“(Polaris MEP) was instrumental in helping Vital Diagnostics with the seemingly daunting task of redesigning our current space and designing our additional facility in a way that truly maximized utilization. All build-out options were thoroughly reviewed by our management, with (Polaris MEP's) valuable insight into processes and uninterrupted workflow."
John Hardesky, Chief Operating Officer
Polaris MEP had been recommended to Vital Diagnostics by the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC). When John Hardesky of Vital Diagnostics called in Polaris MEP Project Manager, Carl Dwinnells, John recalls, “During our first meeting Carl began talking about the importance of maintaining focus on our business and not disturbing workflow through the transition process. It became immediately evident that his skills and experience were well suited to help us meet our goals.”
With Vital Diagnostics’ needs in mind, Polaris MEP helped to locate and evaluate different expansion sites. Floor plan options were designed with incredible attention to detail. Polaris MEP considered everything from the size of the equipment and electrical recommendations, to lean workflow efficiencies, right down to the clearance space needed to turn a forklift. Operations were incorporated into the planning documents and as questions and lean processes were discussed, they were incorporated into the design. The ability to move process lines around in real time on a computer model saved the company time and money before the first machine was placed on the floor. Emphasizes Hardesky, “Polaris MEP also worked diligently with us to plot the timeline of this complex transition with remarkable accuracy.”
Vital Diagnostics’ business consolidation was completed in 2009, resulting in expansion of the Rhode Island facility from 16,000 sq. ft. to a fully utilized 36,000 sq. ft. A second warehouse was added, complete with a >1,000 sq. ft. refrigerated cooler, a recirculating deioninized water filtration system, 10,000 liter mixing tanks, a chemical compounding room, a filling room, a training center, a QC laboratory and modifications to several different departments. Throughout the development of the project, workflow efficiency was given constant consideration.
The results of the expansion have been dramatic for Vital Diagnostics. They now manufacture bulk solutions both for their IVD equipment and are the OEM for other companies. Distribution has also been consolidated allowing for increased efficiency and better inventory tracking.
“We added eight new jobs to the Rhode Island facility, and we continue to grow our business”, states Hardesky. He adds, “We are now nearing the worldwide launch of a new chemistry platform that became possible by this transition. We anticipate double digit growth from this platform alone, as well as the requirement for additional staff.”