thumbnail group

Connect With Us:

Manufacturing Engineering Media eNewsletters

All Medical Articles

EDM in Medical Manufacturing



Contributing Editor Ilene Wolff

9/19/2014

“You guys are crazy!” That’s what Makino EDM product line manager Brian Pfluger was told—loudly—by a medical-industry customer after Pfluger recommended he use coated wire to make a custom housing for cancer treatment machines. Coated wire costs twice as much as uncoated, standard brass wire, so its use in the client’s application would increase manufacturing costs by about $100.
Full Article

Medical Machining with Advanced CNC



Randy Pearson, International Business Development Mgr., Drive Technologies, Siemens Industry Inc.

9/19/2014

Critical machining demands are nothing new in medical part production. The industry has progressed at light speed, however, in its need for faster turnover, especially in the orthopedic arena, where the one-off is the standard, requiring very expensive machining centers to be used for hip joint or knee replacements that are unique to each patient. Full Article

MVP: Bringing Talent to the Medical Manufacturing Industry



Mike Grice, President, MedTech and BioTech Veterans Program

9/19/2014

When I was leaving the Marines after spending 27 years in uniform I wasn’t exactly sure what came next. My time in the military had prepared me for many things, ranging from how to stand at attention to how to conduct a patrol in insurgent territory. What it didn’t really prepare me for, however, was what to do when for the last time I hung up the cloth of the nation and started over again as a civilian. Full Article

Helping Students Prepare for Future Careers



Edited by Senior Editor Michael C. Anderson

9/19/2014

They came by bus. They came by train. They spent hours commuting to Baxter’s facilities in Deerfield and Round Lake, IL—and for some it was one of their first opportunities to spend much time outside the urban Chicago neighborhoods where they grew up. But nearly all of them said it was one of the most enriching and confidence-building weeks of their lives. Full Article

3D Systems Acquires LayerWise



Press Release - 3D Systems

9/3/2014

3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today that it has acquired Belgium-based LayerWise, a leading provider of advanced direct metal 3D printing and manufacturing services. LayerWise delivers quick-turn, 3D-printed metal parts, manufactured on its own proprietary line of direct metal 3D printers, for aerospace, high-precision equipment and medical and dental customers.  Full Article

Solutions Come in Many Sizes and Shapes



Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

7/1/2014

Manufacturers want to make parts and hit their schedules with a minimum of problems. Job shops, in particular, have their own need for a great deal of flexibility, enabling them to switch from one job to another with the minimum of wasted time. For medium volume, high mix production, manufacturers can benefit from the latest automation on multipallet single machines or in multiple machine cells. Full Article

TechFront: Ultra-Strong MRIs Show Promise for Neuroscience, Other Research



Edited by Senior Editors Patrick Waurzyniak and Ellen Kehoe

7/1/2014

New ultra-strong, high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) full-body scanners under development by GE Healthcare (Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire, UK) and Tesla Engineering UK (Pulborough, West Sussex, UK) will be used by researchers to speed detection and improve therapies for Parkinson’s disease and a host of other disorders. Full Article

Shop Solutions: Grinding Optics On CNC Machining Centers



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

6/1/2014

During the past decade, Optimax (Ontario, NY) has experienced exceptional growth due to the tremendous demand for specialized optics and lenses that it manufactures for a wide range of applications including: aerospace, defense and medical devices, lithography, and biomedical. Full Article

Focus on the Workforce: Engineering the Future for Women in Science



Anna Maria Chávez

6/1/2014

With women poised to shape our economic future, and given the significance of STEM in today’s world, it’s more important than ever that we are preparing girls and young women with the skills they will need for a future in STEM. Full Article

Medical Metrology Finds the Best Fit



Contributing Editor Bruce Morey

5/1/2014

Finding the best fit of device to part is especially significant for metrology companies with a diverse portfolio. That is the case for Mitutoyo (Aurora, IL), according to Allen Cius, their vision optics manager. The company offers over 6000 products, from hand calipers to horizontal arm CMMs that can measure objects the size of whole car bodies. Mitutoyo metrology capital equipment systems fit within three basic families of products: vision-based systems, form measurement machines, and CMMs. Full Article

Viewpoints: Medical Market Offers Challenges And Opportunities



Rajas Sukthankar, Director of Sales - Motion Control and Machine Tool Segment Manager, Siemens Industry Inc.

