The ORLAS Cube flexible, enclosed system features a precise axis system combined with a stable, durable granite processing table. Usable with all laser sources and processing heads from OR Laser, it can be deployed as a welding system or a compact cutting system.
Controlled by a 10.2" touch display, machining strategies can be generated directly with the system using the built-in ORLAS Suite software. With the enclosed machining case, the system fulfills all requirements for laser safety and can be used in a variety of environmental conditions. The processing case is removable and can be moved to the back of the system for crane loading.
Fabricating orthopedic implants, such as artificial knees and hips, requires abrasives to bring the cast implant to its precise geometry and required finish. Selecting the right abrasive product and using it at the proper pressure and recommended cutting speed can result in fewer abrasive steps, less re-work, faster turnaround, and reduced costs.
Orthopedic implants are initially formed using investment casting. The first step is to remove the gate with an abrasive belt. As the implant goes through a series of machining steps to gain its net shape, the use of proper abrasives is important to remove the machining lines. Further abrasive processing with a sequence of grades is required to prepare the part for the final finish. Lastly, the part is buffed to achieve its desired mirror polish.
To successfully manufacture orthopedic implants, three factors determine the outcome: pressure, speed, and finish.
Pressure – Select the correct abrasive, run it at the right pressure
Abrasive minerals must break down to reveal new cutting edges. If this point is not reached, the maximum output potential is reduced. Signs that belt selection and/or application pressure should be adjusted include the appearance of shelling or glazing (pictured below).
Typically, when the application pressure is too low for the product selected, glazing is the outcome. When the abrasive rubs rather than cuts the substrate, friction increases heat between the belt and the workpiece, and the debris from the workpiece welds to the abrasive. In these situations, try switching to a belt designed for lower pressures.
When excess pressure is applied to an abrasive, abrasive grain can flake off, causing shelling. If this happens, lower the pressure or switch to a belt designed for higher-pressure applications.
Identifying the optimal breakdown point helps to extract the full potential of the abrasives and lowers operating costs. If unsure of application pressure, start with a medium-pressure belt and observe belt feedback for signs of too much or too little pressure. Adjustments can then be made to extract the most value from the abrasive.
Speed – Balancing throughput with temperature
Typically, increased speed means increased throughput. However, temperature also increases, which can put the finished product surface at risk.
While grinding a gate to the desired shape with a coarser grade belt, higher speeds and pressure are necessary. In finishing, finer grades tend to impart more heat to the workpiece than coarser grades. Therefore, when switching to finer abrasives for finishing steps, decrease speed by approximately 30% to 50% to prevent heat damage to the implant’s surface.
Orthopedic implants are made of exotic alloys such as cobalt chrome and titanium, which tend to conduct heat poorly, making them more susceptible to heat damage. 3M Cubitron Abrasives with heat-resistant grinding aids can keep parts cool and prevent over-heating.
Finish – Match abrasive to coating
After an implant has been shaped, the surface will still have machining lines (steps) that need to be blended and finished.
Orthopedic implants require a consistent, clean metal surface free from burns or damage.
Uniform abrasive mineral configuration in 3M Trizact abrasives refine finish without changing part geometry. Trizact abrasives produce more consistent finishes with higher cut rates and cooler grinding and finishing temperatures.
The right sequence of abrasive grades can reduce the number of steps necessary to get the required finish and save subsequent polishing time.
Choosing the right abrasives
Being mindful of abrasive product choice, cutting speed, and appropriate application pressure will extract the full potential of the abrasives, which can help increase throughput, improve productivity and profitability, and lower operation costs.
Niigata Machine Techno USA Inc.’s new N. American headquarters is now open in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. The facility will support North American manufacturing with a full line of Niigata horizontal machining centers and parts, applications engineering, technical service, and support. Niigata established its U.S. presence in 1980. www.niigatausa.com
ISO certified Komet Service Partners
Komet Service Partner, Countyline Tool has attained ISO 9001:2015 certification. All partners are currently working to obtain the ISO 9001:2015 certification, and Countyline Tool is the eighth partner to have completed the certification. www.kometgroup.com; www.countyline-tool.com
DMG MORI USA’s new president
DMG MORI USA has appointed James V. Nudo president. Nudo has been with the company for more than 14 years, having served as executive officer of DMG MORI USA and executive officer of the international legal department and international human resources department for DMG MORI Co. Ltd. Nudo was part of the team responsible for implementing the DMG MORI joint venture. www.dmgmori.com
VP sales Americas at Mahr
Brett Green has joined Mahr Inc. as vice president sales Americas, including overall management of the American sales region as well as general management of Mahr’s Providence, Rhode Island, headquarters and manufacturing facility. www.mahrexactly.com
Ohio, Indiana regional manager
GROB Systems has added a new position and hired Tiffany Bryson as the regional manager in Ohio and Indiana, supporting companies considering investments in 5-axis CNC machines.www.grobgroup.com
I don’t read a lot of science fiction, fantasy, or horror, but I came across Murray Leinster’s “Things Pass By,” published in 1945 in the pulp magazine Thrilling Wonder Stories (and republished in 1955), and it looks at the far-off world of 1992. Leinster envisioned a world in which machine tools were obsolete because Dirk Braddick, the main character, developed a method of casting metals with such accuracy that no machining was required. As the story continues, Braddick explains that he developed net-shape casting to eliminate a limitation of machine tools.
“A specialized machine tool will turn out one particular part, and it will produce that part cheaper than any other method can do. But if you try to change the product, the machine is useless. You get efficiency at the cost of flexibility,” Leinster wrote.
“But this constructor is both efficient and flexible. I feed magnetronic plastics – the stuff they make houses and ships of nowadays – into this moving arm. It makes drawings in the air following drawings it scans with photo-cells. But plastic comes out of the end of the drawing arm and hardens as it comes. This thing will start at one end of a ship or a house and build it complete to the other end, following drawings only.”
So, he missed how CAD/CAM systems would revolutionize subtractive manufacturing and how flexible modern machining centers would become. But, pretty good prognosticating for 1945.
Clearly, today’s machine tools aren’t obsolete – the market is predicted to grow to $88.2 billion by 2020 – and 73 years later 3D printing/additive manufacturing (3D/AM) isn’t building ships or houses start to finish, but it’s advancing. Current forecasts show 3D/AM technologies will impact 35% of all medical devices by 2027, with projections to reach $1.88 billion by 2022.
Released at the end of 2017, U.S. FDA’s 31-page guidance advises medical device manufacturers on the technical aspects of 3D/AM, recommending details manufacturers should include when submitting 3D/AM medical devices, including device design, testing products for function and durability, and quality system requirements. The goal is to help manufacturers bring innovative products to market more efficiently, “making sure our regulatory approach is properly tailored to the unique opportunities and challenges posed by this promising new technology.”
While patients are already benefitting from 3D/AM printed personalized devices, guidance authors note that 3D/AM may introduce variability into the manufacturing process that wouldn’t be present when using other techniques. Helping ensure the safety and effectiveness of these products, the FDA states that it will continue to work toward establishing a framework for applying existing device manufacturing laws and regulations in medical facilities and academic institutions now creating these patient-specific devices.
While Leinster’s sci-fi story may have been a little ahead of his time with the size and speed of 3D/AM technology, what he wrote in 1945 is happening daily in 2018. Has your facility invested in 3D/AM? If so, how is it being used to enhance production?