When an IRDG member company has an issue or query about which other members may have experience, ideas and/or expertise, we circulate that to the wider network on an anonymous basis – via Members Question Time. We collate the feedback and make the final report available to those interested.
Below you will see a sample of the questions posed by members. Any member is welcome to request a copy of the report compiled arising from any of the questions below. Equally contributions are welcome from anyone who may be able to assist with a particular MQT. Contact Mary Byrne, Membership Development & Communications Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org – with any queries.
Members Question Time – 2019
A small medical device company in the SE plan to launch their latest medical product range in the US market next year. Can any member recommend a good marketing consultant or company with experience of marketing healthcare products particularly in the US that could work with us to develop our marketing and promotion strategy, launch plan, digital marketing and content, messaging etc?
Our business is looking to implement a wellness strategy as we innovate around our Employee Experience. We will be doing this from blank page. Could we ask if anyone has done it, how they went about it and if they would be willing to have a conversation, share experiences / templates etc.?
Any help or advice would be very gratefully received.
“We are preparing a strategy to introduce Data Science into our R&D, to maximise the output of our research and make gains from a significant amount of historical technical data. Do any other IRDG members have experience they would be willing to share of how they have integrated Data Science into their organisation? Anything that worked particularly well or pitfalls to watch out for as we start this journey?”
We are working on a packaging design to maintain the temperature inside the shipping container between 2 Deg. C and 8 Deg. C for 72 hrs. The packaging design will be for parcel shipments distributed throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The Testing standard for Thermal Transport Packaging that appears most common is ISTA 7E. When we did some investigation into the ISTA 7E standard we found this was based on a study completed on small parcel shipments distributed across all of North America including Alaska and Hawaii.
It would appear ISTA 7E is more applicable to testing of thermal transport packaging that is distributed in North America than testing of thermal transport packaging that is distributed throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa – as such in different climate conditions.
Is there a testing standard that can be used for Thermal Transport packaging used in parcel delivery shipments distributed throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa? We have already tried the NSAI to no avail.
“We are considering implementing an unlimited annual leave policy and would be very interested to hear from fellow members who have implemented such a policy. We are interested in having a conversation to discuss the content of the policy, the experience of implementing it and the benefits/drawbacks of same.”
We are seeking members’ recommendations for a trainer/training company to deliver in-house training in the area of Project Management.
We are developing our own bespoke project management framework and seek an expert who will collaborate with staff to both build and reinforce a model that will meet our business requirements and will translate effectively into the reality of the business environment.
Any recommendations or advice from members who have been in a similar situation would be much appreciated.
A manufacturing member would like to understand best practices and experiences as to how other companies successfully implement Product Transfers & integrate them into their existing business, i.e. how they transfer new products, while maintaining existing operations in a highly utilised environment.
How was the scope of the Product transfer developed in a timely manner, what best practices for program management were employed & what internal challenges were faced prior to a successful integration.
We would be delighted to connect with other individuals or companies who would be willing to share experiences or insights in this area.
Do you know of any company which has any good experience outsourcing telesales and/or can you recommend any? We would expect they work to goals of setting appointments/booking a demo/closing a sale and that payment would be on that basis i.e. per appointment/demo/sale made.
We are seeking to implement production planning software to our multi-stage manufacturing and assembly process. The system must operate from a dispatch date backwards through packaging, assembly, production and right back to materials planning (taking into account different lead-times for raw materials, etc.)
We would be interested to hear from different manufacturing companies’ experiences with production planning software and particularly whether “off the shelf” packages work for them or is bespoke software design the optimal avenue to pursue.
We are interested to hear from our fellow members that have experience of Collaborative Robotics in their operations. We would be interested in having a conversation to discuss a number of items, including
1. how easy or hard it is to program / teach the robot how to carry out their work
2. managing variation in the robot’s activity as our work schedule changes weekly
3. inspection activity and camera systems
4. presentation of the product to the robot
5. general challenges -v- benefits.
We are considering implementing a live chat solution to our website and would be interested in speaking to members of the IRDG who implement a similar solution for their customers. We would be interested in how they have tailored/adjusted their communication style for this support channel and would appreciate any lessons learned they may have to assist us in achieving same.
We would like to exchange best practices and experiences as to how other companies successfully implement robust Process Development Engineering early on in their Product Development cycle, i.e. how they have created and maintained such a culture within their workplace, what internal challenges can compromise such a culture, how they explore and identify new technologies early to ensure they are manufacturing-ready for new advanced products, etc.
Does anyone have experience regarding the generation of, and/or the dispensing of, foam into packaging? We would like to develop a foam-based product in a high-volume manufacturing environment. Any feedback or advice on this topic of foam generation and dispensing would be greatly appreciated.
