What does it mean to make a quality and reliable product? And when we are talking about sterilization, how do we measure a process that cannot be visually verified? The partnership between Mocom and PTM Consulting have made possible to achieve all of these primary objectives

Lorena Origo

PTM Consulting has decade-long expertise as a consulting firm focused on supporting companies that invest in product and process innovation to improve quality and regulatory compliance as well as reducing time and costs. Since 2012 the company has been engaged in a partnership with Mocom, a key player company for over twenty years in the production of sterilizers, heat sealers, accessories and hand pieces for dental applications, The meeting with Annita Piermarini, CEO Mocom, and Paolo Mazzoni, owner of PTM Consulting is an opportunity to deepen the strategy developed to revitalize the brand by focusing primarily on the quality of the product.

What has driven your decision to turn Mocom to a consulting firm?

Annita Piermarini, CEO Mocom

Dr Piermarini: To answer this question it is necessary to take a small step back in time, and more precisely to the nineties when the Group Cefla (hitherto divided into three business areas: civil and industrial implants technology, exhibition outlets for modern distribution, painting systems and wood drying) entered the medical sector with a fourth area, the dental sector, through the acquisition of some historical brands: Anthos, Stern Weber and Castellini, manufacturers of dental applications, Victor; Elca, which develops microelectronics and optical digital products; NewTom (imaging) and, of course, Mocom that joined the Group in 2008. Upon completion, we also created a business area dedicated to the production of multimedia devices and digital radiology, MyRay. Once the important process of rationalization of the different companies was completed, we made the decision to re-launch the Mocom brand through the renewal of the autoclaves range. But since, as Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results” we started thinking about a partner to work with and to actively help examine what it means to make a quality and reliable product and be able to win the challenge with our competitors. At this point we started our business with PTM Consulting, which managed to give substance to our ideas from the very start.

What approach and which methods have characterized PTM’s involvement?

Paolo Mazzoni, owner of PTM Consulting

Dr Mazzoni: The process of sterilization in the medical field has an extremely important value; however at the same time it is not a procedure that I check “visually” because I do not create a product. I have to be sure that the process works properly, with repetitiveness and for the entire life of the machine. So how to achieve a project targeted to the real implementation of the concept of reliability? Our choice was to approach the problem systematically, based on the use of techniques and methods that have a strong base in engineering and mathematics, for example, Quality Risk Management, Quality by Design, Lean Manufacturing … all methods that PTM uses, with the objective to achieve a real business benefit, by measuring all implementations in terms of business and by drawing a whole manufacturing scenario. So we started to develop a mapping process, which has allowed us to identify the critical parts in terms of both product and system and, as we have already said, since sterilization is not “measurable”, we have developed a significant correlation between product and process by asking a series of questions: What do I need to measure in order to know the performance of my process? What parts are more subject to stress? What are the parts with levels of criticality? Are there any real improvement expectations? Once we focused on these elements, we were able to prepare test plan verification. The project has been widely accepted and has involved the whole Mocom team who has undergone a training period during which, thanks to our expertise in technology transfer, we proposed a common cultural basis while grafting on an ongoing project. In summary, we shared a new design method not with an individual or the company, but with the whole society from management to production.