Tag Archives: implantable medical devices

The Value of Medical Manufacturing Apprenticeship Programs

As technology evolves, operator skill sets must evolve and adapt to industry changes. Often times, staying on top of the curve can be difficult.

With a rapidly changing industry, it becomes increasingly dynamic to grow and maintain a qualified workforce that succeeds in the market. In 2016, nearly half (40%) of 42,000 global employers surveyed reported talent shortages also known industry-wide as a skills gap.

Employee training apprentice

Mentoring a Manufacturing Apprentice

As a result, manufacturers are crafting in-house apprenticeship programs to help bridge the skills gap and STEM education. Between 2013 and 2017, there was a 42% growth in apprenticeships across the nation, as per the United States Department of Labor. In the 2017 fiscal year alone, over 190,000 Americans entered into apprenticeship programs.

For employers, in-house apprenticeships can create a pipeline of workers with the necessary skillsets. Each manufacturer can target the specific skills needed for their positions in the apprenticeship program and workers have time to comprehend them over the course of the program.

At the apprenticeship program’s end, a credential is given to the worker to certify their occupational ability. By this point the apprentice knows the latest tools, technologies, and analytics from a firsthand source.

Manufacturing apprenticeships provide a long-term solution to talent issues. At Hammill Medical, we have a 4-year apprenticeship program established in 1955. The apprenticeship provides a valuable opportunity to learn a trade. Our program, in affiliation with the National Tooling and Machining Association, gives participants needed work experience and simultaneously covers class credits.

We evaluate participants every 90 days. You need 5,000 hours of experience to complete the program and apply course credit. The apprenticeship is company sponsored and can get participants a two year associate’s degree, or students can opt to continue on for a four year college degree.

The Hammill Medical apprenticeship program has 25-30 people enrolled in it at any one time. As we pay for the student investment, participants join our workforce upon program completion. Today, we currently have about 200 employed.

Teaching necessary skills through our in-house apprenticeship program provide great opportunities to those looking to enter a rewarding manufacturing career. It also advances our workforce so that we can continue to manufacture top-quality orthopedic and spinal implants, implantable medical units, and surgical tools.

Contact us today to learn more. Also, keep abreast of the latest industry news by following our blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

2018 Predicted to Bring a Multitude of Success for the Medical Device & Implant Industries

Science has given mankind many miracles. But the most enduring and impactful of these has been the introduction and commercialization of modern medicine. It has single-handedly ended the reign of dreaded diseases, improved longevity and provided succour to those who are afflicted.

With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that the medicines, medical devices and implants industries are poised to witness consistent growth not only in 2018 but over the next 10 years.

United States is a Thriving Devices and Implants Market:

The combined value of the various players in the medical devices sector is a staggering 155 billion USD.

Implants alone account for more than 70 billion USD.

There are a few reasons why the projected expansion of this space is extremely optimistic.

–       The population in the US is aging fast. Some of the Baby Boomers – the largest segment of the American population before the Millennials arrived on the scene have already touched the 70 years mark. It is estimated that more than 24% of US citizens will be 65 or older soon. The common maladies of age and bone degradation turn the elderly into busy consumers of medical services, devices, and therapy.

–       The increasingly sedentary lifestyle of generation Y is preparing the stage for spine issues and organ degeneration in the relatively young workforce as well. Both are managed through surgical interventions and the introduction of implantable support systems.

–       Insurance availability has peaked in the past few years. Even if the freedom to visit the doctor is curtailed because of reforms presented by the administration, there will still be people who can now afford medical devices and assistance, and they will opt for them to improve their lives further fuelling growth.

Hammill Medical is Ready to Play its Part

Market research puts orthopedic implants as a leader in the medical devices category. Hammill Medical is an ISO 13485 accredited and FDA registered manufacturer of medical devices specializing in orthopedic and spinal implants.

With the ability to see production through from original concept to high-quality finished item at our 90,000-sq. ft. state of the art facility, our name has inspired trust and embodied innovation for well over half a century.

We are the perfect partner for businesses looking to capitalize on the trend of implantable medical devices. For more information contact us today.

You can also follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

2017’s Medical Device Industry Review

2017 has been filled with constructive internal effort and focus at Hammill Medical. Our team interacted consistently with our customers, leading doctors and other industry experts to positively impact our external audience base at large. These continuous initiatives make our team one of the most credible resources and leaders within the medical device manufacturing field. We challenge ourselves to meet or exceed medical standards like FDA requirements for contract manufacturing of implantable medical devices and surgical instruments.  As a result, our manufacturing capabilities consistently evolve to allow us to offer some of the most complex implants on the market. Plus extending our knowledge on fitness, exercise, and other health-related factors keeps our standing top within the sector.

