Machining Meets Additive: RMS’s Recipe for Success in Medical Device Manufacturing

RMS’s additive division is revolutionizing medical device manufacturing with a holistic approach, aiming to take implants from “powder to package.” A crucial component of this strategy is machining, seamlessly integrated into their additive processes.

Director of Operations, Troy Olson, emphasizes that every additive part undergoes machining, highlighting the nuanced differences between conventional and additive manufacturing. RMS, with over 50 years of machining expertise, recognizes the need for a dedicated machine shop for additive parts to maintain efficiency and quality.

While traditional parts may require extensive material removal, additive parts are near-net shapes, requiring basic operations like drilling and tapping. This streamlined approach reduces cycle times significantly, with machinists handling up to 20 parts per hour, contributing to zero scrap production.

RMS views additive manufacturing as complementary, not standalone. By leveraging both processes, implants can be manufactured efficiently without compromising on design integrity. The additive machine shop, led by Aaron Glanz, operates with standardized equipment for maximum flexibility and efficiency.

Challenges abound, particularly in workholding for intricate implant features designed for bone ingrowth. Fixturing must ensure precise machining without damaging surface technologies crucial for implant functionality. RMS emphasizes early engagement with customers to address these challenges during the design phase.

Despite the complexities, RMS credits its extensive experience in conventional manufacturing for its success in additive manufacturing. The seamless integration of machining and additive processes underscores RMS’s commitment to innovation and excellence in medical device manufacturing.

Original source Additive Manufacturing

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