positioning for precision: manpower, tougher materials top challenges among precision machinists and toolers.
About once a year, data released by a think tank or government agency complained about the shrinking manufacturing employment sector, tied up with the growing service economy, and newspapers from the coast to the coast covered the information with due diligence, usually on or near the home page.
These stories are frustrating and indicate, directly or indirectly, that most of these jobs are shipped overseas on trivial labor standards.
Of course, these reports and data are accurate. -
Unemployment at home and slave labor abroad are real problems and cannot be laughed-
They almost always ignore some very prominent facts.
In the past half century, quite a few of the manufacturing jobs that have been eliminated have disappeared because today\'s factories and shops are much more efficient than ever before.
In addition, these efficiencies, although the sad reasons for the loss of work, are also good.
Anyone over 35 can tell you that McDonald\'s menu prices have not risen significantly since the middle1980s.
There is no price for DVD rental.
Same is true for a pair of namesbrand sneakers.
The list continues. Why?
The cost-effectiveness of manufacturing has grown considerably over the past 20 years, and these savings have been passed on to consumers.
But for a factory manager, what is good news for consumers can be a headache.
Advances in automation, robotics, computers, CADsoftware, outsourcing and other technologies.
Help increase profits, but they also challenge employees who find sufficient qualifications to implement and maintain such complex tools.
So we have a paradox that in a world of constant mourning for losses, an inadequate pool of qualified labor is a long-term complaint from medical device manufacturers and their contractors
Work for manufacturing.
In precision machining and tool stores, the problem seems particularly serious, where the reputation of a company depends largely on the expertise of its personnel.
In the field of plastic surgery, the company bears the extra burden of materials that are getting harder and more durable (
To resist wear and stay in the body for longer)
And increasingly complex product and component shapes (
The rod is the same as the shaft --
Locking methods in rotating implants are becoming more and more complex).
Here\'s how these forces shape companies that provide precision machining and tools for the orthopedic industry.
Human micro precision Switzerland, located in San Matita, Rancho, California, provides precision processing for biomedical implants.
About half of its business comes from orthopedic customers.
Like many companies in this area, it is experiencing considerable growth.
Over the past two years, itsmaching\'s capacity has grown by 30% and its workforce has grown by 20%.
It recently acquired three other companies.
Managing this rapid growth is a major challenge, said AndyMead president, especially in staffing.
\"It\'s difficult to find truly qualified employees,\" Mead said . \"
\"Finding them at the speed we can absorb them and train them to improve their skills is a challenge.
So we have been looking for employees.
If we find a good one, whether we need it or not that day, we will put that person on the staff. -
So we continue to grow.
\"It\'s no surprise that when a company is able to bring together highly qualified employees, the fact itself becomes an important marketing strategy.
In miltrooper & Skye located in Mentor, OH, customers can get state-of-the-
Including 13-recent art manufacturing equipment
Multi-Axis Swiss CNC Machine Toolaxis, high-
High speed Mill and 5-
Shaft processing centers that can handle the most complex medical equipment.
But Chris Rawlins, sales manager, said it was the company\'s employees who made the company different.
\"From our engineering department to our workshop, we employ very professional staff,\" he said . \".
\"I believe it is our people and their skills that separate us from the crowd.
Combination of high-
Technical equipment and highly skilled operators make sus highly competitive in markets where other contract manufacturers may not be able to survive.
\"The longevity, history and culture of a company also help it stand out.
Since its establishment in 1948, obberg Industries of PA reeport has been led by Donald E.
Oberger, who pioneered applications in the manufacture of high carbide components
High speed stampingdies.
The carbide has revolutionized the tool and mold industry as it offers about 10 times the high wear resistancecarbon, high-
Chrome tool steel.
This broad history gives employees there a unique view of the industry, says Sean E.
Schafer, director of marketing and strategic planning at Oberg.
This is what he calls a variety of \"tribal knowledge\" that cannot match stores that exist for only 10 or 20 years.
For example, obberg offers all the traditional services of apretica processing shop: 3-and 5-
Machining, EDM, precision machining, etc.
But for some work, Precision Metal Stamping may be more effective than machining.
\"Stamping is something that most designers are not familiar with,\" Schafer said . \".
\"Most of the people who have been in this business since 85 or 95 years or more are nearby.
They don\'t have access to our tribal knowledge.
Therefore, all products on the market are designed around existing technologies, and they may not even consider the option of stamping.
For me, this background is a big advantage for obig.
\"The value of the employees is so high that some companies actually offer contract personnel services to their customers.
MaharTool supply, based in MI Saginaw, provides tools for a variety of industries.
It has a small business share in the medical manufacturing sector, mainly in the orthopedic sector, but is growing. Asa value-
ToMike Kovaleski, president of the company, said that in addition to adding services, it also provides customers with staffing in procurement, technical and logistics positions.
\"Most of our customers, their core competencies are the design and manufacture of instruments,\" he said . \".
\"They are experts in this area and experts in the logistics of their products ---
That is to say, deliver the correct implants and instruments to the operating room on time. . .
But the things that come into the factory, the tools, the different things that are needed to complete the manufacturing work, need to be brought into the factory ---
Sometimes they struggle with these things.
