Standardisation of risk assessment with Safexpert
Frank Steigerwald - Senior Director Corporate Product Compliance Management
The risk assessment as an important verification document
Security is a top priority at MULTIVAC. This is particularly evident when Frank Steigerwald talks about MULTIVAC's consistent product and market monitoring, the voluntary GS certifications for series machines or the comprehensive safety measures of the machines and plants. Nevertheless, MULTIVAC is aware that it is always possible for a machine to be the subject of a complaint - for example, if an accident occurs which is caused, for example, by manipulation by the user. In such cases, clean documentation is essential, as it is important to be able to prove that the machine was delivered in a safe condition and only became unsafe when it was subsequently modified. For such situations, Steigerwald points out the sometimes long periods of time: "Our machines are often in operation for a very long time. There can be ten or even more years between delivery and a complaint. In some cases, the colleague who was responsible at the time may no longer be with the company. This makes it all the more important that the risk assessment is traceable and comprehensible." Working with Word templates reaches its limits here. This was one of the reasons why MULTIVAC was looking for a more professional way to carry out the documentation relating to CE marking.
The switch from Word to Safexpert - More efficiency and improved verification documents
For the preparation of the risk assessments, terminological, syntactic and technical as well as hygienic risk reduction measures - MULTIVAC standards - should be specified. Two objectives are pursued by this standardisation of safety-related measures:
- The quality of the verification documents is increased.
- Savings potentials through prefabricated solutions lead to cost reductions.
"The colleagues from the specialist departments, i.e. especially from the design and control engineering departments, should have it as easy as possible. For example, not everyone should have to reconsider which risk reduction measure should be applied to which hazard or which limit values are specified in which standard. By means of standardised solutions, which can of course be adapted if necessary, we want to maintain the quality of our safety-related measures at our high level or even improve them further. At the same time, this reduces the time and effort required to carry out the risk assessment." In order to put these intentions into practice, MULTIVAC set out to find a professional solution.
Why MULTIVAC chose Safexpert
As an internationally active company with more than 85 branches it is important for MULTIVAC to cooperate across locations - also in risk assessments. Safexpert's database-based server-client technology offers significant advantages over the previous solution. Another strong argument for the introduction of Safexpert was the "NormManager" module. This makes it possible to store the standards on which a specific measure is based at the level of individual measures: "If standards change, then we can automatically and without further effort find out which projects are affected - and which are not. This is an enormous advantage for us, since over the years a huge amount of tasks for administration and updating has grown up in twelve production sites with a total of more than 30 product families and many hundreds of risk assessments. Without software support, this would hardly be manageable - and would require a lot of effort and costs for maintenance. Effort that we can significantly reduce and in some places even completely avoid by using Safexpert."
Another reason for MULTIVAC was the comprehensive reference list from Safexpert: "It was important for us to rely on a system which is continuously being further developed. Seeing that countless other well-known German-speaking and international companies also use Safexpert as a system for CE marking and risk assessment confirmed our decision. In addition, we have also made contact with companies that already use Safexpert. Their experience report regarding cost savings and process improvements was impressive." Last but not least, the acquisition of FRITSCH Bakery Technologies GmbH & Co KG, which had already been using Safexpert successfully for several years, further strengthened MULTIVAC's decision to introduce Safexpert throughout the group.
MULTIVAC is one of the leading providers worldwide of packaging solutions for food products of all types, life science and healthcare products, as well as industrial items. The MULTIVAC portfolio covers virtually all requirements of processors and producers in terms of pack design, output and resource efficiency. It comprises a wide range of packaging technologies as well as automation solutions, labellers and quality control systems. The product range is rounded off with solutions upstream of the packaging process in the areas of portioning and processing as well as bakery technology. Thanks to extensive expertise in packaging lines, all modules can be integrated into complete solutions. This means that MULTIVAC solutions guarantee a high level of operational and process reliability as well as efficiency.
The MULTIVAC Group has approximately 6,500 employees worldwide, with some 2,300 based at its headquarters in Wolfertschwenden. With over 85 subsidiaries, the Group is represented on all continents. More than 1,000 sales advisors and service technicians throughout the world use their know-how and experience to the benefit of customers, and they ensure that all installed MULTIVAC machines are utilised to their maximum.