VMI (Vendor Managed Inventory) is becoming more prevalent in today’s global supply chains. We would like to learn from any member companies who have come across pricing / cost-to-serve models for when your company is a supplier and needs to hold your inventory at a customer location. As this can significantly increase the cash to cash cycle time, we would like to know what’s best practice in understanding the total cost to supply this service and how should a supplier recoup these costs through their own pricing etc?
Some pointers / advice or the chance to have a conversation would be very much appreciated.
“With the ever-increasing demand to be green, packaging is probably one of the more wasteful aspects currently in industry. Typically it is one use and throw away. What are the green industry leaders doing in terms of 100% recyclability for packaging? Are there new materials that provide the same amount of protection that conventional foam gives, are 100% recyclable and don’t require too much effort to recycle?”
It would be terrific to chat or connect with relevant companies in the IRDG network who could help me with the following.
1. How are B2B companies in the IRDG network documenting the complexity of customer journeys where multiple stakeholders and priorities need to be represented? Specifically what software tools and collaboration processes/meetings do they employ?
2. Are there any companies within the network that have B2B customer success groups? How does their understanding of and relationship with the customer feed into the customer experience projects that are being worked on?
We are looking at restructuring one area within the performance appraisal system which we currently have in place in the company. We are particularly interested in the scoring system used as we need to put in place a structure / metric for measurability.
We would be extremely grateful if you could share what format/scoring system you would use in your company when it comes to performance appraisal reviews? We would be delighted to have any conversations to help us learn further.
We’re currently working on a project and would be grateful if some members would be willing to share experiences with us. We’d be delighted to have a call with others or receive insights by reply which might guide us.
• How do you balance innovation, delivery of a product and ultimately speed to market?
• How can companies measure innovation?
• How do you facilitate innovation and operational excellence?
An IRDG member company is a software company that is driving digital transformation and the future of intelligent work management. They are currently trying to find an academic partner/partners to undertake collaborative research in the following areas:
• Data analysis of workflow meta-data and contents/documents to identify and improve performance and costs
• Extract information from documents, emails, images for work items
• Machine learning to implement real-time decisions for work items
• Analytics to provide planning/forecasting information
• Behavioural analysis to improve take-up and usage of robotic automation by enterprises.
• Cognitive learning (messaging/voice based) to assist interaction with users to get more information/data and to provide them with reports/answers
• Microservices architecture for both cloud and data-centre deployments that includes:
• Meta-data storage, content (images, documents) storage
• Producers and consumers of this data to include 3rd party applications and end-users as well as the enterprise customer.
• The company’s key requirement is to find an enthusiastic, interested and competent partner/partners to collaborate with, to apply for co-funding opportunities and to develop a longer-term research relationship.”
Does anyone have experience in bringing their organisation through an Agile transformation. We are interested in learning and how to navigate some of the pitfalls. We are especially interested in hearing from people who brought Agile methodologies to a very traditional Waterfall development process. Any feedback on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
We are developing an electrical heating appliance that will be used with our range of products for the US market and are looking for a suitable company to manufacture. The product is low volume so after UL (electrical standard in USA) approval of initial units, we expect to order in batches of 50 units.
Manufacture involves stainless steel fabrication and some assembly (motor and fan). If any member could recommend a suitable engineering or fabrication company that might be interested in manufacturing this product (and perhaps finalizing the design spec), please let me know.
Does anyone have experience of using reverse osmosis? We are researching the option of using reverse osmosis on our treated effluent water in order to reuse it. Any feedback or advice on this topic of reverse osmosis would be greatly appreciated.
A member manufactures US EPA approved product and maintains a US EPA establishment number. They are interested to find out if there are any other similar facilities in Ireland that manufacture US EPA approved products or maintain a US EPA establishment number. They would like the opportunity to exchange best practices and experiences. Please get in touch if your company might be open to engaging or if you know of another company we could try to connect with.
An IRDG member is currently trying to find an academic partner to undertake collaborative research on the topic of: ‘Wet Slip Resistance of Various Surfaces over Time’
The requirement is to find an academic partner that would be interested in this research that has a suitable experience in Slip resistance of materials, Pendulum slip resistance testing, Ageing of materials, tribology or friction testing. The key requirement is to find an enthusiastic, interested and competent partner and research candidate to complete the research.
As a consequence of preparing for Brexit, and in wishing to reduce our reliance on one existing overseas supplier, we are now seeking to locate additional suppliers with CARC paint capability (Chemical Agent Resistant Coating). Ideally, we would find suppliers in this field in Ireland, but are open to all suggestions. We would appreciate any advice or suggestions from the IRDG network.
We are a healthcare company looking for additional information any one may have on the implementation of a Unique Device Identification system for Medical Devices. Including;
-Up and coming training courses
-Recommended Vendors/Software to use
A member company that designs and manufacturers road repair equipment is seeking a suitable academic partner to collaborate with for new and innovative R&D.
The company has developed sophisticated equipment with several patented features for spray injection patching. This process involves a precisely controlled mixture of aggregate and bitumen emulsion that’s sprayed into road potholes. Their target market is local authorities and their road maintenance contractors, both here in Ireland and in Great Britain.
