Innovations in Orthopedic Manufacturing: OEMs Share Cutting-Edge Techniques

On April 18, a group of leading OEMs hosted the Efficient Manufacturing of Orthopedic Implants seminar in Warsaw, Indiana. The event, organized by GF Machining, DLyte, Seco Tools, Open Mind, and Zeiss, featured expert speakers discussing the latest advancements in medical implant manufacturing.

Ali Madari, managing partner of Avicenne Medical, delivered the keynote address, highlighting the robust growth of the orthopedic market, which reached $51 billion in 2023, a 6.2% increase from 2022. Madari emphasized the significant opportunities for smaller companies experiencing double-digit growth, positioning them as ideal customers for high-mix shops.

Key presentations included:

  • Erik Poulsen, GF Machining: Discussed successful knee implant manufacturing, recommending linear motors over ballscrews, intelligent thermal compensation, polymer concrete bases, and the potential of supercritical CO2 in medical machining.
  • Chris Gamble, Open Mind: Focused on CAD/CAM tools in HyperMill, covering features like Global Fitting for surface repair and the use of overlapping toolpaths and barrel cutters for improved finishes.
  • Dominic Connor, Seco Tools: Addressed cutting tool geometry, stressing the need for negative rake angles and process-dependent tool choices to match the needs of specific parts.
  • Luis Hernandez, Zeiss: Explored QA challenges and the importance of scanning technology for validating dimensions of custom orthopedic implants, highlighting solutions like confocal white light sensors.
  • Patrick Sage, DLyte: Presented DLyte’s dry electropolishing technology using polymer beads, which smooths surfaces without acid handling, preventing microscratches and enhancing sterility.

Additional speakers included:

  • Sean Noonan, GF Machining: On planning automation around part needs.
  • Alan Levine, Open Mind: On improving process safety through CAM tools.
  • Joe Mecus, Seco Tools: On the importance of collaboration in cutting tool design.
  • Raghu Bhogaraju, Zeiss: On using computed tomography in quality inspection.

The seminar focused on education rather than sales, with speakers providing practical insights into using technology effectively. Audience feedback was integral, as noted by Seco’s Joe Mecus, emphasizing the value of collaboration in enhancing product and process innovation. Andrew Fielding of Seco reinforced this, highlighting the importance of co-creating solutions to advance the industry.

Original source MMS

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