Medical Advances in Technology: The Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery

Over the past several years there have been many technological changes occurring within the medical and medical device industries. One in particular to note is the dramatic increase in Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS). As more procedures become less invasive, the better the outcome is for patients.

In traditional surgeries, recovery time can be anywhere from six to eight weeks — a long time for someone to be out of commission. With MIS, six to eight weeks drops down to around a two-week timeline.

Other benefits include reduced rate of infections, smaller incisions (which means less blood loss and less trauma to the patient), smaller scars from the incision which typically take only one or two stitches to close, and shortened hospital duration. Many MIS surgeries can be performed as outpatient surgeries or require less than a 24 hour hospital stay. As progression of technology within the medical industry advances, it looks like this surgery option is taking a front seat over older methods.

At Hammill Medical, we manufacture a wide range of MIS products, including MIS screws for spinal fusion surgery. MIS screws are just one example of the many manufacturing capabilities we have in-house. Our competencies include up to 13-axis Swiss-type CNC turning, 6-axis CNC mill and turn capability, 50,000 RPM machining, Laser Welding, media blasting, assembly, including bar code lot control traceability, high-energy tumbling, and laser identification.

We also offer CNC profile grinding, robotic finishing cells, 5-axis machining, 5-axis mill and turn, CNC turning, validated cleaning and passivation, and in-house tooling, fixture and gage manufacturing for a wide variety of products. We work from concept to design and all the way through the manufacturing process for high-quality products at an affordable price.

In addition to our cost-effective services, we believe in superior customer service and interaction. We strive to exceed the goals and expectations of all of our customers.

For more about Hammill Medical and industry updates, we invite you to read our blog, follow us on Twitter, connect with us on LinkedIn, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

To learn more about how we can help your business, contact us today.

National Manufacturing Day and Hammill Medical Help Bridge the Skills Gap

The annual National Manufacturing Day on Friday, October 6th was created to emphasize the importance of manufacturing across the U.S. On the official website businesses can list what events are taking place at their location. Interested parties can find out what is going on nearby. Across the industry, professionals hope that a day dedicated to modern-day manufacturing will inspire a new generation to consider the field as a gratifying career option. Today, there are currently over 2,000+ events planned across the U.S., and that number is predicted to grow through the start of October.

The initiative to mend the skills gap is a driving force that brings awareness to both the National Manufacturing Day and the industry at large. With baby boomers reaching retirement age there aren’t enough millennials pursuing the field to fill such vacancies. Options to chip away at closing the gap include STEM education, training tools, and apprenticeship programs.

At Hammill, we offer a four-year formal apprenticeship program with both state and national accreditation. This kind of training tackles an internal skills gap while teaching participants necessary abilities for future involvement within both Hammill Medical and the industry at large. Creating a classroom and floor experience approach allows applicants to start their careers upon graduation. The program offers the equivalent of a two-year college and a full Journeyman machinist certification.

It’s estimated there will be a shortage of over two million manufacturing workers by the year 2025. One of the key components to overcoming this shortage is to educate the public about what manufacturing is today. Our industry is no longer the same floor shop it once was. It’s time to say goodbye to the notions that it is still your “granddad’s factory.” Today, manufacturing stands for education and execution of the latest industry technology, a secure future, and a stronger U.S. and global economy. With proper training, mentorship, and diversity, we believe manufacturing can recruit and retain high-quality skilled workers needed to keep the industry thriving beyond this time of adversity.

As a manufacturer of orthopedic and spinal implants, surgical instruments, and implantable medical devices, we know how valuable skilled employees are to our industry. To learn more about medical manufacturing, mending the skill gap, and more industry-related issues, read our blog, follow us on Twitter, connect with us on LinkedIn, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or contact us at any time. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Succeed with Us as Your Contract Manufacturer

Why Use Hammill as Your Contract Manufacturer?

There are several benefits in utilizing Hammill as a Contract Manufacturer including our state-of-the art manufacturing capability, remarkable flexibility, utmost attention to detail and our ISO and FDA compliant Quality System. We are committed to working with our customers from initial concept, through the design and manufacturing process. All of which serve to meet our valued customers’ needs and expectations of high-quality products at an affordable cost. We strive to ensure our manufacturing operation is supported, not just by a team of talented professionals but also by the latest in cutting-edge technology.

Additionally, we enjoy unmatched access to multiple markets spanning the globe and a fantastic scalability in serving partners from smaller start-ups all the way up to multinational corporations. The Hammill team has comprehensive knowledge and experience in working with the latest manufacturing technologies. We also ensure there are contingency plans in place to allow for uninterrupted delivery of promised product flow.