5/1/2014

The production of medical implants involves an entire process chain, starting with the doctor and ending with the finished device. Doctors use the imaging data of a complex fracture, acquired with a CT scan, to select an appropriate implant and then position it in the fracture area of the patient on the computer. Of course, this is only possible if the implant geometries are stored in a database, and the doctor has implants in stock or can access them immediately from a manufacturer. Full Article

Plastics Flow into the Medical Device Industry



Senior Editor Michael C. Anderson

5/1/2014

Although the North American medical device industry continues to grow, its players are under an extraordinary number of constraints. FDA requirements top the list, of course, controlling what, how, and from what materials a device can be made. On top of that are cost pressures brought on by international competition, safety and sustainability concerns, and, finally, manufacturability issues. This is not a field for the timid. Full Article

New Technology in CNC Automatic Lathes Drives Higher Productivity



Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

5/1/2014

You don’t have to look too hard to find a Swiss-style CNC automatic lathe to productively machine precision parts for medical devices. Parts are typically 12–20" (305–508-mm) long, with length-to-diameter ratios of 12–15×, and machined from bar from 10 to 32-mm diameter. Outlier sizes down to 3 mm and up to 38 mm and even larger are available for specialized applications.  Full Article

Improving Laser Technologies Driving Big Changes in Little Stents



Contributing Editor Ilene Wolff

5/1/2014

For about 20 years, medical device manufacturers have used continuous wave lasers to make permanent metal stents, first out of stainless steel and then out of alloys like nitinol and cobalt chrome. Doctors implant the devices to prop open blood vessels or help with other medical conditions.  But during the last two decades ultrafast, pulsed lasers have been perfected that can also produce stents made of polymers, which are bioplastics that dissolve in the body once they’ve done their job. Full Article

Hard Hips



Patrick Loughney, Product Specialist, Sandvik Coromant

4/21/2014

Hip replacement surgery is currently the most common and most successful orthopedic operation in the United States. In 2013, more than 332,000 people traded in their painful hips for ceramic or metallic joints. And that number is rising steadily due to the needs of our aging population, innovative surgical techniques and recent material advancements. Full Article

Bioprinting: Science or Fiction?



Arif Sirinterlikci and Lauren Walk, Department of Engineering, Robert Morris University

4/7/2014

Cornell University’s Lawrence Bonassar calls bioprinting the intersection of three technologies: tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and 3D printing. It’s the 3D printing of biological media for replacement of human tissue or biofriendly engineered materials such as scaffolds and drug release mechanisms for helping the healing process of human tissue. Full Article

A Pathway to Approval for Additive-Made Devices



Contributing Editor Ilene Wolff

4/1/2014

Additive manufacturing is now producing all manner of medical devices, and new ideas for the process—ranging from printed surgical tools and bone replacements to human tissue—are coming from designers and engineers daily.Even the best idea, though, has little value in the United States unless the Food and Drug Administration gives its go-ahead for putting the device on the market. Full Article

Banner Medical Goes Long



Bill Norlander, Medical Product Specialist, Banner Medical

3/26/2014

Planning for the future of the medical device industry through proactive quality assurance and supply chain management Full Article

Computer Aided Medical Manufacturing



Delcam North America

3/26/2014

Three different CAM systems are making a difference at three separate device makers. Sutter Instrument, Chas. A. Blatchford & Sons, and High Point Precision Products each have different CAM needs, and have found an appropriate solution. Here’s a look at each company. Full Article

Hand Tools



Edited Senior Editor Michael C. Anderson from information supplied by Vero Software Group.

