Tag Archives: medical technology

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.

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!

 

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.

With New Medical Device Technology Comes New Security Concerns

Medical information at your fingertips may come soon come with a price. How so? We have explored in the past how technology is changing the landscape of the medical industry, with new digital-based applications and devices introduced into the marketplace. There’s no question that technology in the healthcare industry will be greatly beneficial to both healthcare professionals and patients, as more information will be accessible and health monitoring becomes more commonplace. However, with heightened technology comes security concerns—how will this medical software and personal medical information be kept private?

Between the government and the FDA, it is very possible that the health and technology sector will be facing strict regulations in the future. According to this Politico article, “mobile apps get a lot of the buzz, but they are just one part of a larger debate on how to keep tabs on health IT in general—a vast new sphere of U.S. health care that includes the electronic health records doctors and hospitals increasingly use, partly because of government incentive payments and penalties.”

Medical devicesAs medical device contract manufacturers, we have been monitoring how the FDA is handling the newest medical software and technology, as we are sure there will eventually be regulations that will control information on medical mobile devices. The last thing that is wanted is personal medical information either being shared or hacked in some way. Implantable medical devices and implants now utilize signatures and chips that share information with healthcare professionals—there will come a time where there are guidelines for these as well. Even Apple’s newest Healthkit app, which is produced to easily share health and fitness information, is susceptible to a security threat, due to its open networks, as seen in this article.

Recently, the FDA released its first foray into regulating mobile health devices, guidance defined as “Mobile Medical Applications.” While this guideline still only applies to a certain type of device, it certainly provides an idea of what is to come. As sharing of medical information becomes easy and more commonplace through the newest technology, it is also imperative for device manufacturers to protect the integrity of that information. We are certainly excited at the prospect of improving the medical and medical device industries through the use of new technology and software—we all just have to determine how to best protect the users and patients as well.