Robotics and Automated Machining Cut Medical Device Tubing Costs

The unique feature of the two laser-cutting machines (programmed identically) is that they can cut all the features of the tube and inspect them in the process.

In the November issue of Medical Design Briefs, MICRO Executive Vice President Steve Santoro wrote about the importance of continually investing in the latest technologies to ensure producing the highest quality medical devices while also reducing costs. 

He said full-service contract manufacturing operations (such as MICRO) must be vertically integrated to handle complex medical device tubing projects. Trimming tube manufacturing costs on high-volume, single-use disposable instruments requires sophisticated equipment with laser cutting technology; efficient production processes and automated work cells.

At MICRO, we achieve vertical integration by combining Swiss turn machining and laser cutting in one advanced machine.  Particularly suited for fabricated tube production, our Citizen L200 CNC machining center combines a Swiss style 7 axis CNC lathe and an integrated 400 W laser cutter. It laser-cuts slots and holes and simultaneously machines differing outside diameters, thus reducing setup time, secondary processing and handling costs.

Most metal tubing projects can benefit from using this CNC lathe/laser-cutting equipment.

“Unlike traditional metal stamping, the new equipment uses long-length drawn metal tubing with automatic feeding, cut-off and part ejection,” Santoro said. Several operations can take place simultaneously, shortening setup and cycle times, and thus reduce costs.

“Automated work cells designed to cut features and holes into stainless steel tubing while inspecting in-line can improve quality and lower overall manufacturing costs,” he said.  “A complete work cell might feature a robotic arm sandwiched between two identical 4-axis laser cutters.  When the system is running, the robot simultaneously loads and unloads parts, alternating between the two laser-cutting machines.” 

A simple programming change replaces costly tooling and setup conversions. The system only requires an operator to place 2 tray-like totes (with unprocessed tubes) in front of the robotic arm—one tote for each laser cutting machine.

This automated system at MICRO requires an operator only for placing two tray-like totes of unprocessed tubes in front of the robotic arm – one tote for each laser cutting machine – and can run unattended for approximately 5 hours. It integrates two identically programmed laser- cutting machines, each with a two-camera vision system, so it can cut all tube features and inspect them in the process.

Read the full article in Medical Design Briefs here. 

MICRO to Showcase Medical Devices at MD&M Minneapolis 2017

The Minneapolis Convention Center will welcome medical device manufacturers to the Midwest when MD&M Minneapolis hits in early November for its 23rd year.

At this year’s event, MICRO (Booth #1105) will highlight its production of precision medical devices and assemblies.

Medical Devices and Sub-Assemblies

MICRO is a full-service contract manufacturer focusing on complete medical devices and intricate sub-assemblies. We offer R&D, engineering, and design assistance; and we assemble devices on scales of production, ranging from prototyping to full-line manufacturing.

MICRO produces a wide variety of wound closure, stapling and biopsy devices—as well as instruments for minimally-invasive laparoscopic, endoscopic and arthroscopic procedures. We are also the world’s largest manufacturer of titanium and stainless steel litigation clips.

Our ISO Class 8 cleanroom is staffed with highly-trained technicians that use semi-automated equipment to ensure high device output quality. We hold ISO 13485 and ISO 14001 quality certifications, and our infrastructure is FDA-registered and cGMP-QSR compliant.

“MICRO specializes in manufacturing a higher standard of medical device,” says Brian Semcer, President. “We are excited to showcase our advanced production methods and the variety of high-quality instruments they result in at MD&M Minneapolis.”

MD&M Minneapolis will take place November 8th-9th at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, MN.

Visit MICRO at MD&M Minneapolis, Booth #1105, to learn more about our company and our capabilities.

MICRO Exemplifies Commitment to New Technology

In her opening letter from July’s issue of Today’s Medical Developments, editor Elizabeth Engler Modic stresses the importance of companies investing in new technology to stay on top in the medical device industry. “Companies must invest in technology that enables advanced manufacturing,” Modic writes, “and contract manufacturers need to remain technologically savvy,” to meet customers’ ever-changing needs. Her letter conveys the importance of embracing the latest technological advancements if manufacturers wish to thrive and survive.

MICRO has always been at the forefront of the competitive curve for new technology investment, offering cost-effective manufacturing solutions for our customers.  For example, we have greatly increased our MED (MICRO Electrolytic Dissolution) production capacity within the last year. We use this advanced machining method to create complex parts for medical instruments used in surgical and orthopedic procedures.

The technique dissolves part of the raw material from the work piece electrochemically to make components of unparalleled precision. In order to handle customer manufacturing requirements, we operate 4 PEM works cells in our recently expanded machining department.

MICRO has also invested heavily in “automation” for CNC machining—combining robotics cells with CNC machines to create streamlined production systems—for the manufacture of machined medical device components.

Each of the RoboFlex cells can service two multi-axis CNCs at the same time. The robotic arm picks-and-places raw material blanks into the CNC staging fixtures to be machined into precise parts. Automated loading eliminates the production downtime associated with human operation and results in an efficient and cost-effective work environment.

As our corporate logo indicates, “We Manufacture Solutions.” By combining a commitment to invest in new technology and a dedication to create cost-effective manufacturing solutions, MICRO has become one of the premier contract manufacturing operations in today’s medical device industry.

View the full letter from Today’s Medical Developments here.

New Complete Device Program at MICRO

One of the most exciting programs currently under development at MICRO is a new instrument manufacturing program. A prominent medical OEM has contracted MICRO to manufacture and assemble 4 distinct types of a reusable laparoscopic surgical instrument. These devices are highly effective in the grasping of soft tissue during minimally invasive procedures.

MICRO has invested in new machining centers for this large undertaking, boosting its already impressive repertoire of CNC capability. The first, a Haas DM-1 (Drill/Mill) vertical machining center, features a 15,000 RPM spindle, 15 HP Vector Drive, and 18+1 Side-Mount Tool Changer. This machine is responsible for the manufacturing of three handle components and secondary operations on the actuation rod. The second, a Willemin-Macodel 408-MT (Mill/Turn) machining center, adds 5-axis capability to MICRO’s production floor. This bar fed machine is ideal for small scale, high precision manufacturing of components with complex geometry. It is responsible for the manufacturing of the end effector jaws and linkage components. It also marks the first time MICRO is machining from plastic bar stock.

In addition to the impressive technology behind the manufacturing of the components themselves, MICRO will be performing all of the final assembly on these devices, in compliance with FDA and ISO requirements. This means a high-level skill set is necessary for each production phase and the final assembly in order to give the surgeon a device that feels and functions as good as it looks. The technology and skills derived from this program will carve a path for MICRO to manufacture more complete, finished surgical instruments in the future.

MICRO to Feature Medical Devices at MD&M East 2017

The Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York will welcome medical device manufacturers to the East Coast’s largest annual Medtech Event when MD&M East opens there in June.

At this year’s event, MICRO (Booth #2039) will highlight its production of precision medical devices and intricate sub-assemblies.

 

Medical Devices and Sub-Assemblies

MICRO is a full-service contract manufacturer focusing on medical devices and sub-assemblies. We offer R&D, engineering, and design assistance; and we assemble devices on scales of production ranging from prototyping to full-line manufacturing.

 

MICRO produces a wide variety of blades, scissors, stapling, biopsy devices, and instruments for minimally-invasive laparoscopic, endoscopic and arthroscopic procedures. We are also the world’s largest manufacturer of titanium and stainless steel litigation clips.

 

Our ISO Class 8 cleanroom is staffed with highly-trained technicians that use semi-automated equipment to ensure high device output quality. We hold ISO 13485 and ISO 14001 quality certifications, and our infrastructure is FDA-registered and cGMP-QSR compliant.

 

“MICRO specializes in manufacturing a higher standard of medical device,” says Brian Semcer, President. “We are excited to showcase our advanced production methods and the variety of high-quality instruments they result in at the New York show.”

 

MD&M East will take place June 13th-15th at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Visit MICRO at MD&M East, Booth #2039, to learn more about our company and our capabilities.