12/11/2013

The VISI suite of CAD/CAM applications from Vero Software has been instrumental in helping a precision engineering company develop the world’s most advanced commercially available myoelectric prosthetic hand (i.e., one controlled by signals from voluntarily contracted muscles within a person’s residual limb) currently on the market. Full Article

Driving Medical Innovation with Additive Manufacturing



Senior Editor Michael C. Anderson

12/11/2013

EOS (Munich) and Innovative Medical Device Solutions (IMDS; Fort Worth, TX) announced a partnership in 2012 combining EOS’ expertise in direct metal laser-sintering (DMLS) systems, software and materials with IMDS’ experience as a full-service contractor for medical product development and manufacturing. Full Article

Smoothing the Path at CSS



Senior Editor Michael C. Anderson

12/11/2013

Connecticut Spring & Stamping (CSS; Farmington, CT), a family owned and managed company with over 380 employees, is set on achieving certification under the ISO 13485 comprehensive management system for the design and manufacture of medical device components. Full Article

Reducing Time to Market Using CAM Systems



Vivek Govekar, CAMWorks R&D Head, Geometric Technologies

12/3/2013

Traditional CAM systems are no longer suited to the fast-paced demands of the manufacturing industry and especially in the medical devices industry. The response time for delivering a medical device is critical. Efficiency and speed of delivery are of consequence in the quest of reducing the time to market. Full Article

Curing Clouds at Appasamy



Matt Bailey, Contributing Writer, Haas Automation Inc.

12/3/2013

In India, cataracts are the most common cause of preventable blindness; one company in particular makes the equipment the country’s ophthalmologists rely on to treat the afflicted.   Full Article

Reimbursement Challenges for Medical Device Makers



Ilene Wolff, Contributing Editor

12/3/2013

When medical device entrepreneur Kelvin Ning  started working in Silicon Valley 13 years ago, no one talked very much about reimbursement for new devices.“Just know what they [competitors] are charging for their device—and that’s what you’ll get,” he recalls his colleagues telling him.Then, three years ago, when the medical device company he worked for was having problems with reimbursement, Ning decided to school himself on the subject. Full Article

Trends & Themes in the Medical Device Market



Bryan Hughes and Matthew C. Smith, P&M Corporate Finance LLC

11/21/2013

In previous editions of the SME Medical Manufacturing Yearbook, P&M Corporate Finance has provided commentary on a variety of market forces impacting medical device manufacturers, such as regulatory considerations, reimbursement, M&A and venture capital activity. This year’s article will touch on several of those same dynamics, with a focus on the 510(k) approval process and the 2.3% medical device tax, which went into effect on January 1, 2013. Full Article

Medical Implant OEMs Set Their Sights on Ceramics



Don Graham, Manager, Education & Technical Services, Seco Tools

11/21/2013

Practically all of the major medical implant OEMs are actively pursuing, in one way or another, the viability of manufacturing various common implants from ceramic materials. Ceramics are perfect for implant use. They provide much higher levels of strength, wear resistance, smoothness and biocompatibility when compared with metals and polymers. Full Article

A 'Cure' for an In-Body Camera Housing Challenge



F. Brian Holmes, CMfgE, Vice President and General Manager, Columbia Plastics Ltd.

11/21/2013

Medical manufacturing suppliers are expected to be able to innovate while maintaining required quality and safety standards. Quality controls are as important as nimble problem-solving abilities. Columbia Plastics, where we focus on injection molding, knows these challenges well, as the following example shows. Full Article

Drilling Small, Deep Holes with Precision EDM



Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

11/1/2013

Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) has been removing metal by spark erosion for more than half a century—with sinker (ram/Elox-) style EDMing for molds and wire EDM for precision parts cutting, especially dies. A third type, EDM drilling, has emerged for precision holemaking in the smallest sizes, going beyond its use initially as an EDM “popper” for starting holes in hard metals. Full Article

