tems is proving invaluable to enhancing and increasing tool
life. These systems are a significant improvement to tradi-
tional coolant systems.”
As new grades of super alloys and raw materials evolve,
the tooling used to machine a given component also must
evolve. Tooling must have increased hardness and durabil-
ity to withstand the next generation of raw material.
“Having tooling that can last and cut parts to specification over extended periods will be a key factor for contract
manufacturers and precision machine shops,”said Simak.
Sharing the Knowledge
Many OEMs have outsourced the majority of manufacturing to contract manufacturers and precision machine
shops that specialize in machining various products for
the medical industry. As a result, their engineers and designers are not as familiar with the latest advances in machining and tooling, or what is feasible when it comes to
machining the products they are envisioning.
Audette indicates that the newest generations of engineers coming into the orthopedic industry don’t always
realize that, just because a design can be modelled in CAD,
it also can be viably manufactured at a marketable cost.
“We always offer alternatives to these situations to help
our customers as they grow, and to keep their designers
informed about best machining practices, in a collaborative way,” he said.
Equipment manufacturers tend to know the latest
about what the orthopedic market is looking for and can
design and manufacture machining solutions to meet
those needs. They then share this knowledge with trusted
contract manufacturers and machinists, thereby strengthening their positions in the supply chain.
For example, by implementing the latest grinding and
polishing wheel technologies, Banner has been able to
provide OEMs with faster feed rates, improved productivity and superior quality. To further share this knowledge,
“we also pursue partnerships with contract manufacturers
and precision machine shops with a wide variety of capabilities,” said Simak.
“OEMs continue to push hard for year-over-year cost
reductions, as wages and costs to manufacture continue to
increase,” said Audette. “This creates real challenges that
we have been able to turn into opportunities for innovation and efficiency, without sacrificing quality and service.
Finding ways to do more with less is vital for staying competitive in a world market.”v
Mark Crawford is a full-time freelance business and market-ing/communications writer based in Madison, Wis. He also
writes a variety of feature articles for regional and national
publications, and is the author of five books. Contact him at
Medical Device Solutions
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