We did a good job in this area.
We focus and focus on it.
\"With the growth of the market for plastic surgery implants, more and more companies are entering the field and more products are being introduced.
When an area competes with competitors, the nuances between products become more important and touted in advertising and marketing campaigns.
At present, this can be seen in the primary total knee care placement field. according to financial experts, by 2011, only in the United States, this will be a market worth more than $5 billion.
The patient himself is now the target.
In 2006, industry leaders such as asStryker and Zimmer began to promote gender-specific knees, which are especially suitable for the unique anatomy of women.
Online television often broadcasts ads promoting knee implants, with celebrity spokesmen Angela Lansbury and Jack Nicklaus adding luster to brand identity.
An important area of competition between these products is the life of the implant.
Today\'s middle-aged generation may live longer than any previous generation, as implants tend to be highly invasive and no one is willing to undergo more than one operation if possible.
That\'s why OEMs are pushing their contractors to work with harder, more durable materials that will last longer in the body.
\"The changes we see as manufacturers in the field of orthopedics involve the materials used. . .
Al LaVezzi, president of LaVezzi Precision, Inc. said: \"The increase in wear resistance and yield strength is the most important . \"
Headquartered in IL Glendale Heights.
\"It was first noted that the main participants in the hipand knee implant business were actively advertising in all media, especially on television.
With the aging population (
And getting fat)
The market will expand from hundreds of millions a year to millions.
The demand for new materials is huge, which will reduce the need to replace these implants due to wear.
\"In addition, the growth of the spinal fixation system has led to the development of new, stronger materials and some unique methods for fixing rods on sleeves or brackets, laVezzi noted, the avertebra bone screw passes through the screw.
\"Due to the geometry of the materials and parts, the design of these sleeves, brackets and screws poses a challenge to the manufacturer,\" he said . \".
\"The multi-axis Swiss lathe is mandatory and can be rotated with internal and external threads.
Schafer of aubergh noted: \"The booming companies will be able to handle more materials.
\"Oberg has extensive experience in very hard materials such as ceramics.
Carbide and carbide are generally used.
When we see the implants entering these very hard, durable materials, the role we play is that we have been working on these very hard-to-grind and processed materials for nearly 60 years.
This brings a whole new level to our business, \"Schafer said.
In addition to the traditional and extensive knowledge base, obberg is also taking steps to develop new technologies. The 700-
The employee company has an advanced operating group whose sole responsibility is to develop new processing and cutting technologies for cutting and forming materials.
One area of research is the development of methods to remove materials while minimizing the pressure on parts.
\"There are a lot of benefits in being able to process something without causing stress,\" Schafer said . \" He added that the company was about to launch a process to do so, although he could not discuss the issue in detail for some special reasons.
\"I call it a reverse plating process,\" he explained . \".
\"Plating adds material to the substrate.
Through this process, we actually remove the material from the surface.
No stress and very limited physical contact.
This is what we have at work.
Many of the orthopaedic doctors we had the privilege of reaching were excited about the technology.
I just can\'t get to know in detail.
\"The use of surgical plates is greatly increased, with a wide variety of shapes and sizes, which requires the manufacturer\'s ability to simultaneously 5-
According to LaVezzi, shaft processing is performed on the hardest implanted alloy.
\"Like most implants, this requires the ability to move the designer\'s ideas from his files to your CAM program.
In addition, the coordinate measuring instrument with hinged probe and scanning function helps to deliver parts that meet the specifications, \"he said.
AddedLaVezzi added that the electric manual tools used in today\'s operating rooms, whether minimally invasive or open surgery, are constantly evolving to meet the needs of surgeons.
\"They are light weight and machined to ensure a good grip, but do not tear the gloves, the finished product ensures that the gloves are not torn
Production tools (drill and burs)
Now the steel can still achieve higher hardness at the same time of high pressure sterilization.
\"More attention is paid to the geometry of the cutting edges of these tools to ensure that the cutting action is smooth and does not generate heat,\" he said . \".
Without high-quality tools, high-quality precision machining cannot be carried out on very hard surfaces.
Schutte WU 305 linear general purpose Tool and Tool grinding machines are known for their high quality work in the field of orthopedic manufacturing.
This machine is not cheap, but because it provides Real 5-
Shaft capability and high accuracy required for medical implants.
One of the keys to machine speed and the extremely fine finish that can be provided is that it uses a linear motor instead of the ball screw mechanism used in the old version of the wu305. David W.
Brigham, director of the Schtitte TGMLLC grinding department in Jackson, Michigan, explained the difference.
\"Using a linear motor, the speed and feed speed are much faster,\" he said . \".
\"But the key advantage is that you can achieve better results.
There\'s no herky jerky movement like you get with ball screw technology.
Another advantage of WU 305, Brigham added, is its unique ecosystem that can handle grinding dust, milling debris, sandpaper and rubies generated by various processing operations.
As companies in this area adapt to a diverse market, the consistent restraint among their leaders is the need to stand out from packaging and provide what other companies cannot provide.
\"We are trying to position ourselves as a different player,\" Schafer noted . \".
This is our main strategy.
\"Frank Celia is a free healthcare writer in the Philadelphia area.