The area of spray injection patching is a relatively new area and there is a lack of scientific and technical information surrounding the process. This makes it a fertile ground for new and innovative R&D. The company is therefore seeking to engage with an academic partner(s) and work collaboratively to evaluate the properties of the materials to identify the optimum and edge conditions for use in the spray injection process. The expected outcome for the company is the development of a gold-standard operating procedure for the spray injection patching process that covers all the parameters affecting the process. April 2019
Any recommendations on what SCADA providers are being used for a waste-water treatment plant?
(SCADA stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. It is a type of industrial control system that is used to monitor and control facilities and infrastructure in industries). April 2019
We are expanding our current business model from selling low volume high value on- premise enterprise software to becoming a digital services provider of cloud and hosted solutions to a larger target market.
As a result of this transition, we need to move from marketing bespoke enterprise solutions to a small number of clients to marketing turnkey SaaS solutions to larger volumes of clients.
We would like to talk to any members whom have experienced a similar transformation whom might be willing to share some of their learnings, experience and current best practice in relation to SaaS solution branding, raising awareness, generating demand and customer journey or lead lifecycle management. Feb 2019
We are trying to find a facility (research based and/or at commercial scale) that could micronise feed ingredients.
On an initial basis we would like to have about 2-3Kg micronized for internal assessment (potentially 2-3 times). Following that we would look to move to commercial scale on an ongoing basis – unclear of quantity yet as this will depend on market.
In terms of research scale, this can be done in Ireland or EU and on a commercial scale we would prefer if this was done locally in Ireland. Feb 2019
A manufacturing company is looking for a family of SBCs (single-board computers) to deliver image processing services. The SBCs should come from a reputable company, be industrial – supporting a wide temperature range (-40 +70), and serve as either a stand-alone product or form the basis of an enhanced platform with added FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays).
The SBCs must support standard operating systems. A number of different processing capabilities is required and the SBCs should cost from €150 to €700.
This may interest any Irish companies that can offer such products themselves (our preferred option), or someone may be able to point us in the direction of manufacturers we may have not yet considered. Feb 2019
a. Do we have anyone with experience of rolling out workday recruit that would share their experience?
b. Has anyone engaged with a Recruitment Process Outsourcing organization and be willing to share their experience?
A small indigenous SME is looking to roll out a sales bonus incentive scheme and a team bonus plan. They have no history of such a scheme nor any experience in this area, and are wondering if any members would be willing to share guidance, advice, templates etc.
Any assistance would be gratefully received. Jan 2019
A manufacturing company is wondering if there are any members using Augmented Reality in their operations and if so, what are they using it for, what hardware are they using and who creates the content for the AR i.e. in-house developers or an external developer or service supplier?
We’d like to know of members’ experience in maintaining a constant ambient temperature in a laboratory. We have installed a water-cooled AHU, with closed loop control of temperature. We also use an air diffuser to minimise temperature gradients across the lab.
Our experience has been that we get very precise control (<+/- 0.2C) when the lab is colder than the external temperature but the control degrades considerably (+/- 0.6C) when the room is being cooled. We’d like to know what additional measures could be taken to control temperature and what level of control is generally possible. Jan 2019
We have someone who is working on an application using Kevlar for a strap.
They are interested in connecting with others who work with Kevlar with a view to sharing experience and identifying sources of supply. Jan 2019
Has anyone in the network started to undergo or undergone a compliance transformation program?
We would be interested to understand the approach taken, what operational improvements were put in place and what data analytics and technology solutions were used to support this. We would be happy to connect with any members to discuss further. Jan 2019
Members Question Time – 2018
Our business is becoming more and more project oriented and we are exploring options for best managing that function from a business perspective.
We are interested in learning about the experiences of members who have developed in-house project management teams or those who have outsourced this responsibility, and the challenges / benefits of either option.
We are not looking for software tools, but rather the over-arching process. We have some capability developed in-house. It’s a question of whether to further develop this resource, but we are also mindful about possible adverse effects if we don’t do it right. Dec 2018
We’re finding it challenging to source talent in the sterile formulation area.
We are wondering do any members have experience or contacts when it comes to recruiting from abroad and any advice as to how this process has worked for them?
Do any members have experience of using a company they can recommend to support and facilitate development of a local site mission, vision and strategy.
We are a multinational firm operating in the healthcare space, seeking help on one particular site. We are open to the experience of consultants / companies who have also worked on similar projects across other business sectors. Nov 2018
We are expanding our current business model from delivering and supporting our software that is deployed on the customers own network, to digital service provider, where we will be offering cloud and hosted solutions of our software. We will continue to offer both solutions for the foreseeable future as we support our on-premise customers during this transition.
As a result of this transition, we need to expand our Customer Service function from the traditional support of our software only, to the wider requirement where we need to support and manage the full solution e.g. software, environment and hardware.
