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Varian Slashes Redesign Time for RoHS, REACH Compliance

Varian Medical Systems, a $2.6 billion manufacturer of medical devices and software, is reducing its time to implement engineering changes from 18 to five days with two sustainability products from SAP.

Using the SAP Environment, Health, and Safety Management application with product compliance functionality and the SAP Product Life Cycle Management application, Varian says it’s been able to understand the chemical composition of its products, more easily redesign components and products to reduce or eliminate hazardous substances, and comply with regulations such as RoHS and REACH.

In 2010 Varian introduced a new mandate for corporate social responsibility, including sustainability goals. It has also faced increasingly strict legislation restricting the types of materials and chemicals contained in its equipment, particularly the RoHS medical device-specific regulations coming into effect by July 2014, and the REACH legislation that governs products entering the European Union. About 30 percent of Varian’s business comes from EU sales.

The SAP software embeds compliance checks into the design process, which Varian says helps it avoid late-cycle changes. The software also makes it faster and easier to adjust administrative functions to any corresponding engineering change, Varian says.

Most of Varian’s important master data already resided in SAP systems, and the company uses SAP Business Suite as its platform for manufacturing, procurement and sales. By using a suite of SAP products, Varian says it was able to more easily embed product compliance controls across its business processes.

For example, many of Varian’s customers want to understand the environmental and compliance status of the products they intend to buy, especially from a RoHS point of view, before they sign the purchase order. With integration between the SAP product compliance software and Varian’s SAP application for sales order management, the company is now able to do a compliance analysis and report immediately at the quotation stage.

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