Medical Manufacturing Growing in (Possibly) Unexpected Places



Lauralyn McDaniel, Industry Manager--Medical, Manager, Innovation Watch, MicroManufacturing, Medical Manufacturing Innovations, SME

8/8/2013

You probably know that medical device manufacturing is complex, highly regulated, and driven by innovation with North America being the world leader in producing devices. You probably think the Los Angeles and Boston areas have the highest direct employment in medical device manufacturing, but are they? Full Article

Medical Parts Go Additive



Contributing Editor Bruce Morey

5/14/2013

To a mechanical engineer, the human body is filled with perplexing shapes. Replacing its parts, or designing tools to operate on it, is a challenge. The body’s uneven, organic shapes are difficult to replicate with standard machine tools, which are more accustomed to cutting straight lines or drilling round holes. But additive manufacturing, which gives designers the freedom to create complex, organic shapes, seems a natural fit.   Full Article

Medical Manufacturing: Living in the Materials World



Senior Editor Michael C. Anderson

5/1/2013

A look at the qualities and challenges of some medical metals with ATW Companies' Tracy MacNeal  Full Article

Laser Makers Under Pressure: Do More, Faster



Contributing Editor Ilene Wolff

5/1/2013

Lasers get more powerful, accurate and affordable, improving productivity of laser marking and cutting Full Article

Medical Metrology Assists with FDA Reporting Rules



Contributing Editor Bruce Morey

5/1/2013

Medical device manufacturers have unique and heavy reporting requirements.  Providers of metrology equipment and inspection software are making strides towards helping them respond. Full Article

Micro-Molding Thin-Walled Devices



Donna Bibber, President and CEO, Micro Engineering Solutions

5/1/2013


Micro machining of micro molds nowenable thin-walled micro injection molding in thermoplastic, silicone, and metal Full Article

Medical Device Manufacturing Summit Heads to Las Vegas



marcus evans Summits

4/4/2013

The Medical Device Manufacturing Summit is the premium forum bringing together senior medical device manufacturing executives and leading solution providers.  Full Article

Additive Manufacturing: A Custom Solution for the Medical Industry



Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster

3/27/2013

Additive manufacturing is growing fast in the medical field, fueled by more materials and a better understanding of the possibilities. Full Article

Operations Improvement at rms



Chris Wacker, Executive Vice President, Laserfiche

3/1/2013

It is hard to imagine work that requires more precision, more attention to detail or more obsession with perfection than that of medical parts maker rms Co. of Minneapolis (and yes, that’s “rms” uncapitalized). The brains, hearts, spines and other body parts that rely on the parts rms makes to support and hold them together demand perfection, and rms has met that demand since 1967. Full Article

Using Waste in Unique Ways



Robert Currie, Director, Baxter International Inc.

2/25/2013

Since the establishment of its first waste reduction goals in 1996, Baxter Healthcare Corporation has made minimizing waste one of its top environmental priorities—sometimes by using waste in unique ways. One of Baxter’s sustainability priorities and goals for 2015 is to reduce total waste generation 30%, indexed to revenue from 2005 baseline. Because Baxter sites generate different types of waste, the company’s total waste goal, which combines non-hazardous and regulated waste, encourages each site to focus on reduction efforts for waste streams most relevant to its own operations.    Full Article

Micro Manufacturing Keeps Shrinking the Envelope



Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak

1/1/2013

Micro components continue to shrink in size, demanding ever-greater precision and improved handling of parts with sub-micron-sized features. New approaches in micro machining technology include higher-precision systems from traditional micro machining developers, as well as techniques using additive manufacturing processes and semiconductor wafer-scale technology on the smallest of micro parts.