We would like to talk to any members whom have experienced a similar transformation in recent years (from on-premise software to digital service provider) whom might be willing to share some of their learnings, experience and current best practice in relation how they have scaled up their customer services function? Oct 2018
We are looking for an engineering or machine manufacturing company that can assist us with converting a small table top film lidding machine into a spec that we require for a specific project we are working on. The conversion involves:
1) cutting the machine down in physical size
2) removing several of the internal mechanisms and functions to simplifying the machine further (e.g. we don’t need the film lidding workings)
3) providing a new cover to the new sized sealing machine.
Currently we are converting single units but will need to increase in volumes as we move forward and eventually may even look to make the required machine in Ireland. If anyone knows of any companies that can provide a service like this or have any other relevant contacts, advise or experiences that would be very helpful. Oct 2018
We are looking to hear from enterprises who have implemented an innovation network platform to crowdsource ideas from employees. Ideally, we would like to implement a social media type platform fostering employee engagement but also catering for open innovation if possible. The platform is intended for multiple sites allowing for different challenges in specific regions/sectors.
If anyone has bought an off the shelf solution or developed their own we would be delighted to hear any lessons learned. Sept 2018
We carry out R&D to develop and introduce new products into manufacture in high volume. We would like to reach out to organisations who have successfully used SPC in the implementation of high-volume new products and technologies to manufacturing.
We would like to talk to companies who can share their experiences in this area in terms of tools, techniques, responsibilities and ongoing management processes to understand the key to successful implementation. Sept 2018
We are looking to implement an R&D data management system to support CMC and materials science activities. The system should centralise data across multiple projects and facilitate easy access to project and materials data.
We would like to talk to companies who have experience in this area. Sept 2018
We are looking at ways to develop a “Knowledge Bank” within our company. The Knowledge Bank would help in codifying the experiences and skills of our staff into one central depository. In turn this would feed into developing a Help Centre for customer queries and could also, in time, become integrated into a training matrix.
We would like to talk to companies that have developed a process or are using software to achieve these objectives. We would be really grateful to learn from the lessons of others. August 2018
We are a small indigenous company seeking to launch FDA compliant Medical Device products on the US market. The products are mainly in the hygiene / wound care management space, and we are specifically targeting the likes of hospitals / elderly care facilities etc.
We would really appreciate any contacts, advice or recommendations on how to engage with Independent Sales Reps or others who would help us to establish our presence in the United States Health Care Space. July 2018
We are an Irish Software Company with a product which we want to classify as a medical device and proceed to get 510K FDA approval. We have engaged some US consultants to help advise and shape the quality systems we need to put in place.
It appears that for the product itself we will have to revert to extensive documentation of each feature all the way through the SDLC which seems counter intuitive to the latest best practices of Agile that we have adopted. It concerns us that the overhead of the FDA requirements will be too much. Any relevant contacts, advice or experiences shared would be welcomed. June 2018
Would anyone in the network have a contact of a Surgeon with experience in general surgery and more specifically in the area of surgical mesh applications for the purpose of provided clinical end user support / advice associated with clinical data review/literature review/general performance review?
We’re looking for a cGLP certified lab that can collect and analyse particulate from samples of biomaterials supplied.
The analysis should include identification of the number and sizes of particulate under microscope followed by appropriate identification of the particulate material (using FTIR, SEM-EDS, Raman Spectroscopy etc.) as required.
We are particularly interested in a house which has the ability to identify inorganic particulates below 100µm as a priority. May 2018
We are looking at our data security and data leakage prevention system and we were wondering what measures other companies were taking in this area. What software is used for data security covering endpoints e.g.
- encrypting USB keys and laptops
- preventing unauthorised copying of files onto USB keys
- preventing sensitive files from being transferred outside the organisation
Does anyone have a strong recommendation for an integrated solution? May 2018
We would be very interested to know how other companies involved in the development and manufacture of medical devices are approaching the MDR especially the clinical requirements.
Please share any insights, and if you’d be happy to engage and exchange experiences we’d be happy to do so. Equally if you know of any subject matter experts we’d be delighted to get their details. May 2018
We would be interested in finding out if there are other members who are working on the introduction of the MDR directive on hazardous substances, or indeed if anyone has any contacts such as consultants who might be able to advise us.
We are looking for recommendations on precision machine design and builders to make a test rig that will mate two 170x40mm plates repeatedly to a sub 20um accuracy.
We require the capability to compact plastic pieces to different positions and velocities according to specified profiles, ideally also measuring the applied force. The design will involve linear slides, rotary encoders and a metrology grade machining ability. Apr 2018
We are trying to get in touch with someone who is involved in software development for drones. Specifically, building the code that pre-programs drones to do a task without a pilot.
