Boston Scientific saves over $150,000 by using simulation to remove manufacturing bottlenecks

Case study

By using SIMUL8 to simulate a cardiac battery manufacturing line, Boston Scientific could test a range of process improvement scenarios to make efficiency savings of over $150,000.


Using SIMUL8 simulation software, Boston Scientific achieved:


Offset labor costs to make savings of $150,000

Transformed static spreadsheet results into visual simulation of process

Identified further key areas for process improvement

"Using SIMUL8 we could visualize the production line and actually see queues building up in our process. From this we tested various scenarios to improve efficiency resulting in savings of nearly $150,000."


James Larson, Principal Industrial Engineer, Boston Scientific

About the project


The challenge

Historically Boston Scientific used spreadsheets to model capacity of their production lines. This provided them with static results but couldn't identify potential areas for improvement.

The spreadsheets also couldn't take into account real life variability. For example, when time to process work can potentially differ each time the process is run, this meant the results were inaccurate and didn't match the real life system.

In an attempt to clearly identify areas of inefficiency in their cardiac battery manufacturing line, SIMUL8 software was used to create a simulation of the production process that allowed engineers to visualize the line being run.


The result

Using simulation added a new dimension that the spreadsheet couldn't provide. It also added a new level of accuracy to the data that showed a queue build up at the backfill process on the line that wasn't identified in the spreadsheet analysis.

This discovery was key to adding time limits and strategic WIP to counteract the work flowing into the next process that offset the cost of direct labor to manage the inventories for a saving of approximately $150,000.


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