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MEDICAL MACHINING Global medical machining response set-up for the COVID-19 crisis

Dec 23, 2020

Medical machining industry, in 2020, has certainly risen to the occasion of COVID-19 with speed innovation. Mastercam, a company dealing with customers in the medical machining industry, has been delivering reliable & efficient CAD/CAM solutions to its customers. The article, with examples of Mastercam customers, digs into how the medical machining industry responded & contributed to the medical industry’s fight against COVID-19. - Vineet Seth, Managing Director, Mastercam India

Whether they are critical or non-critical parts, medical machining requires a blend of precision, efficiency, ease of use and scalability from the Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) point of view. Mastercam has been able to deliver all of the above; whether it is for customers like Stryker – who make knee implants, or Medtronic – who make digital imaging equipment, or others like GE Healthcare, Hillrom, Baxter, Johnson & Johnson, etc. These customers are at the cutting edge in medical technology.

The National Association of Manufacturers recently responded to the White House’s call for aid by collecting information about manufacturing companies’ ability to produce and transport supplies for the medical community. CNC Software, Inc, developer of CAD/CAM software, Mastercam, is proud of how its ‘Mastercam family’ stepped forward to help in the fight against COVID-19.

Century Mold

A Mastercam customer, Century Mold, in Rochester, New York, normally produces parts for the automotive industry. When Rochester Regional Health called with an urgent request for better protective masks for its medical staff, Century Mold redirected its energy to help. Their team quickly designed a new mask that expands the protected area by wrapping from ear-to-ear and covering the user’s face, even past the chin.

Within 24 hours of Rochester Regional Health’s plea for help, Century Mold had a mask prototyped. Only nine days after first beginning the project, they started mass production on their enhanced protective masks. Their shop is running seven days a week and each day they produce 2500 masks. They have already had one million masks requested.

Business Development Manager, Jeff Ricotta, said, “We are thankful for everyone on the front lines fighting the coronavirus and we are happy that we can contribute in some fashion. We are also extremely proud and truly grateful for our Rochester team who has been working endless hours, putting itself at risk and spending time away from their families.”

Mechanical Drive Components

Another customer, Mechanical Drive Components, in Chicopee, Massachusetts, is working tirelessly to provide supplies for COVID-19 patients. The company is a contract shop that produces precision machined parts for industrial, automotive, aerospace and medical industries. Because of its experience with medical equipment components, making the switch to pandemic support was easy.

Mechanical Drive Components is now almost entirely focused on producing the components within the gas-mixing devices in ventilators, which many patients now desperately need as they find breathing more and more difficult. The shop is now running seven days a week and employees are working 60-hour workweeks. “Our goal is to stay on this as long as possible,” said Joseph Giffune, President & Owner, Mechanical Drive Components, knowing how valuable these ventilators are to COVID-19 patients.

U K Precision, Inc

Located in Dallas, Georgia, U K Precision, Inc has been providing vital medical parts to Durable Medical Equipment (DME) suppliers for years. When the COVID-19 crisis emerged, U K Precision was more than ready to help. One of the components the company has made in the past is a brass reducer orifice for oxygen concentrators. These oxygen concentrators help deliver air to people struggling to breathe like many COVID-19 patients are right now. As air is filtered and purified, the oxygen is concentrated down to medical-grade and delivered either in a steady stream or in pulses. The reducer orifices U K produces, regulates the speed of the oxygen so that the correct amount is delivered to the patient.

The owner, Darren Vosper, machines the reducer orifices on his Colchester Storm CNC lathe programmed with Mastercam. He explained, “I face it with a grooving tool, turn the OD rough and finish it with a grooving tool. I then drill the two holes, part them off and I’m done. The OD flange is finished to 0.297” diameter and I’m using a 3/8” stock, so I’m not really taking a lot of material off of it. I’m able to machine all of it with one little tool.” Though he initially promised 50 regulators to his customer in a week, he delivered that first 50 within two days. Not one to stop there, Vosper and his daughter Jaime went on to make an additional 325, many of which were made from the leftover stock material. “We are not on the front lines, but we are glad to do our part,” said Vosper.

IME Technology Solutions Sdb Bhd

As the certified Mastercam reseller for Malaysia, IME Technology Solutions Sdb Bhd is well known for finding solutions to problems. Now, IME has entered the fight against COVID-19 and is rallying its community to help.

IME researched several different ways they might help before deciding on the most feasible option. Among the possible projects, some were converting scuba masks to N95 masks, producing automated resuscitators and making medical garments, like isolation gowns and caps. After receiving advice from medical experts and pursuing different funding options, IME decided on a project that would produce face shields.

Face shields for doctors, nurses and other hospital staff are becoming more and more scarce, so IME rounded up a group of Mastercam customers to design and make more with plastic mould injection. Their customer, LSK Precision Mould Sdn Bhd, handled mould design and fabrication while their other customer, Polynic Industries Sdn Bhd, supplied the plastic injection material. Currently, 20,000 masks have been produced and delivered to over 20 Malaysian hospitals. IME is now refocusing and launching its second phase. This phase will produce an additional 20,000 masks for first responders, like police officers, firefighters and military personnel.

Amanda Teoh, Spokesperson, LSK Precision Mould Sdn Bhd, reminds us all what is most important during this crisis. “In this unprecedented time of a global pandemic, we, as part of the community, want to do as much as we can to support our country. The power of people working together towards the same goal is phenomenal and proves that if we work together, we are limitless,” she signed off.

Image Gallery

  • Medical Drive Components’ ventilator component

  • Vineet Seth

    Managing Director

    Mastercam India

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