Specializing as a Contract Manufacturer

At Hammill, we are leaders in the manufacturing of orthopedic and spinal implants, surgical instruments, and implantable medical devices. We work from concept to finished product, offering our services at prices that might surprise you. As a contract manufacturer, our specialty is working closely with our partner firms to develop validated manufacturing solutions that consistently deliver a myriad of quality medical product and services on time and on budget. In addition to CNC machining and Swiss Turning, we also offer Finished Device Assembly, Laser Welding, Color Anodizing, Media Blasting, as well as Laser Marking and Validated Cleaning & Passivation – all in-house and fully validated.

A Family Owned and Operated Firm

Established back in 1955, Hammill Medical is proudly a family owned and operated firm. With over 175 employees and a location that features a 90,000-sq. ft. state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. You can find our company located in Maumee, Ohio, just outside of Toledo.  Fully registered with the FDA (#1530390) as a manufacturer of medical devices, we meet and exceed the good manufacturing practices guidelines it mandates.  We are ISO 13485 accredited as well. We are also proud to offer a 4-year formal apprenticeship program, with both state and national accreditation, helping to introduce new talent into America’s manufacturing ranks.

Bringing New Products to Market

We at Hammill are dedicated to bringing new products to market on time and on budget with our specialized in-house tooling, gage design, team manufacturing methodology and focus on quality control. Discover more about Hammill Medical by calling (419) 476-0789 or emailing us at info@hammillmedical.com. Be sure to keep up with our latest news by reading our blog, following us on Twitter, and connecting on LinkedIn.

We look forward to working with you on your next project.

The Benefits of Swimming: A Full Body Exercise

When it comes to staying in shape swimming is one of the top exercises you can do to best serve your entire body. The movements work out your whole figure with little impact on the joints or spine. During off-summer seasons, you can easily find an indoor pool to keep up a swimming routine throughout the colder months. Organizations work to make swimming programs less expensive because they understand the benefits. Swimming is great exercise for young and old alike, and in addition to getting a good workout, it can be a lot of fun.

In any body of water, the resistance is 12 times higher than in air, meaning you’re developing muscle tone in all the main parts of your body. Your arms, legs, back, and core muscles all get a great workout while swimming. While improving muscle tone, the body is also building up bone mass, which begins to decline as you age.

Cardiovascular health is also improved with swimming, as is flexibility. Inflammation is reduced which can help to prevent atherosclerosis, a thickening of the arterial wall. Although the entire body benefits from working out, the spine, bones, and shoulders greatly benefit from it in various ways as a general fitness routine.

Beyond muscle, bone mass, and cardiovascular health, swimming can help to reduce back and neck pain from issues such as pinched nerves, herniated discs, and bone spurs. While the muscles in the body get stronger from swimming, they help to better support the spinal column and neck. This helps to prevent pain in those areas.

Another added bonus–swimming is great for mental health. Doing repetitive laps can be extremely relaxing, even when your body is working hard. Many people find the water calming and, as they work out the stress of the day, it can literally seem to disappear. The body releases endorphins (naturally occurring hormones) during exercise, that when released block pain and increase a feeling of pleasure. Endorphins are often referred to as a natural high. This may also be a reason swimming helps to lower depression.

Here at Hammill Medical, we understand the many benefits of swimming and believe that working out can lead to a healthier lifestyle overall. For over 60 years we have been a leading manufacturer of orthopedic and spinal implants, surgical instruments, and implantable medical devices, and we understand that a high quality of life translates to a happy life.

We work from concept through design and into the manufacturing process to ensure high-quality products at an affordable price. We offer orthopedic implants, spinal implants, surgical instruments, prototype manufacturing and product development. We invite you to learn more by reading our blog, following us on Twitter, and connecting with us on LinkedIn to stay up to date. Further questions? We can help. Contact us today.

Sterilization in the Medical Industry

As an industry-leading, family-owned and operated manufacturer of orthopedic and spinal implants, surgical instruments, and implantable medical devices, Hammill Medical is deeply committed to our customers; part of this commitment is the promise to keep all clients and end users safe.

At Hammill, we understand the importance of sterilization for optimal safety in the medical field — especially in surgical instruments and implantable devices that have direct contact with the human body. But within the medical community and many others, there’s no clear-cut answer regarding which sterilization method is best; this will depend on your specific product and packaging materials.

Ethylene oxide gas and gamma sterilization are the two most common forms of sterilization. A rigorous chemical method, ethylene oxide gas treatment penetrates all porous materials and kills every known microorganism. Gamma radiation, meanwhile, makes use of a highly penetrative radioisotope emission and is often used to sterilize the surfaces of disposable medical equipment.

Once the product itself is sterilized, it’s important to make sure the packaging will preserve that sterility by protecting against damage, contamination, moisture, toxins, and the growth of microorganisms. Two of the most common packages for medical devices are pouches and trays, the latter of which have a longer lead-time due to the custom equipment required to make them.

