Precision is the word in orthopedic implants: device manufacturers gain solutions for accuracy, expediency.

Position:Hot markets review: medical
 
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The Japanese call it seiki. Germans call it prazision. And to the English-speaking world, it's precision.

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Two medical device manufacturers recently found it was possible to achieve the highest obtainable precision. One was able to bypass expensive hand-finishing to save time, and the other saw its part cycles completed 40 percent faster.

All manufacturers strive for precision, but the word takes on new meaning for manufactured components of implantable medical devices. Even the slightest machining error or deviation from the design can have a severe impact. Such an error might not become evident for years after implantation, when the consequences are likely more serious to face.

For McMurray, PA based FPD, a knee implant made of cobalt chromium-molybdenum alloy required time-consuming and expensive hand finishing. The part was especially challenging due to tight tolerances, sweeping geometries, and a fine surface finish.

Previous manufacturers used grinding to complete the part, but often struggled with the complex features. FPD felt the parts had to be milled to be consistent--again, where precision comes in.

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After installing a Makino a61...

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