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Orthopedic Manufacturing - Medical Manufacturing Miracles on a daily basis
Orthopedic manufacturing is responsible for all of the replacement knees and hips that allow baby boomers, and many others, to continue to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.
By: John Lombaerde / Tracer Tool & Machine Co., Inc.
When doctors determine that the problem can only be remedied with orthopedic surgery, to augment or replace the affected joint, orthopedic manufacturing comes to the rescue.
Orthopedic manufacturers produce the supports and replacement joints that allow patients to return to normal life again.
The story of Jack Nicklaus, (a hip replacement patient) is a classic orthopedic case history. He lived with considerable pain for years, until he finally underwent hip surgery in 1999. Following his hip replacement he still managed to play some pretty amazing golf.
Few people know how orthopedic implants and orthopedic instruments are actually made. The technology that allows doctors to perform the miracle of joint replacement is a testament to modern manufacturing ingenuity.
One specialized orthopedic manufacturer is Tracer Tool & Machine Co., Inc. in Oakland, NJ. This company is a modern hi-tech version of the traditional family-owned machine shop. In fact, that's how they started out 45 years, ago. For the last 18 years they have developed the expertise, and invested in the technology, personnel, and organizational systems necessary to produce high quality precision orthopedic implants and orthopedic instruments.
Tracer Tool has a cumulative experience in manufacturing of over 275 years. This wealth of experience offers their customers a significantly higher level of service from prototype through to finished product. Higher part quality and faster project completion time are critical in a fast moving industry where approval time can be reduced from months to a period of just a few weeks.
Tracer Tool implemented a significant quality control system upgrade, which earned the company an ISO 9001 2000 certification. Their recent acquisition of a Mitutoyo Quick Scope Laser Vision Measuring System brings their inspection accuracy and automation to a level of few orthopedic manufacturers anywhere in the US.
A considerable advancement has been made in Computerized Numerical Control, (CNC) machining capability by their purchase of a Mori Seiki high speed 5-axis vertical machining center. This one piece of equipment alone, allows Tracer Tool to produce orthopedic parts at speeds and accuracies that most other companies in their industry are able to achieve only in their dreams.
Orthopedic manufacturing has gone from science fiction to practical reality in the span of a few short years. Each year the techniques, tools, and products developed in orthopedics improve, by leaps and bounds. Orthopedic manufacturing has an important role in helping us to live healthier and happier lives.
Continuous research and development in the design and manufacture of orthopedic implants and instruments is needed. As the costs and risks of orthopedic procedures are reduced, the miracle of modern orthopedic medicine can be extended to more and more people who need this type of care, in order to dramatically improve their quality of life.