Growth in the global orthopaedic devices market offers an attractive diversification strategy for the CNC tool cutting industry. Article by ANCA.
The global impacts of COVID-19 are numerous and continue to affect people in ways that are unexpected. Stemming from this, the crisis response from the healthcare system in many countries was the necessary decision to stop all non-emergency procedures in order to direct resources towards tackling rising COVID cases. While the health system continues to face the challenges of the pandemic, many institutions are looking to ramp up elective surgery to address the backlog with careful planning.
Growth of the Orthopaedics Implant Market
In the UK, it is estimated that nearly 10 million people are waiting for surgical procedures, including joint replacement surgeries* while one recent study in the US predicts that the post-pandemic backlog will exceed one million cases in orthopaedic surgery alone.* Compounding these backlogs is the steady growth in orthopaedic surgery due to an ageing population, with osteoarthritis being one of the most disabling diseases in developed countries.
The macro-economic challenges of the pandemic are also being experienced worldwide. For the tool grinding industry many traditional sectors are characterised by uncertainty. Now more than ever, diversification for tool and cutter grinding companies is a smart strategy. Diversification that follows opportunity is a proven method to protect and grow your business.
The global orthopaedic devices market size was valued at US$53.44 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $68.51 billion by 2027 returning a CAGR of 6.6% between 2020 and 2027*, with joint reconstruction leading the market. For these reasons, the field of medical orthopaedic implant grinding is an attractive diversification strategy for the CNC tool cutting business. Joint reconstructive surgery is largely dominated by knee, hip and shoulder procedures, all of which involve orthopaedic implants and associated instruments that typically require grinding during the manufacturing process.
Grinding For Orthopaedic Applications
Grinding applications for the medical industry are characterised by high levels of customisation and complexity. Growth and technological advances in this area are opening doorways of opportunity to enter a lucrative market with strong historical and projected growth. Investment in the right machine tool coupled with industry-leading CAD/CAM software is crucial to remain competitive in this evolving market.
Grinding routines for orthopaedic applications, such as knee implants and bone rasps, are commonly produced using CAD/CAM packages such as Siemens PLM NX. Machine NC programs are generated using an NC Post-Processor for a specific machine target and are then used to manufacture the part. The post-processor forms an integral part of the integration between the CAD/CAM software and the machine. It is therefore important to ensure that this integration allows maximum flexibility during the design and production process.
Satisfying geometry and surface finish requirements when grinding orthopaedic-grade alloys for medical implants can prove challenging. Integration between the CAD/CAM software and machine should ideally allow for easy and flexible programming of wheel-dressing routines as well as freedom to select various roughing and finishing grinding wheel geometries. A clear distinction should exist between the role of the CAD/CAM system and machine to avoid inefficiencies that arise when grinding-process changes require NC program regeneration from the CAD model.
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