If you could help introduce us to someone or a team we would be grateful. Apr 2018
An Irish SME pharmaceutical and medical device company is seeking to identify and introduce the optimal electronic Quality Management System (eQMS). The existing QMS is a 100% paper-based system.
They would be very interested to understand what eQMS systems other SME companies currently utilise for medicines and medical devices – with particular focus on the compliance, functionality and cost-effectiveness of the eQMS. Mar 2018
We’re looking for a person/company to do a project with us in mobile application development for a B2B environment.
We would appreciate members’ recommendations for a company / individual that has delivered an ios / android application with a focus on user experience. Given the B2B environment, it’s vital to find providers with some experience in executive / business oriented apps. March 2018
We are looking for help in identifying a company who works with commercial style packaging design and supply for a current project. The product is a catheter, but we would like to have some ideas for non-medical style packaging. Ideally, we would like somebody who could supply the material (preferably paper or coated paper) and equipment to us to build into our current process.
It is a blank canvas in relation to options although we would require ETO compatibility, minimal cost, high volume capacity etc. We are getting ready for design freeze towards mid to end of this year. March 2018
An IRDG member is seeking a recommendation for a business consulting company that could help them prepare for registration to ISO 27001. (ISO 27001 is the international standard which is recognised globally for managing risks to the security of information held. Certification to ISO 27001 allows companies to prove to clients and other stakeholders that they are managing the security of information).
There a number of potential providers out there, but recommendations from other members would be most welcome to help narrow down the search. This company would also welcome member’s comments (or openness to having a conversation) on any significant issues encountered in the course of an ISO 27001 implementation programme. Feb 2019
Well-established Irish SME company is seeking to identify an Irish based contract manufacturing company operating to Good Manufacturing Practice (Pharma) for an established
(a) oral powder and sachet’ed medicinal product (325kg batch size x 8+ batches per year filled into individual sachets) and
(b) tableting and blistering packed medicinal product (400kg approx 800,000 tablets per batch x 5 batches).
Seeking to move manufacturing into the Irish market. Feb 2018
Our member is a software development company trying to build their capability in the area of unit testing. They would appreciate the opportunity to connect with others who have expertise / experience in this area and they could talk to.
Please get in touch if you, or someone you know, would be open to engaging on this subject. Feb 2018
An IRDG member has a question relating to Sprint & Hardware Development.
This member runs a 2-week cycle of Sprint with a daily scrum meeting. Most companies who use this approach are software companies, as scrum methodology originated in the software sector. They run the Sprint methodology to align with Agile project management and to take advantage of the high team engagement that is needed for Scrum, however there are challenges.
Our member would be interested in talking to and sharing experiences with other hardware development companies running sprint similarly to themselves. They would be interested in discussing the advantages, disadvantages and pitfalls others have encountered and steps taken to overcome these. They would also like to understand the systems being used to manage the backlog or to-do list, and how companies are measuring performance. Jan 2018
Members Question Time – 2017
We are a small-sized, Class 1 medical device manufacturer who have designed and developed a range of products. Our activities cover the full range of R&D activities as well as manufacturing and sales. Our current systems (aside from financial) are all spreadsheet-based except for a recent attempt to cover some R&D activities with a combination of OneNote and SharePoint.
We are looking for suggested software packages to cover as much as possible of the activities and parts in the following areas:
In the R&D area:
- R&D project planning.
- Cloud-based collaboration between team members from different devices.
- Documentation of experiments and prototypes with pictorial records.
- Tracking hours for R&D tax credits.
In the manufacturing area:
- An MRP or ERP system to cover a growing SKU list amounting to hundreds of components with the full capability of scheduling, resource planning, BOMs, inventory tracking & valuation.
Any and all feedback (positive and negative) from both prospective suppliers as well as businesses who have implemented any similar systems would be much welcomed. Dec 2017
We are looking to source a product development system to manage our NPD projects and would appreciate some input on what systems people are using successfully at the moment, and any experiences they have gained from implementing them.
We operate in the Food & Beverage area, so systems used by those operating in that sector are obviously of interest, as are those used in other sectors that may potentially be applied to us. In particular we would appreciate feedback on the use of any system to manage the costing element as well as the technical aspects. Nov 2017
A member is trying to locate space to establish a laboratory, associated offices, reception and storage, which might be available to purchase or lease/rent to facilitate their expected growth. The space would ideally have previously housed a laboratory and be either furnished/unfurnished. The space available should be greater than 350sq meters and be located in the South East. They would need access to this space as soon as possible and where leased the minimum lease duration would be approx. 5-10 years. Oct 2017
An Irish business, experienced in agri-business development and trade at an international level, is seeking to expand their business with new innovative offerings.
They are looking to acquire or collaborate with companies or individuals who have developed products or processes with respect to crop, poultry or livestock production. This opportunity might suit some person or business who has developed an interesting product, and would benefit from the expertise and connections to bring it to market either in Ireland or internationally.
