How CNC Machining Has Transformed the Medical Industry

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Let’s face it. Our population isn’t getting any younger. The number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to double from 52 million (as of 2018) to 95 million by 2060. This is having a significant effect on our healthcare industry, and we’ve seen those effects here at Teton Machine.

Due to the growth of our aging population, the need for precision machining services in the medical industry is growing as well.

For the medical industry, precision machining can be a matter of life or death; literally. CNC machining services for the medical industry has become the go-to method for medical device manufacturers who demand both extreme tolerances and consistency in the production of their life-saving devices.

Recreating the complex geometries of human joints just wasn’t possible without the advent of CNC Machining. Multi-axis machining now gives us the ability to build precision medical parts and implants that exactly mirror human joints.

When it comes to machining, the medical industry requires the combination of precision, repeatability and consistency.  These requirements are well-suited for multi-axis CNC machining. Machine shops that commit to offering machining services to the medical industry have to invest both in proper machining equipment as well as top quality machinists to run them.

When it comes to machining, the medical industry requires the combination of precision, repeatability and consistency, which is well-suited for multi-axis CNC machining.

Types of machined parts for the medical industry

A few examples of parts commonly machined for the medical industry include: Surgical instruments, components for spinal fixation, bone fixation, parts for medical pumps, CT and MRI scanners. Medical machining company

The intricacy of medical components pose one challenge. The challenging material requirements of medical devices add another. 

Medical device components often require the use of challenging exotic metals. These often include titanium, PEEK, medical grade stainless steel (stainless steel 304 and 316), alloys, brass and more. 

In addition to challenging material requirements, implanted medical devices often include extremely tiny components. They are commonly machined from titanium due to its non-reactivity with the human body. This often involves the use of Swiss machining, or micro-machining. 

Swiss Machined Medical parts

Medical device manufacturers often utilize companies offering Swiss machining services. Machine shops that have Swiss machining or micro-machining capabilities have the ability to produce extremely intricate medical components. These include pins, bone screws, staples, suture anchors, stents, clips, catheters and more. Swiss style lathes provide both the precision and repeatability needed for medical parts machining. Due to the guide-bushing design of a Swiss-type lathe, the OD turning tool can cut the stock very near the point of support. This means we can machine your parts with increased precision.

quality commitment

Everything starts with proper handling and machine accuracy. Both are so critical when drilling and milling such tiny parts, while achieving the ideal surface finishes for these parts. This requires both state of the art Swiss machines and tooling.  In addition, it requires well-trained machinists, and a commitment to maintaining and following a well-defined quality system.

What’s most important with medical part manufacturing is the ability to replicate the machining process to ensure consistency. This is where a robust quality control process comes into play. 

Proper machine calibration and maintenance are critical, due to the microscopic tolerances that is required when machining components for the medical industry.

Record keeping, document management and process control are critically important as well.

When you need the exact same part machined 12 months from now to the exact same tolerances, a well defined and documented process will help to ensure you receive machined parts that are identical today, tomorrow, and into the future.

ISO Certified machine shops

One indicator that a machine shop has high quality standards is if they’ve received an ISO certification. Companies who have received the ISO 9000 certification have had their business processes thoroughly evaluated. They maintain a quality system that provides consistent outcomes that are both measured and monitored.

As a globally recognized standard, ISO certification is often a requirement when seeking out machining services.

Teton machine - medical machining services

At Teton Machine, we pride ourselves on our ability to achieve the highest quality levels in the machining industry. We work hard to achieve and maintain our ISO 9001:2015 certification. We also thrive on a good challenge, and medical machining continues to be one of the most rewarding industries that we work with.

As the medical industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, the team at Teton Machine is committed to being at the forefront, when it comes to providing medical device machining services.

Located in Payette, Idaho, Teton Machine provides a wide range of precision machining services for leading companies across the United States. As an employee-owned company, all of us have a vested interest in providing the highest quality service in our industry. Companies who work with us recognize and appreciate this commitment, which has played a major role in our ongoing growth. 

Whether you need CNC milling, CNC turning, Swiss machining, product consulting, or are unsure what machining process best suits you, we’d love to hear from you. We know and understand manufacturing, and will be happy to share our industry knowledge with you.

 

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