Full Article

Toolholders that Grip, Lock and Raise the Bar



Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster

1/1/2013

The toolholding industry is launching new systems for gripping, clamping and locking, as well as deadening vibrations. It's also expanding its toolholder lineup, going ever bigger for applications in the energy, machinery and heavy-duty transportation markets and ever smaller for medical and aerospace parts.
Full Article

Plastic Connectors Provide Benefits for Critical Laboratory and Industrial Applications



Riley Phipps, Technical and Design Services Manager, Value Plastics Inc., a Nordson Company

12/11/2012

The latest generation of plastic connectors enable more versatile, user-friendly and cost-effective options for the design of instrumentation and equipment used in mission-critical laboratory and industrial applications   Full Article

New Automation, Machines Revive Manufacturer



Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

12/1/2012

In 2005 connector manufacturing wasn’t what it had been. In a flurry of outsourcing, US shops were steadily losing business to China and India, and economy-wide financial turbulence lay just around the corner. Rather than wallow in the impending doom and gloom, Senga Engineering (Santa Ana, CA) had another plan. Full Article

Tech Front: Software Slims Composites, Metals Design



Edited by Senior Editor Jim Lorincz

7/1/2012

For many industries, composites are the material of choice for achieving lightweight, fuel-efficient and strong designs. The challenge going forward for engineers is to take full advantage of the properties of composites by using advanced analysis tools to predict margins of safety, performance, cost, and design for manufacturability. Full Article

Medical Metrology in the Trenches



Contributing Editor Bruce Morey

5/1/2012

Machining parts makes money—everyone knows that. Measuring them, on the other hand, is not productive time. It is often considered a necessary evil, an overhead expense to be endured. Such an attitude is not always the case for those who think ahead. Full Article

Problems Solved: Micro Molding for Medical



Tom Filippo, General Manager, Dynomax, & Megan Krizman, Buyer, Dynomax

5/1/2012

Challenges (both large and small) arise in the manufacturing industry every day. The nature of the industry is problem-solving, and Dynomax Inc., founded in 1986 by CEO Richard Zic and headquartered in the Chicago land area, has battled and conquered its fair share of challenges. The company serves the medical, aerospace/defense, transportation, and energy industries. Full Article

Material Meld: Manufacturing for Orthotics



Arif Sirinterlikci & Michael Shaffer, School of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science, Robert Morris University

5/1/2012

Orthotics is a field concerned with design, manufacture, and implementation of orthopedic devices called orthoses. An orthosis can be as simple as a splint, band, helmet, or a brace that is more complex in nature. These devices are used with body segments such as joints, extremities, even the skull, for a variety of reasons—assisting, restricting, or stopping movement, reducing forces exerted, and helping promote tissue healing. Full Article

Lasers Cut Medical Devices with Precision, Speed



Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak

5/1/2012

Lasers cut, weld and mark the metal alloys and polymers used to build the latest medical implant breakthroughs, surgical instruments, and other related medical products. Many key characteristics of today’s lasers make the devices ideal for use in medical applications such as cutting stents and endoscopes, pacemaker components and other medical components. Full Article

UpFront: Medical Manufacturing: A Risky Business



Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster

5/1/2012

Navigating the medical manufacturing industry these days reminds me of that game Minesweeper, where you try to clear a virtual minefield without blowing up a mine. You don’t know where the next mine will be, but you try to make educated guesses about what’s next and prepare. Yes, medical manufacturing is a landscape full of uncertainties. Full Article

Additive Manufacturing Advances



Terry Wohlers, Principal Consultant & President, Wohlers Associates Inc.

4/1/2012

Additive manufacturing (AM) has never received so much attention. The Economist, Forbes, USA Today, and countless other mainstream and technical publications and blogs have brought the technology to the forefront. Large aerospace companies, such as Boeing, GE Aviation, and Airbus, are hard at work qualifying AM processes and materials for flight. Full Article



Advanced Manufacturing Media - SME
U.S. Office  |  One SME Drive, Dearborn, MI 48128  |  Customer Care: 800.733.4763  |  313.425.3000
Canadian Office  |  7100 Woodbine Avenue, Suite 312, Markham, ON, L3R 5J2  888.322.7333
Tooling U  |   3615 Superior Avenue East, Building 44, 6th Floor, Cleveland, OH 44114  |  866.706.8665