Merck stocks up on spares

Merck stocks up on spares

Multi-national pharmaceutical giant Merck Sharp Dome has been exploring how to optimize their critical equipment spares.  Engineers at Merck’s Carlow site in Ireland recently introduced the TWPL tools and training to evaluate the costs and risks of inventory strategies.  Following which they were able to perform independent studies of the spares requirements for critical equipment in their production facilities.  Local data and structured range-estimating was used to quantify the factors involved, and TWPL’s Decision Support Tools (DST) software was then used to calculate optimal stock levels and the return on investment in cases where additional spares were justified.

The studies developed the business case to adjust some inventory levels and also to change the strategy of only holding spare components to one of holding selected assemblies and, in some cases, complete equipment units. This requires a 15% increase in spares investment but was shown to generate a 14x reduction in production losses.

Michael Agars, IPT Reliability Engineer,  Merck Pharmaceuticals commented:We found the DST software very user friendly and was impressed how quickly you can work through the inputs to get results, and it also provides a more scientific approach for justifying the stocking of spare parts and taking the ambiguity out of the process.’

Thomas Povanda, Director, Global Reliability, Engineering & Maintenance, Merck Pharmaceuticals commented:The identification of strategic, insurance spare parts is something that all industries need to contend with and we are no different. The TWPL DST Spares Tool provides the vehicle for prompting the right questions to ask and helped us make informed “data driven decisions” that combine elements of risk, reliability and the business all in one easy format. DST Spares is more than a tool, it’s an asset risk management enabler.

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