OEM : Medical Equipment
Glidewell is among the world’s largest producers of custom restorative services, and recognized as an industry-leading materials and devices manufacturer. Established in 1970 by Jim Glidewell, CDT, Glidewell continues to build on its storied history of technological innovation and continuing education, committed to making comprehensive treatment more accessible to patients around the globe.
OEE as a Tool for Continuous Improvement
OEE also delivers valuable trending data for Hunter Industries to evaluate subtle losses and gains over time while providing measurable performance targets that can be harnessed to drive progress. “It helps to have something that can compile data for short or long periods of time so engineers can stay on top of putting out fires as well as making long-term progress on process improvement projects,” Corbett says.
The micro-level OEE calculation helps evaluate how many parts are rejected against whether a machine is down because it produced too many parts or it’s running at too high a calibration. Calculating OEE at this level is particularly important to ensure the automated production workflow runs smoothly on two lines pumping out 2,000 units daily without sacrificing quality of output. “Our process is highly statistical and the parts we mill are very fragile,” says Kunal Patil, manager of automation engineering for Glidewell. “Any bit of wear on the tools can generate inconsistencies on the part and any tiny bit of calibration change alters the performance of the machines.”
Digital Transformation in Medical Device Manufacturing
The technique gained notoriety as a tool for creating “deepfake” videos on the internet, but it can also be adapted to work with 3D data to customize production of physical products, a concept that Goodfellow has dubbed “GANufacturing.” Glidewell is the first company to use GANs to make better teeth. Dentists often spend considerable time and effort creating custom dental prostheses. Not only does a new prosthesis have to fit a 3D shape that works with the patient’s other teeth, but it also must work well with the overall pattern of the person’s bite. As a result, a prosthesis typically needs to be tested on a dental model and ground to fit. Through GANufacturing, Glidewell can generate a near-perfect, realistic and functional tooth that needs little or no post-processing.