Companies can either be pre or existing turnover. Sept 2017
A Class 1 medical device manufacturer producing custom-mouldable devices is looking for prospective partners (or personnel) to assist in the development of smart sensor and IOT technology into their devices. In particular, to detect and prevent skin-surface pressure points with the ability to communicate pertinent data to the cloud for better patient and healthcare outcomes is their near-term goal. Aug 2017
A member is trying to locate a contract manufacturing facility (ideally based in Ireland or alternatively the UK) with fermentation capability.
The facility would ideally be able to ferment 80-90grams of E-coli cells/litre (wet weight) using IPTG to induce the E-coli cells; minimum volume of 300 litres.
Proposed start date: January 2018. Duration of contract – initially for one year. Jul 2017
We are looking for a piece of equipment used in labs to split samples for testing. It is called a Rotary Riffler.
We would hope a lab with one of these pieces of equipment would allow us to use their Riffler as we would like to try one before we purchase. Jul 2017
A global software development house is building a team to develop virtual reality and augmented reality concepts for industrial applications. They are now looking to speak with any IRDG members who are interesting in partnering in the provision of these technologies for industry.
They would particularly be interested to hear about relevant pilot cases from members which could be developed for demonstration. Jun 2017
A member with very significant R&D activity and investment is seeking to explore the potential and practicalities of the TRIZ approach for creative problem solving. We are interested in recommendations for the best presenters on the subject to do an internal seminar on the approach and practical real-world examples of its execution.
Who have people used? Do any members have their own internal specialists that would be interested in sharing their experiences? Apr 2017
We want to add automated conformal coating capability to our SMT (surface mount technology) production line and are seeking recommendations for potential suppliers/distributors based in Ireland, UK or Western Europe.
We would be most grateful if anyone within the IRDG network might have any suggestions or contacts that could help us with this query. Mar 2017
A global leader in contract manufacturing services with expertise in automation engineering for all sectors, would like to partner with a technical institution or company that is in late stage development/commercialisation of a disruptive manufacturing innovation which would have significant productivity benefits to those that have expertise. Interested in discussions from all sectors including but not exclusively medical device, industrial, energy, consumer & food. Feb 2017
We are conducting a review of our sampling and analysis procedures, and are hoping we might be able to utilise the IRDG network to assist us.
The products we are sampling are both powders and solids. We would like to identify the best practice approach around sampling methods, distribution of samples, and composite samples. We are looking to achieve a balance between high reliability and statistical significance/robustness of the analysis results, and the practical aspects of work, time and investment involved.
We would greatly appreciate any contributions the members may have, either from personal experience or by way of putting us in touch with recommended people who might be able to advise us (either from academia or industry). Jan 2017
We are developing a strategy to implement DevOps methodology. We have been looking across departments at what this involves for us. We are at the stage of beginning to put this strategy into action and, to that end, we would be very interested to know whether there are other IRDG members who are practising DevOps methodology and who might be willing to talk to us. Jan 2017
One of the areas where we as a company continually try to improve, is in how we communicate internally with our people. During 2017, we see the opportunity to further innovate, whether in the processes followed, technologies used etc.
We are very keen to understand whether any IRDG companies have introduced new techniques, technologies, methodologies or processes to improve how their companies communicate internally, and the impact of these innovations in terms of the timeliness & relevance of the material and effectiveness of the messages communicated.
Internal communication happens at many levels in our business:
- Company-wide communication, within Ireland and internationally;
- Department specific communication;
- Communication within teams;
We would really like to learn about any innovations in “internal communication” in other companies across various industry sectors. Jan 2017
Members Question Time – 2016
Our member seeks recommendations of contract extrusion moulding companies who could supply them in the region of 2,000 PVC tubes per day, on an ongoing basis.
The suppliers would ideally be based in Ireland, but they are open to recommendations. Dec 2016
We are seeking information from IRDG members regarding the measurement of R&D activities within their organisation, including the models used to measure value so as to assist informed decision making on such activity.
Our interest is to understand how companies measure value (assuming revenues may be subjective for future periods and perhaps not the only measure of value) and how investment costs and returns are reflected in their business models.
We would be very interested to discuss further and receive any information other members may have on the topic. Dec 2016
We are seeking a supplier that can co-design and source/build 8 futuristic-looking and high quality sensor enclosures (approx. 150x80x40mm) and a central command module (approx. 300x300x50). They would need to be delivered in a 3 to 4 week window once the contract to supply has been agreed. The units are needed for customer demos of futuristic sensor technology which will be embedded within the sensor. We can supply the electronics; we are just seeking enclosure design and quality. Whilst we have in-house capability both in terms of machining and 3D printing, we need these to be of much higher quality. Do you have any contacts or recommendations of people or companies who could assist in this area within these timelines? Nov 2016
We are currently looking for a gel manufacturer who is FDA/GMP approved in order to export a product to America. The product could be manufactured either here in Ireland or overseas if necessary, and we will handle the distribution. We would intend this to be a long term contract.
