Kemet Provides Bright Future For Medical Implant Makers

Operating at the forefront of orthopaedic implant polishing technology for over 15 years, Kemet International Ltd has transformed the quality and cost of manufacture of tibial tray and hip heads/cups.

medical implant makers

Once commonly finished by hand, today most of the top implant manufacturers rely in some way on Kemet’s automated polishing expertise. For example, just two operatives process 240 trays every 12 hours using Kemet’s largest tibial polishing system. Based on a Kemet 36 machine, the system incorporates all in-process cleaning and generates a perfectly flat, highly polished, blemish free tibial surface. Kemet also supply bespoke tooling and consumables for cone polishing to suit any tray design.

Predicted to be worth almost $40 billion by the end of 2018, the medical implant market has seen significant growth in the last 5 years. This growth has brought pressure from hospitals to reduce the cost of implants and producers have looked for support from their suppliers to achieve savings.

With tibial tray and hip manufacture, the majority of production costs are for process consumables and, as a manufacturer of these, Kemet are ideally placed to help reduce them.

Perhaps more importantly, however, Kemet’s expertise in surface finishing enables them to develop new processes and consumables, aimed at increasing productivity and reducing the cost per part. The improvements to the process can far exceed the cost attached to introducing new consumables, be it less rework, faster throughput or even lower consumption.

Kemet understand the special requirements of the medical industry, in particular the lengthy validation procedures, and offer free testing and reporting to ensure a process offers definite cost benefits before undergoing these.

New polishing pad materials to reduce the costs associated with hip implant polishing have been introduced and the NLH pad is now used worldwide in combination with Kemet’s polycrystalline diamond compounds to provide a super finish on spherical heads. Another new range of cloths, Sphericloth, have also been introduced for use where cost reduction has become paramount.

Kemet’s new Abraspheres enable fine grinding and finishing of spherical surfaces where a specific RA value is required, less polished than a mirror finish. The soft backing enables them to follow a spherical form without changing the geometry. The diamond coated surface means no additional loose abrasive or polishing compound is needed.

And now Kemet offer process cleaning, passivation and FPI lines, highly successful in aerospace where the attention to detail is paramount. These pre-designed systems are perfect for medical part production with small manual lines up to fully automated lines, including pre-cleaning, dye penetrant, spray cleaning, hot air drying, developer dust storm cabinets and inspection booths. Kemet continue to develop innovative solutions that focus on providing repeatable cost effective processes that you can rely on.