Vital Diagnostics Inc. Expands in Rhode Island

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Company Profile

Vital Diagnostics provides products and services for clinical laboratories in the traditional in-vitro diagnostics market worldwide. Their clinical chemistry and hematology analyzers and reagents are sold to physician’s offices, hospitals and small-to-medium sized laboratories throughout the world. Their products and services are proven to save their customers time and money. Every product manufactured meets or exceeds regulatory guidelines compliant with Vital Diagnostics’ ISO 13485:2016 and ISO 9001:2015 certifications. With customers in approximately 100 countries, Vital Diagnostics is recognized as a leader in the industry.

Situation

In 2008 Vital Diagnostics made the strategic decision to acquire a reagent manufacturing facility in Melbourne, Australia. The decision was also made to consolidate its US operations and close its Brea, CA operation. The Melbourne facility offered the company expanded capability and the site now serves as its global manufacturer. Vital’s bulk manufacturing remained in the US and was brought to the Lincoln, RI facility. Initially the Rhode Island facility was not designed to handle the expanded manufacturing and administrative responsibilities the move demanded. Challenged by tight timelines and budget restrictions to accomplish the transition, Vital Diagnostics turned to Polaris MEP (formerly RIMES -Rhode Island Manufacturing Extension Services) for assistance.

“(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

Solution

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.”

 

Impacts

Expansion of the Rhode Island facility from 16,000 sq. ft. to 36,000 sq. ft.

New jobs added to the Rhode Island facility

Successful worldwide launch of a new chemistry platform