Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 41

Varian Medical Systems

Medical Systems generates more than
$3 billion in revenue and has approximately 7,700 employees. "What keeps
employees engaged is the universal
passion to fight cancer," Wood says.
"It's a great culture to be a part of and
our people know how many lives we
can potentially save and how many
people get to go home because of our
products. I personally know people
who wouldn't have made it without
our technology."
Retaining employees at Varian
Medical Systems today is not a challenge because of its unique mission
and culture that were established
with its founders. "We are one of the
first two technology companies in
Silicon Valley and with most companies here, five years is a major milestone because
of
the
varian's high-powered x-ray
machines penetrate and disrupt
the dna of cancer cells.

turnover," Wood explains. "We are a very
unique company to
have many employees
who have been with us for 35
to 40 years. On a regular basis we try
to bring into the factory patients who

West

"the cancer cell will die before a healthy cell.
the cancer cells die first and that's key about
what we do." - Robert Wood
have been treated on our systems, or
care teams who use our systems, to
share their stories with our team so
every day when an employee picks up
a wrench or looks at their computer
screen, they have a reminder of how
important what we do is."

Targeting Tumors
Varian Medical Systems is a company that was born to treat cancer.
"We are innovators and a company
of innovation," Wood explains. "Our
founders were instrumental
in [developing] great
technology for radar.
They found that
they could use the
technology to accelerate electrons,
produce X-rays, and
then they made the
leap that it could treat
cancer."
An X-ray at the doctor's office is typically in the
1,000-watt range of power. Varian's

machine
allows clinicians to

target a specific tumor volume in the
mega-watt range. "What happens is
the X-rays penetrate and disrupt the
DNA of compromised cells," Wood
explains. "Because cancer cells grow
voraciously and are compromised, it
is self-selecting. The cancer cell will
die before a healthy cell. The cancer
cells die first and that's key about
what we do."
The company has been using X-ray
technology to treat cancer in patients since the late 1950s. What has
changed, Wood explains, is the technology. "We used to treat patients
with X-ray using physical shielding
and the beam characteristics were
very basic," he adds. "Now we can direct and modulate the beam and its
intensity. Its accuracy is sub-millimeter, so if you have a tumor near the spinal cord we can treat the tumor, with
minimal to no dose to the spine. We
are doing wonderful things now that
have changed the way we deliver the
beam and minimize the side effects to
the patient.
"Our culture of innovation brings
challenges to our value
stream," Wood continues.
"It seems like we are
improving some part of
our delivery system every month and that puts
pressure on the factories and our suppliers.
We're continually challenging ourselves how
to institute these changes in a way that is orderly and
effective. Partnering with our
suppliers in change control
is extremely important. It's
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 manufacturing-today.com

41


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016

Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 1
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 3
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Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Cover3
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