Michael Wolf, Head of Engineering in Process Development
Diagnostics Operations Mannheim, in short DOM, ensures the global supply of patients, laboratories and hospitals with diagnostic reagents and test stripes. To this DOM as the largest field of Global Diagnostics Operations at the locations Mannheim and Penzberg produces a large variety of products for the in-vitro-diagnostics. With this program we want to show you some people which stand behind our success with proud and motivation.
In which area of DOM do you work?
“Since February 1, 2016 I have been the Head of Engineering in DOM. This includes the plant engineers for DOM in Mannheim, the mechanics for Assay Production and support departments such as Spare Parts Management, Qualification Support, and Project Support for mechanical projects and larger remodeling projects. Before this job, I was an operating engineer and group leader of a team of operating engineering in Liquid Production.”
What is the “Engineering Excellence” project all about? Why is it important, what significance does it have for DOM, what is the main driver for the project, and which functions are involved?
“The ‘Engineering Excellence’ project started at the beginning of 2016. We held a workshop with a Leadership Team to discuss what is expected of our unit. We defined core tasks and core processes. The primary goal is to ensure the greatest possible technical system availability in combination with optimized maintenance costs while meeting all compliance requirements. The project has prompted a bit of introspection in order to position the organization well for the future. The main focus is on future tasks, such as achieving a higher level of automation of our systems. Over the long term, the focus of the work of 1st-level support will shift toward automation. For this reason, qualifications must be adapted in the direction of automation. This relates not only to the continued education of our current staff members, but also to the search for new employees.
In order to be able to optimize the systems from a technical perspective, it is important to gather information on disruptions and reasons why the systems come to a standstill. Since 2017, we have been working together with Roche IT on mobile maintenance including mobile documentation. In the future, we will use 3-D eyeglasses for this work: The 1st-level support wears the eyeglasses and can then show the issue directly to an external party via remote access.”
What are the greatest challenges? And how are they solved?
“The changes relate to the level of knowledge and the distribution of roles among the employees. For this reason, everyone must be brought up to speed and we must keep pace with the changes. The models for how we do our work must be adapted to the new working conditions. This requires open communication, the right mindset, and a commitment from the entire department. Every mechanic can make a contribution. The tasks to be done are public knowledge and anyone can volunteer to join in on the work. Even the mechanics in Labeling & Packaging, a neighboring department, are part of the program. Even though they do not belong to my department, the changes will also take effect there. The skills and working conditions that are necessary in the Maintenance department will also change significantly by the year 2020, due to digitization.”
Have there been successful situations that you like to reflect on?
“The great way we worked together in my Leadership Team was extremely positive. Many people came out of the workshop and said this was the best workshop they had ever experienced. That was highly motivating. The other stakeholders at the site and in DOM also have a positive view of it all and they support the project.”
What do you find most enjoyable about the project?
“The project moves forward very well with all of us working on our own, there is a great deal of flexibility in how we get our work done and this allows all of us staff members to define the course in many ways.”