Sealed packages must undergo packaging validation and sterilization validation to increase the shelf life of the product. Though this can be time-consuming, proper medical package design is critical, as it ensures safe and proper functionality for the customer.

While many companies use a two-part process to complete manufacturing and packaging, Hammill is proud to be a one-stop shop, supplying both sterile instruments and the sterile packaging needed for shipping. From beginning concept through manufacturing and final delivery, we ensure our customers receive high-quality products quickly and efficiently — at an affordable price.

If you’d like to learn more about the sterilization processes we use here at Hammill or are interested in discussing a future project, contact us today and one of our staff members will be in touch. And, as always, don’t forget to connect with us by following our blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn, where we’ll help you stay up to date with the latest news in this ever-changing industry.

The Best Fitness Exercises for Your Back & Spine

The drive for fitness seems stronger today than ever before. Maybe it has something to do with the new world we live in – with so many jobs becoming increasingly sedentary; we need to get our movement in through other avenues. Some of it most certainly comes from the fact that now more than ever we are cognizant of what low rates of activity and lack of movement can lead to down the line, with rates of heart disease and diabetes being worse than ever before.

Not all exercises are created equal though, and some of the more popular ones may actually be more risky for your back and spine than you may realize. The good news is that there are plenty of exercises that promotes flexibility and stability of your spine. Like an old western, there’s good, there’s bad, and there’s ugly:

  • The Good: These exercises strengthen and promote spinal health and stability, and also can help prevent later injury. Pilates training helps to teach your body how to move and support your spine, not just during training, but during everyday activity. Your body learns to support the loads caused by movement and can reduce lower back pain.
  • Yoga can help to provide core strength and flexibility in your trunk, while balance exercises strengthen body awareness, reducing risk of falls that could lead to back injury. And while you may be tired of hearing about them, planks are popular for a reason – by engaging and strengthening your core and abs, your back will have the support it needs.
  • The Bad: Old-school sit-up have fallen out of favor, while they can strengthen the core, the form can put too much pressure on the neck and upper spine. Done properly, using only your abs and core, they can still be effective. Squats, while great for your legs and lower body, are dangerous if you try to squat too much weight. With perfect form, they are great exercises, so start out light and get your technique right.
  • The Ugly: Unless you have perfect technique every time, heavy overhead lifts are incredibly risky. The moment you arch your lower back, there is heavy compression being placed on the vertebrae, risking vertebrae fractures. One of the most-used machines in the gym may also be one of the worst for your back – according to Dr. Mary Ann Wilmarth, the posture used in the incline leg press puts your back in an awkward, flexed position, and of all the leg machines, it has the highest risk for a tear or long-term back injury.

If you choose some of the exercises that may cause damage to your spine and back, it could lead to the need for surgery, which is where we here at Hammill Medical come in. At Hammill, we are a family owned and operated company that specializes in orthopedic implants, spinal implants, and surgical instruments. We don’t just create stock products either – with dedicated prototype manufacturing, in-house design and engineering, and the ability to develop complex, multi-component instruments, we can be the answer for all spinal and orthopedic repair needs.

Contact us today for a quote or more information on our capabilities. If you are interested in keeping up with what we do, and the latest developments at Hammill, follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn, and make sure to visit our blog often.

A Virtual Tour of Implant Medical Device Manufacturing

Here at Hammill Medical, we are a family-owned-and-operated company that manufactures implants, surgical instruments, and medical devices. However, we do more than just manufacture – we help to develop groundbreaking components with our customers, from the initial design through to affordable, high-quality final production runs.

Distilling information through funnels of writing while searching for the topics you need to learn personally to grow your company physically can be a daunting task. Some products, processes, and capabilities simply need more than that.

As the internet grows and evolves, we’ve found one of the best ways to provide information about our industry and processes is through our company videos. Utilizing tools like YouTube allows us to share our content immediately, and allows our customers to access it whenever and wherever you choose.

Enter our videos. Sure, it’s nice to be able to tell you about what we do, but it’s even better to show you what we do. Today, feel free to take a look inside. Our profile video highlights what we do, our team and process, our practices, FDA approval, and much more. It is a truly comprehensive overview of what we do here at Hammill, highlighting our variety of capabilities that include:

Should you like to discuss a project or other company needs with us at Hammill Medical, please reach out to us through our contact form, and one of our staff will get back to you as quickly as possible. You can also stay up to date with the goings-on at Hammill by connecting with us on LinkedIn, following us on Twitter, or checking out the latest news here on our blog. Our business is always evolving, so keeping up with us will keep you abreast of the latest developments, new products, and much more!

Hammill Medical Offers a Stronger Implant

Medical implants have long been used in the body when joints or other body parts are no longer able to function properly on their own. This can be from damage to the body part from repetitive motion or natural wear and tear throughout the years. Replacement implants can be made from a variety of materials, including plastics, ceramics, or metal alloys. An alloy is a combination of two or more metals. The purpose of combining the metals is that they can be less expensive, and when combined, some metal alloys become much stronger than the individual metals used.

