How Bar Feeders Are Game Changers When Machining Medical Parts And Products
A 2017 research report, The Global Market for Medical Devices 8th Edition, values the worldwide medical products market at $389 billion. Various sources estimate the U.S. share of this market to be 40% or about $150 billion. Many of these medical devices require high-precision machined parts, which represent a substantial opportunity for CNC machine shops.
Some of these products such as orthopedic screws, dental implants and defibrillator parts are typically high-volume applications. Other medical devices such as MRI or CT scanners require smaller volumes of parts. The common denominator is that all of these parts demand tight dimensional tolerances and, often, precise surface finishes. Which means that the challenge to manufacturers is to deliver exceptional quality while maintaining competitive pricing.
For medical parts machined from bar stock, an automatic bar feeder is essential to achieve these goals:
- Today’s automatic bar feeders that use electronic headstock synchronization, servo motors and advanced loading systems can flawlessly feed bar stock of very small diameters (less than 1 mm) to very large diameters (120 mm).
- Hydrodynamic or hydrostatic support, front stabilizers, molded guiding channels, Swiss safety connection and other components enable bar feeders to markedly reduce vibration in the cutting zone and maintain accuracy at high spindle speeds, even when bar stock is not perfectly straight.
- Automatic and tool-less adjustments make changeovers quick and easy, so manufacturers have the flexibility to accommodate both high- and low- volume production.
- Bar feeder models are available to load 12-ft, 6-ft and spindle-length bar stock in round, square, hex and other shapes.
- Reliable, automatic bar feeders with adequate material capacity are ideal for unattended and lights-out production that greatly reduces labor costs.
- In this age of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), bar feeders that are equipped with the ability to communicate with CNC lathes can make on-the-fly part schedule changes and send status reports to remote devices for greater productivity and reduced operating costs.
To learn more about the role of bar feeders in medical products manufacturing and other applications, contact your local LNS representative.