(Projected volumes in the region 1,170,000 applicators a year with individual production batches of approx. 130,000 applicators. With 5 g tubes this comes to about 6000 Kg a year with individual orders of 650 Kg batches).
We would be most grateful if anyone within the IRDG network might have any suggestions or contacts that could help us with this query. Aug 2016
We are a group of companies located multi-nationally operating primarily in the manufacturing sector. We are in the process of looking to move from current IT providers, with whom we have outgrown, to a provider that can support multi-site, multi-region operations. We are looking for recommendations of providers that you could recommend? Jul 2016
We would like to get feedback and advice from companies who have undertaken the Lean Plus and/or Lean Transform programme in association with Enterprise Ireland as we are considering undertaking this journey. If any individual / company would be willing to have a conversation with us on this, we would appreciate if they would put themselves forward. Jul 2016
We are a group of 8 diverse companies which are primarily in the manufacturing sector. We are in the process of scoping an ERP system and are looking for a list of potential packages. The system will have to have multi-lingual and multi-site capabilities.
I would appreciate the names of any packages that you can recommend, and any advice from the experience of implementations and / or use of same. Jun 2016
We are looking to either dry/evaporate or freeze dry approx. 1.5 tonnes of a high moisture vegetable to generate the powdered material, ideally stopping at a 10% moisture content, but this is open to discussion. This would be a one-off requirement for the moment and we are not too concerned with the method of generating the powder once it does not change the constituent elements of the vegetable. Any help is very much appreciated, either from vendors directly or contacts of people who may be able to help. We also need to do it in the next 4 weeks! Jun 2016
We are looking for people with expertise in writing white papers that might be interested in coming to our company to give a lecture on the topic.
We are looking to source a company which could supply or hire to us an industrial oven, electrically powered. The oven would have to be capable of housing 4 to 8 200kg drums.
We would appreciate any suggestions or feedback the members may have. May 2016
To improve our production efficiency, we are investigating the installation of an automated IBC (Intermediate Bulk container) filling system for liquid chemicals.
If any members have such systems in place can they recommend companies which supply and install this type of system. Apr 2016
We are looking for an engineering/fabrication company that have expertise it constructing large steel process equipment. We have detailed drawings and designs of the equipment and require a company that can construct the equipment based off the designs provided. The equipment is quite large; there is approx. 500 tonnes of steel in the equipment so we would need a company whom are capable of handling this type of large scale industrial fabrication. Apr 2016
An IRDG member manufacturing company, a subsidiary of a foreign-owned corporation, is looking for recommendations of consultant(s) to facilitate the development of a strategic plan by the local Irish entity.
Can you recommend any consultants / agencies who could meet this need? Mar 2016
We are looking for recommendations of a tool which will translate from Arabic to English to Arabic to embed in our software product – would be grateful for any experience / suggestions?
Automated liquid precision / liquid handling in a biomedical environment:
We are looking for a company or an individual with experience (direct or indirect) in automated liquid handling/sampling to work with us on an exciting new project. The opportunity is specifically related to blood, which when spun using a centrifuge, separates into a variety of constituent parts. We want to be able to extract the blood plasma (the amount of which varies from sample to sample) and distribute relatively accurate amounts into 5 small containers, which will have been pre-filled with another liquid type. These bottles will then be sealed, labelled and made ready for the operator to remove from the machine. There is currently an NDA in place with the client but we can share more information with you if you make your interest known. Jan 2016
We are looking for expertise in specialist ink formulation & printing (pad and/or ink jet) technology. We want to develop and apply a pattern to a medical device. The pattern would be less than 10mm wide with three distinct colour areas. The pigments/inks would need to be FDA approvable for a FDA Class II medical device which is autoclaved.
Do you know any consultants or companies that might be suitable to work on the development? Jan 2016
Members Question Time – 2015
Would any member know of a contract powder packaging facility that would be able to repack food ingredient powders into a foil pack packaging with appropriate high standard sealing of same? Volumes involved would be 100kgs – 2T. This work will be required to be conducted for a period of 12 to 24 months as the member develops this side of the business. Nov 2015
An IRDG member company needs to crush/mill a trial batch of approx. 5 tonnes of CaO (calcium oxide) and package into bulk bags for shipping. The material is currently in approximately 50mm size lumps that need to be reduced to 10mm or less. Cross-contamination with other materials needs to be avoided. It is possible that more than one batch will need to be processed.
Do you know of any company / facility that could do this on a contract basis? It would be preferable to conduct this activity in Ireland, but if really necessary the company can travel overseas.
Any recommendations or pointers would be greatly appreciated. Sept 2015
We are an SME food company who have no experience in conducting innovation research amongst our employees.
We would like to hear about how other companies go about generating, validating, executing and also rewarding employee ideas within their company? Jun 2015
Our company is facing a restructuring project in order to be best in class. This fortunately will not involve a reduction in headcount. We are a multinational firm, operating in a B2B environment.
