Mitutoyo ‘Implants’ Advanced CMMs into Orthoplastics

UK based Orthoplastics Ltd is recognized throughout the world as the global leader in the development and supply of both implantable grade plastics and biocompatible plastics for instrument applications. The company produces the highest quality, premium grade UHMWPE (Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) on the market and works closely with its partners to develop new and innovative orthopaedic implant products.

Orthoplastics is an acknowledged expert in all aspects of the CNC machining of implantable grade plastics, and has invested in an impressive portfolio of advanced CNC machines. The company’s high-tech machining facility was purpose built to provide customers and device manufacturers with a full range of component machining facilities. Services offered include one-off prototyping, pre-production validation runs and complete outsourcing services.The company continually updates its quality systems and adopts a best practice approach throughout all of its activities. Whilst not a device manufacturer, Orthoplastics operate control systems that are consistent with, and compatible with those of its customers, and is renowned for setting the standards for orthopaedic plastic quality within the industry.

To help meet the demands of an increasing workload, Orthoplastics recently invested in two further Mitutoyo Crysta-Apex S Coordinate Measuring Machines, bringing its Mitutoyo CMM count to five machines. In addition to using an advanced Mitutoyo CMM in its inspection department, Orthoplastics now has four further Mitutoyo CMMs located in its dedicated, environmentally controlled machining facility.

Orthoplastics Quality Manager, Chris Turner explained. “Because of continuing technological progresses and growing regulatory requirements, the need for expert testing and the highest standards of management and control during each stage of production is vitally important to us. For the past 15 years our Mitutoyo CMMs and MeasurLink Quality Management Software has played an important role in our quality function. Our shop-floor located Mitutoyo CMMs are kept busy undertaking accurate, in-process checks to help ensure the highest standards of manufacturing quality. As our multiple CMM programs are created off-line and stored on a central server, our skilled production personnel are able to quickly recall the program relevant to the part they are machining, load the part onto the machine and activate a fully automatic CNC inspection routine. The CMMs’ findings allow our operators to make the necessary machine adjustments to correct component dimensions that have deviated from a nominal condition.”

“We use our Quality Department Mitutoyo CMM to prove all shop floor CMMs’ inspection programs and for tasks such as final inspection, first article inspection routines and to carry out GR&R studies. The findings of our CMMs are archived for traceability purposes. Although our CMMs were able to keep-pace with our recently increased production volumes, we considered that further production increases had the potential to place a strain on our important measuring functions. To ensure the continued efficient running of our CMMs we decided to source two further machines.”

“While our previous three Mitutoyo CMMs have proven to be very accurate and reliable, and despite the fact that we have enjoyed a good relationship with the staff of Mitutoyo UK, mindful of the potential technical progress of other CMM brands, we looked at a couple of other options. Having benchmarked the alternative CMMs with the equivalent Mitutoyo models, we concluded that the Mitutoyo Crysta-Apex S CMM represented the ideal machine for our particular needs, therefor we remained loyal to the brand. Following a trouble free installation, our two new Crysta-Apex S CMMs are now delivering our required levels of precision and efficiency and have removed the potential for future measurement bottlenecks. Now, our current collection of five Mitutoyo CMMs, equipped with statistical monitoring software, enable live data capability analysis and allow us to take traditional inspection and processing to a new level of compliance and control.”

The advanced Mitutoyo Crysta-Apex S CMM, as purchased by Orthoplastics, is designed and constructed using all of Mitutoyo’s unmatched experience in CNC CMM technology. The high accuracy machine is built using lightweight materials and an innovative moving-bridge type machine structure, providing excellent motion stability that takes advantage of the models increased scanning speed.

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