We can hardly believe it, but it’s almost time to say goodbye to 2016. Throughout the past year, we’ve had the chance to explore rapidly evolving additive manufacturing technology and relay exciting medical industry news in our blog. Before heading home for the holidays, we wanted to take a look back at a few of the year’s biggest accomplishments.
In 2016, our team explored two kinds of implantable technologies: high-tech welding and orthopedic PEEK implants. High-tech welding — a complex structural laser process — is an all-encompassing technology that takes implantable components from assembly to function verification and finally through cleaning and passivation before shipment. By using high-tech welding to melt components into tighter joints, we’ve been able to create safer spinal implants for patients.
PEEK implants are comprised of the organic polymer thermoplastic, polyether ether ketone — a material with mechanical properties similar to human bones. Featuring tiny pits on the surface, these flexible implants improve biocompatibility and encourage new bone cell growth in orthopedic and spinal patients. By incorporating these state-of-the-art technologies into our manufacturing processes, the Hammill team continues to work toward our ultimate goal of restoring patients’ quality of life.
This past year, we also studied how professional sports can affect athletes’ health over time. We analyzed MLB pitchers and catchers frequent elbow and shoulder injuries, specific warm-up routines to reduce injuries in youth FIFA programs, and new NFL helmet rules to minimize head, neck, and spinal injuries. Our team has worked closely with doctors and researchers to study these issues and design customized solutions for professional athletes and everyday patients alike.
Finally, in a push to give back to the industry we love, we proudly celebrated this year’s National Manufacturing Day (MFG Day). On this day — and other every day — we aim to revitalize the industry’s outdated reputation by educating the public on cutting-edge technology and exciting career opportunities. The sophisticated medical device laboratory here at Hammill is a perfect example of just how far modern-day manufacturing has come from the dirty shop floors of the past.
We would like to thank all of our customers for helping to make 2016 such an exciting, productive year, and we look forward to kicking off a successful 2017 together. From all of us at Hammill, happy holidays, and have a safe and healthy new year!