There are different scenarios for when implants should be used, and implants can be temporary or permanent. Permanent implants are generally used in surgeries for the hips or knees when the joints have given out due to age. Prior to using an implant, an orthopedic surgeon will first examine and determine how extensive the damage is and what needs to be replaced. Things such as weight, age, activity level, and overall health will be assessed and will help determine what type of implant to use.

How Implants Work

During the surgery, an implant is often secured to the existing bone by using an acrylic cement. When an implant is needed for a permanent solution, metal alloy implants are typically the best solution. Not only can an alloy last longer, but alloys have a durability that no plastic or ceramic can match.

Traditionally, titanium has been used for making implants and has been for years. The material is lightweight, corrosion resistant, non-toxic, and the human body won’t reject it. These qualities have all made titanium and titanium alloy practical for use in implants. However, there is another, more durable alloy that can be used: cobalt-chrome (CoCr). Cobalt-chrome is a very hard material that is stronger than titanium. The high strength makes it ultra-durable for orthopedic implants in bones and joints, primarily for femoral knee replacements because of the high forces that are put on the knee joint. Due to the strength of CoCr, it can last longer and provide more strength than titanium.

 Cost Effective Implants

Hammill Medical has the ability to design and manufacture any type of orthopedic implant, spinal implant, surgical instrument, or other implantable medical device made out of CoCr or other alloys. We can work with customers from the concept stage through design and manufacturing stage to ensure you get the right product for your needs. Hammill also has the capability to manufacture the highest quality alloy parts and components, at an affordable price for your suitability. With stronger materials and a cost effective approach, Hammill Medical offers the right solutions for any company.

Hammill Medical Meets FDA Registered Requirements

Because we manufacture medical devices and surgical instruments, Hammill works under more stringent rules than other types of manufacturing operations. The quality standards we uphold are designed to ensure proper manufacturing as well as to meet standards designated by industry and federal regulations. The main accreditations for medical device companies are set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the ISO. Meeting the requirements set forth by these organizations shows the company’s commitment to optimal manufacturing processes. The basics of the regulations and standards are as follows:

  • The FDA requires all businesses that produce or distribute medical devices in the U.S. to be registered. This establishment registration is designed to get safe and effective medical devices to market quickly as well as ensuring that current devices remain safe and effective. Devices are subject to such areas as premarket notification and approval, medical device labeling, quality system regulation, and post-market studies and tracking.
  • The leading standards organization ISO develops global guidelines for manufacturers to follow to ensure that quality standards are being met. For medical device manufacturers, ISO 13485 is the highest quality management system standard. Once certified by a third party, a medical device company is proven to consistently meet the requirements for regulatory purposes.

How does Hammill Medical ensure safety within our organization and products?  With safety training, good manufacturing practices, and following the mandates set forth by these organizations! We are registered with the FDA as a contract manufacturer of medical devices and have recently received our recertification registration for ISO 13485 accreditation. These requirements are in place to keep businesses adhering to best practices. Being aware of regulations—and abiding by them—keeps our products, and those using them, safe year round.

For more information on our medical device manufacturing and industry updates follow our accounts on our monthly blog, Twitter and LinkedIn!

Hammill Medical Looks Forward to 2017

Here at Hammill Medical we are anticipating a very busy and exciting 2017. As experts in orthopedic and spinal implants, surgical instruments, and prototype manufacturing and product development, we understand the growing need for medical equipment across the U.S. and worldwide. With the turn of the new year, there is news that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will lessen its extreme grip, making it manageable for industry leaders to get approval. This will enable companies to become more innovative in the field.

As technology advances, so do the many components that make up products such as trauma hip systems, surgical instruments, spinal plates, and much more. We understand the growing need for components that work and how these pieces can help to build the perfect solution for many patients. Whether a professional baseball player is looking to get back into the game after an injury or a retired person is looking for a better quality of life, we offer products that truly impact lives. At Hammill Medical, we understand the many facets of these products and how they can be designed for maximum functionality. We offer design technology from customer concept to in-house design and manufacturing engineering.

Our 90,000 sq. ft. facility offers state of the art manufacturing here in the U.S. We are proud to be ISO 13485 certified and are registered with the FDA. With over 100 employees, we are able to bring your new products to market efficiently, all while staying within budget. Our quality control resources mean customers get a quality product each and every time.

All of us at Hammill Medical are looking forward to the new designing and manufacturing advancements in the new year. We are also committed to ensuring the highest level of customer service for all our customers, new and old alike. We are following all the latest trends and advancement and would love to share that information with our customers. To find out more, follow us on our blog, on Twitter, and on LinkedIn. From all of us here at Hammill Medical, we wish you a Happy New Year!