Because of the complex manufacturing occurring at Hammill Medical, we must maintain more stringent operating procedures than other manufacturing companies. The quality standards we uphold are designed to ensure consistent manufacturing results as well as to exceed standards designated by industry and federal regulations.  Hammill maintains accreditations for medical device companies as set forth by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and as required by ISO 13485. Meeting the requirements of these organizations is consistent with our commitment to optimal manufacturing process performance. The basics of the regulations and standards can be found in our February 2017 post.

As a qualified resource, we’re happy to share (and urge you to spread) the best exercises you can do for your body. The big focuses here are spine and back. You might be surprised to learn that all exercises are not created equally, and some of your favorite workouts can actually be more of a risk to your back and spine. The best exercise options will promote spinal health and stability setting you up for possible injury prevention down the road. Options like Pilates, yoga, and swimming help teach your body to move and support your spine during everyday activities. We recommend extreme caution with traditional sit-ups and overhead lifts as they can put too much pressure on the neck, spine, and lower back. Should you ever seek a spinal implant, we’ve got you covered.

Our most recent spotlight is an update on the advances in medical technology, specifically the benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery or MIS. As more procedures become less invasive, the patient outcome and recovery improve. As proven through prior surgeries, MIS means smaller incisions, reducing blood loss and trauma to the patient, smaller scars from such incisions, decrease infection rates, and shorten hospital stays. Many MIS surgeries can be performed as outpatient surgeries and/or require less than a 24-hour hospital stay. As the progression of technology within the medical industry advances, it looks like this surgery option is taking a front seat over older methods.

To stay abreast of industry updates, leading technology, and the best resource for orthopedic implants, spinal implants, surgical instruments, and other implantable medical devices for Complex Spine, Orthopedic Total Joint Replacement and Minimally Invasive Surgery applications, we invite you to follow our blog, add us on Twitter, connect with us on LinkedIn, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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

We’d like to take a moment to recognize and thank our audience and customer base for adding to our internal success on an annual basis. Your needs are what help us develop the prototypes and product development to advance the medical device manufacturing industry year after year.

We wish you all a very happy holiday season and a healthy and happy new year!

We look forward to connecting come 2018!

 

High Tech Welding Capabilities for High Tech Medical Devices

Complex assemblies involve structural laser welds. Hammill Medical handles the entire process from component manufacturing through assembly and then laser weld culminating in the final inspection and proper function verification process and then cleaning and passivating the assembly prior to shipment to the customer.

What is Laser Welding?

Welding is a common technique used to join two pieces of metal together. Our laser welding uses a laser beam as the heat source to melt and fuse the metal without the fillers that are required in other welding processes. The high-heat of the laser beam is concentrated, resulting in smaller heat-affected zones that ultimately enable precise and high-quality welds. Lasers can weld at different depth penetrations forming surface welds, or deep welds, and are especially effective on tough-to-weld materials such as titanium.

How Hammill Uses Laser Welding Technologies

Laser welding is a key technology for manufacturing many of our complex implantable devices produce. The ability to weld without introducing a filler material is extremely important for medical implant components. By melting the components together there is a tighter joint and less risk of failure or rejection. For example, the pedicle screws we produce are made up of multiple parts. the upper cap (or upper tulip) and the lower cap (or lower tulip), are welded together to form one piece. The saddle is encapsulated in between them. Utilizing a Trumpf TruLaser cell the welding process is automated to ensure precision welds on each assembly.

The Importance of Laser Welding to the Hammill’s Implants

Advanced spinal surgery is successful with high-quality components. The importance of this technology enables successful repair of such conditions as scoliosis, disk degeneration, and spinal fusion with few problems for the patient or surgeon.

A great example of a laser welded component used during surgical repair is a case in which a diseased disk is removed and a titanium device is inserted in its place. The corpectomy cage has an adjustment capability and acts as a jack to properly align the spine. In 6-8 weeks fusion of bone, biologics, and allographs occur and the titanium device remains as part of the fused vertebral repair.

In another instance, the aforementioned pedicle screws are widely used throughout spine surgeries and are extremely important to the system. Rods are often used to realign the spine and pedicle screws are required to hold the rods in place. Surgeons could use up to ten pedicle screws per procedure. Implants and components manufactured by laser welding capabilities have the strength and durability to meet the requirements of demanding medical applications. When complex assemblies are made up of multiple parts, laser welding provides the best outcome.

To see Hammill’s laser welding capabilities, click here. Visit our website to learn about Hammill’s complete line of medical implants and capabilities today.