SteriPro Canada LP (SteriPro), located in Mississauga, Ontario, is the first and only company of its kind in Canada to offer hospitals an outsourcing alternative for the reprocessing and sterilization of reusable surgical instruments and medical devices. SteriPro offers services that encompass the entire supply chain of surgical instrument reprocessing, including the collection of soiled instruments from hospitals, cleaning, disinfection, sterilization, and delivery back to the hospital. The company has established a new facility in Mississauga in close proximity to the hospitals it will service. An overview of the processing functions is provided in Figure 1. Currently, (as of early 2012) three hospitals in the GTA have agreed to outsource surgical instruments reprocessing services to SteriPro. While SteriPro’s facility can accommodate these hospitals, the company wanted to ensure that its processes, facilities and services to its customers were optimized.
SteriPro must decide whether there is a need for facility and/or process improvements to best meet its goals. In anticipation of the quickly approaching ‘go-live’ date, SteriPro had to ensure they have could achieve optimal reprocessing volumes. A group of three University of Waterloo Management Engineering students were asked to develop a process to select an appropriate operations concept to address this need that is consistent with the design constraints and specifications given by SteriPro and will meet relevant health and safety regulations and standards.
The teaching objective of this case is to illustrate engineering design process and process design. Therefore, the main expected learning outcome is for students to practice design synthesis along with project management concepts. The case can be used to walk through the engineering design process, and conceptualize adequate solutions based on the design requirements. The case is proposed to be used in Management Engineering Design Project 1(MSCI 401) and Mechanical Design 1 (ME 322) courses. At the end of this case study, the student (s) will be able to: