Medical Device Machining: Doosan Does It

When it comes to Doosan, the first thing people may think about are big, beefy workpieces for jet-engine casings, automotive transmissions, oil well drills and even race car components. But there’s another big segment of our business: medical device machining. Not only does our lineup cover the machining of larger medical equipment such as CT scanners and hospital beds, we work with many Fortune 1000 companies and first tier suppliers that make surgical tools and medical implants like hips, knees, ankles, fingers and spinal plates.

Medical Industry Needs

As you might imagine, medical machining is some of the most demanding work a machinist can undertake. Tight tolerances must be consistently maintained on complex geometries and finishes must be burr-free. Speed is essential for both prototypes and large production runs. In addition, the medical segment has to comply with FDA rules on safety and traceability.

Materials used for medical components are some of the toughest to machine. These include titanium, cobalt-chrome, surgical stainless steel, Inconel and others. Medical grade PEEK polymers are also commonly used for medical implants. Our background in the aerospace field has been key in being able to design machines that handle these materials.

The lineup of machines in our catalog consists of a healthy balance of roller linear guideway machines for speed, and box way design for heavy duty applications. The same can be said for our spindle offerings. We offer everything from spindles with built-in motors for high speed applications to geared head spindles for heavier metals.

Medical-Ready Doosan Machines

In our 20-year history with the medical industry, we have learned to adapt to changes in our customers’ needs. As just-in-time production initiatives focus on minimizing inventory, our machines—designed to cut down on setup time and handle multiple types of operations—are of great benefit to medical parts manufacturers.

Because of our customer-driven mindset, we value and respond quickly to feedback from our user base. The multitasking turn-mill PUMA MX and PUMA SMX machines are proof of that. In fact, modifications to a standard machine to accommodate a footprint requirement, travel or more spindle speed to match a medical application are things we can do for you.

The newly released PUMA TT1300SYY horizontal turning center is feature heavy with a sub-spindle and dual turrets that both have a built in Y-axis. Bone screws that have typically been machined on a swiss type machine can be done on the new PUMA TT1300SYY at a fraction of the cost and less setup time. Small medical components are sure to fit within its maximum turn diameter of 7”.

The new DVF 5000 full 5-axis vertical machining center is another model that fits the medical industry as well. With spindle speeds of 18,000 r/min and a fully integrated 500mm rotary table, you can jump into simultaneous 5-axis machining immediately.

Our customers are also adapting to changing conditions in the market. The influence of off-shore manufacturers is turning medical components into commodities. To stay competitive and still provide superior products, their need to rethink how to process a part becomes critical. Originally, the industry leaned toward the addition of expensive spindles and operators as demand increased. An alternative approach may be more about automation. For example, the DVF series machines offers a multi-pallet based work changer for lights-out machining. Customer feedback on this particular model encouraged us to create a 5-axis machine with turning capability as well.

Price Points Essential

We have always been known for the value we build into our machines. They can do the work of competitive models at a significantly lower price point. This is more important than ever since overseas companies have begun to bring low-priced supplies of medical implants into the market that are meant to be replaced by surgeons every 10 years.

Another consideration is the fact that healthcare companies dictate what they will pay for replacement surgeries. This has lowered the market price for components, reducing the profit margins of both the Fortune 1000 and first tier producers.

These two factors have made our competitive machine prices more important than ever to US manufacturers. Even the big players are seeking productivity gains through the use of cellular units and robotics.

Modern Medical Marvels

As medical science continues to advance, so will we. The next generation of machine tools with medical applications are already on the drawing board based on feedback from our customers. If you have a unique need for machining medical devices, please contact us and we’ll work together to find the perfect fit.

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