New precision waterjet for medical implant production
Picture: Rafal Zawadzki, Water Jet Sweden’s manager in Poland (left) with Andrzej Łuczaj Technical Director at ChM Sp. z o.o. (right).
Medical implants are a growing sector within the healthcare industry. Quality of life is improved for millions of people every year. ChM sp. z o.o. from Poland has been providing solutions for treatment of human locomotor systems for over 40 years. Now they double their production capacity.
In the north-eastern part of Poland, in an ecologically clean area of the European Union, the company ChM Sp. z o.o. is located. For over 40 years the company have been designing, producing and distributing solutions for traumatology and orthopedics in cooperation with medical professionals all over the world. More than 60% of production is exported, distributed to 50 countries in 5 continents and 20% of the annual turnover is spent on R&D. Focus on product innovation and patient safety is their key to success.
ChM has used waterjet technology to cut elements for their traumatology and orthopedic products for many years, purchasing their first machine from Water Jet Sweden in 2010. The high precision of waterjet cutting, smooth cutting surface and absence of thermal impact on the material are of great benefit to the final quality of their implant products
Waterjet cutting has been a bottleneck in production for some time and ChM needed to double the production capacity with an additional machine. ChM then took the opportunity to bring in new, modern cutting technology and the new machine was equipped with an extra micro cutting tool for extra high precision.
– The new machine has two cutting heads, says Rafal Zawadzki, Water Jet Sweden Manager in Poland. One head for traditional abrasive waterjet cutting and a Micro head for fine abrasive cutting. Now ChM can produce small, specific implants with 0.3 mm cuts as standard. The micro head both saves materials and improves cutting precision, Rafal continues.
Being an industry leader is not only about technology. It is also about people and resources.
ChM believe that close cooperation of engineers and production workers, located in one place, results in the highest quality of implants and medical instruments, therefore, the investment also included improvements in efficiency and safety. The old waterjet cutting workstation was equipped with modern safety systems according to the latest EU standards, as a uniform solution for both machines, and the new KMT high pressure pump and WJS Online Abrasive Feeding system serve both machines in parallel to share and optimize important resources.
– With the Block-and-bleed function you can load one machine while the other machine continues cutting. The workstations are served parallel but operated separately, explains Rafal.
Since the production is running three shifts, around the clock, installation downtime was planned carefully, trying to keep it at a minimum. First, the old machine was moved to another premises to keep production going. At the same time, the machine stations were prepared and the new machine was installed and tested. The old machine was then moved back and integrated into the new parallel workstation, ready for production with doubled capacity, around the clock.
– Professional support from Water Jet Sweden during several years of using the first machine made the choice of a second machine natural and obvious, says Mr. Andrzej Łuczaj, Technical Director at ChM Sp. z o.o. We have developed a solution to integrate both pumps, ensuring diversification in the event of a failure of one of them and the option of a new micro head has expanded our technological capabilities. Achieving the set goal of a very short production downtime is very important and critical for a manufacturer of medical devices for traumatology, Andrzej explains.
– It took 1.5 days to make the whole installation, which is half a day faster than first estimated, so we are happy with the installation process, tells Rafal. There are always small issues to solve, but our technicians are experienced and well prepared.
Still growing, ChM vision is to become a leader in creating and providing solutions for treatment of human locomotor system and to be a respected partner for surgeons in restoring patient’s health. Water Jet Sweden is happy to support that ambition.