thumbnail group

Connect With Us:

Manufacturing Engineering Media eNewsletters

All Medical Articles

Hard Hips

Patrick Loughney, Product Specialist, Sandvik Coromant


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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

Toolholders that Grip, Lock and Raise the Bar

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


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

Micro Manufacturing Keeps Shrinking the Envelope

Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak


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

Plastic Connectors Provide Benefits for Critical Laboratory and Industrial Applications

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


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


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


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


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

UpFront: Medical Manufacturing: A Risky Business

Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster


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

Material Meld: Manufacturing for Orthotics

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


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


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

Problems Solved: Micro Molding for Medical

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


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

Additive Manufacturing Advances

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


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

Precision Parts Shop Aims High to Win Big

Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


When Rob Simmons, owner of Machine Specialties Inc. (MSI; Whitsett, NC), listened to a seminar speaker in 2005 discussing the looming economic downturn, he raised his hand to comment. "I’m not going to participate in that," he stated. And he didn’t. Full Article

SME Speaks: Mission: Growth at SME

SME Director of Membership Joseph J. LaRussa


Growth is many things. It’s a business objective, a sign of health, a personal goal, and a measure of satisfaction. SME and its members consider growth to be all of these, and together we’re achieving it. Considering growth as a business objective, SME membership grew by 4% in 2011. More than 6700 new members joined the Society in 2011, demonstrating that our value promise to our members is strong and compelling. Full Article

Trends & Themes in the Medical Device Market

Bryan Hughes & Eric Valyko, P&M Corporate Finance LLC


Several key dynamics are currently impacting the medical device industry. Those that are the subject of this article include sweeping regulatory changes, a shift in demand, and the economic challenge facing the industry amidst the 2.3% medical tax that will become effective in 2013. Full Article

Designing and Manufacturing Medical Devices with Antimicrobial Technology

Arif Sirinterlikci, Samantha Pogel, Justin Wissinger School of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science Robert Morris University


A new breed of medical devices is being equipped with antimicrobial technology to prevent microbial contamination and infections. In the US alone, about 1.7 million cases of infections occur annually, causing approximately 99,000 deaths and $45 billion in added healthcare costs reported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and various other resources.        Full Article

Automation For Medical

Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak


While robots have been deployed in high-profile surgical applications in recent years, using a specialized apparatus like the da Vinci surgical system, the majority of industrial or commercial medical uses for robots are somewhat more commonplace.  Full Article

Connect Process Flows to Become Lean

Lorin Jovag, Manufacturing Engineer, Physio-Control Inc.


For more than 55 years, Physio-Control Inc. (Redmond, WA), a unit of Medtronic Inc. (Fridley, MN), has been a manufacturer of portable external heart defibrillator/cardiac monitors, which are considered Class III medical devices. Its Lifepak brand is known for quality and rugged design, and is one of the most-recognized brands in medical devices. Full Article

Medical Metrology as Part of the Whole

Contributing Editor Bruce Morey


For those who manufacture medical devices, the thinking is personal. "We have the attitude that any of our parts could go into any of our children, or our mothers, tomorrow," explains Jeff Corey, senior calibrations technician for ATEK Medical (Grand Rapids, MI). Full Article

Materials for Medical Manufacturing

Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak


With demand for joint replacements exploding as populations age, materials used by medical implant and medical device manufacturers continue to evolve. Metallurgists and materials scientists are seeking more-innovative ways to improve the quality and longevity of surgical implants. Full Article

Lasers Enable Medical Manufacturing Innovation

Editor Brian J. Hogan


The success of the laser as a tool for manufacturing medical devices has occurred due to an alignment of its features to that of the industry. Those requirements for high quality, accuracy, miniaturization, and reliability match up well with the laser’s inherent fine resolution, high controllability, and stability. Full Article

Lasers in Medical Device Manufacturing

Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak


While lasers for surgical applications get a lot of attention because of innovative uses in life-critical surgeries, LASIK eye procedures, and plastic surgery, deployment of industrial lasers in manufacturing of medical implants, devices, and other components has increased immensely as demand grows with aging populations.  Full Article

Dimensions in Medical Metrology

Contributing Editor Bruce Morey


From optical comparators to computed tomography, metrology equipment is adapting to aid advances in medical manufacturing Full Article

Edge Finishing — Product Enhancement or Wasted Cost?

La Roux K. Gillespie


Edge finishing is a relatively new term in manufacturing. It's a new and deeper focus on what many used to call deburring, edge honing, edge preparation, edge prepping, burring, chamfering, or edge blending. Edge finishing goes beyond any of those definitions. Deburring, which is often considered wasted effort by managers, wrongly carries a negative connotation. Full Article

Medical Lasers Make & Mend

Senior Editor Robert B. Aronson


Physicians use lasers to cut, fuse, and repair elements of the human body. And, because of their unique capabilities, lasers often play a key role in the manufacture of medical equipment. Because of the increase in types, power levels, and operating simplicity of lasers, their application to both medical roles is rapidly expanding. The trend to minimally invasive surgery has provided an ideal role for lasers.    Full Article

Manufacturing for the Amputee

Robert B. Aronson


Body-part replacement challenges manufacturing engineers and designers      Full Article

Manufacturing Engineering 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