As scientists, you depend on quality pipettes and tips for accurate and reliable experimental results, but have you ever thought about how they are made? Focus caught up with Henri Chahine, Chief Operating Officer at METTLER TOLEDO Rainin, who talked to us about manufacturing and distributing the high quality Rainin pipettes and BioClean™ tipsthat so many scientists around the world rely on.
A great deal of thought went into the design and construction of the 200,000 square foot Rainin manufacturing facility in Oakland, California, where all Rainin BioClean tips and tip racks are produced, as Henri explained: “When we moved into this very dynamic, high volume facility in 2002, it was a big step up from the previous plant, which was a fraction of the size. The building was carefully designed to meet our manufacturing specifications and need for high efficiency and flexibility. The HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and lighting systems were state of the art when the facility was built, but even so we have continued to upgrade them with
newer technology to further minimize our energy consumption. We are very proud of the award we received from our energy supplier, Pacific Gas & Electric, for our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint.”
“In 2009 we embarked on a program to broaden our approach to efficiency even further by adopting lean manufacturing principles, which triggered a change in our company’s culture. From managers to production staff, most employees went through training to ensure that everyone understood the lean manufacturing concept. We held many ‘Kaizen’ – a Japanese word for continuous improvement – events,
From individual tip racks to our popular SpaceSaver 10-rack refill system, automated manufacturing eliminates human contact with tips during throughout production.
“Our customers experience the benefit of our lean manufacturing efforts”
looking at our processes and brainstorming ideas to really streamline manufacturing workflows throughout the facility.” “One result of the Kaizen program is the heavy investment in automation that METTLER TOLEDO Rainin has made in recent years. To control the quality and reliability of both the individual parts and the end products, we mold most plastic pipette components in house. Our molding department operates 24 hours a day, so the whole workflow, from raw pellets stored in large silos to the final product
packaging, has been optimized to achieve highly efficient production. We also installed new state-of-the-art HEPA filters in our cleanroom facility to assure Class 100K compliance from tip molding through to packaging. In addition to improving quality, efficiency and productivity, these developments assure that our processes can be scaled up with our business growth. Of course, having a purpose-built facility that is highly flexible and designed for continuous process optimization helps a great deal.”
By adopting lean manufacturing principles, METTLER TOLEDO Rainin has streamlined workflows throughout the facility.
“Our customers experience the benefits of our lean manufacturing efforts through even higher quality products and improved delivery. Keeping a close eye on the likely global demand for all our products is critical to meeting our on-time shipping targets. Working in collaboration with our sales and marketing teams around the world, I prepare regular forecasts and consolidate orders for distribution to our international hubs in Europe, China, Japan and Canada. Doing so enables us to maintain appropriate quantities of product at each location and ensures that we can meet all order requests.”
As unassuming as high quality pipettes and tips may be, producing them to exacting standards and then guiding them safely and efficiently through the supply chain is a complex process that involves detailed planning and forecasting, rigorous sourcing of raw materials and stateof- the-art manufacturing. And of course, key to the success of Rainin products is METTLER TOLEDO’s global workforce and their commitment to making the highest quality products and delivering complete customer satisfaction.
The entire tip manufacturing workflow, from raw pellets stored in large silos to the final product packaging, has been optimized to achieve highly efficient production. Our molding department operates 24 hours a day.
The automated Class 100K cleanroom tip manufacturing facility eliminates human contact during manufacturing and packaging.
Throughout the production process, rigorous testing assures that each tip lot meets exceptionally high quality and purity standards.