap has been reduced by 85 percent, and by propagating Omnify PLM through the manufacturing environment, all key manufacturing personnel have direct access to Omnify for real-time data access.