We need to organise ourselves in a more dynamic way to be able to respond to additional projects and the way in which Group is going. That could mean we become a more Product-facing organisation or Group-facing one – we are open minded about that at this stage.
Devising this most appropriate new structure is the challenge. We are therefore looking for recommendations of methodologies, tools and approaches that have been used within companies to help them to decide on a most appropriate structure for their business.
We are not looking for recommendations of consultants to assist us, rather an indication of best practices/frameworks which could help. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Feb 2015
We are trying to find good project management software, ideally open source and low cost, or a free solution, to assist in the implementation of Research & Innovation projects.
We are hoping to identify any products that work (or fail) over the market leaders, such as Microsoft Project and impressive programmes like Smart Sheet.
Any advice on low cost or free to use products that offer a good user interface and easy to update/modify with changes (rather than just excel) would be very much appreciated. Jan 2015
Members Question Time – 2014
Our company would like to conduct occasional surveys of our customers, gathering data from them via surveys distributed by email or online forms to which they login. We could have anything from 200 – 1000 customers to contact depending upon the topic at the time.
We use Salesforce as our CRM system, the most basic package.
We seek the members help in identifying suitable tools to gather together this information but also enable it to be mapped into each customer’s account in Salesforce so we don’t have to manually do it. We are a relatively small business and don’t have a significant budget to spend so any advice, contacts or help would be appreciated. Nov 2014
We are currently looking to develop/introduce a topical skin care product for consumer use. We have access to a particular formula but need some expertise in product formulation which will ultimately lead to a manufacturing/supply opportunity if the product goes to market.
Can you put out an enquiry through the network as we need to identify a person or organization with this following expertise:
“Formulator who specialises in the formulation of topical products for problem skin; in particular problems caused by the overproduction of oil (sebum), irregular shedding of dead skin cells, resulting in irritation of the skin’s hair follicles and or the build-up of bacteria”.
The solution here may be either a company or person. The type of expertise most relevant would be someone / company who has worked in the cosmetics industry or the pharma sector in the area of problem skincare products, primarily skin creams lotions. Oct 2014
We are looking to introduce a chemical tracking system and wonder if any of the other members could recommend a system that they are currently using.
It should have the following features:
- Be able to track all chemicals from delivery to the site, moving from lab to lab (and even down to which cabinet it is in), and finally to disposal.
- We should also be able to track the owner of the chemical, and these can change as chemicals are shared across the site.
- While we accept that it may have to be manually entered at the start, all subsequent interactions with the system must be as easy as possible (e.g. using barcode & scanner).
- The interface should be web based, so no client software need be installed & maintained.
- The chemical entry should include SDS or link to SDS.
- The option of including/attaching a chemical risk assessment would be a bonus.
- The option to include segregation rules would be a bonus.
(e.g. cabinet X is labelled for non-flammable chemicals only, so chemical A, which is flammable, cannot be allocated to that cabinet)
- We would want certain fixed reports to be set up initially. These could include i) expired chemicals ii) usage of certain chemicals, etc.
- The option to create ad hoc reports would be a bonus.
Just wondering if any of the members would know of a pilot scale evaporator (1000 – 2000L) available anywhere? Ideally would like access before the end of this month, for a one off event.
We would be grateful for any information or referrals which could help us. Aug 2014
We currently import a cosmetic product from Asia which involves a long lead time from order to delivery and also a number of different SKUs. We see significant opportunity for this product in our various markets and are now in the process of designing and developing a more innovative packaging container come applicator for the product. We have sourced the bulk manufacturer of the material (which is in powder/micro fibre form) but would prefer to do the final pack off/fill here in Ireland. We are looking for a company with dry fill capability into containers and pack off line. The facility needs to meet GMP requirements as set down on the EU Cosmetics Directive 1223/2009.
We would be grateful for any information or referrals which could help us. Jun 2014
We have produced an industrial chemical which is in a solid wax form. The product is currently in a cylinder shape, each cylinder weighing approximately 450g. We would like to know if there are equipment or companies which could transform these wax cylinders into a pellet form (4-5mm). Ideally, we would like to package the pellets in a thermoplastic bag for end user convenience.
We would be grateful for any information or referrals which could help to resolve the issue. May 2014
An IRDG member company, operating in the healthcare area, is seeking to engage with a contract engineering company that has plastics as a strong part of their offering.
Do you know of any companies who could meet this need? Apr 2014
An IRDG member company has just recently completed the development of an Innovation Strategy. They are now seeking recommendations of Innovation Consultancy Companies who can help them turn that Strategy into a Programme which will then be implemented across their company.
Please recommend any Innovation consultancy companies for providing advisory, facilitation and/or training services with supporting theory and practical experience for all aspects of planning, establishing, embedding, managing and improving an Innovation Management capability in an organisation. Feb 2014