Wexford-based medical device company Lake Region Medical (LRM) has become the first company in the Republic of Ireland, as well as the first medical device manufacturer in Europe, to be awarded the global Shingo prize for operational excellence.
The company, a subsidiary of the Minnesota-headquartered LRM, employs 750 people at its manufacturing plant in New Ross in Co Wexford and another 100 people at its international research and development centre in Galway, since it acquired Brivant Medical in 2009.
LRM itself was founded in 1947 in the US by two former Honeywell employees, with an investment of US$400. The company is an original development manufacturer of minimally invasive devices and components with clinically-focused product innovations. It opened its New Ross manufacturing plant in 1994.
The New Ross division of LRM won the Shingo Accreditation Bronze Medallion for Operational Excellence. The Shingo Prize itself is a non-profit organisation that’s based at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. It’s named after the Japanese industrial engineer Shigeo Shingo, who became a global thought leader on manufacturing practices and creating operational excellence.
A win for Ireland in med-tech space
Speaking today, John Harris, vice-president of OUS operations at LRM, said the Shingo achievement was a real win for the company as well as for Ireland as an economy, as the country continues to strive to attract global investors.
“Lake Region Medical is delighted to be the first of many med-tech companies in Ireland, who recognise the importance of best-in-class manufacturing operations in Ireland as part of our overall economic development strategy,” said Harris.
Noel Hennessy, continuous improvement director at LRM, said that the Shingo Bronze Medallion status was an acknowledgement of the hard work and commitment put in by all of its employees since the company first set out on its lean mission in 2003.
“We believe this accreditation will spur us on to achieve true world-class status,” he said.
Hennessy also acknowledged Dermot O’Neill and the Irish Centre for Business Excellence for providing best-practise visits and experts in the field of world-class manufacturing who shared their knowledge with LRM.