Medical device contract manufacturer Norman Noble Inc. (Highland Heights, OH) has announced a significant expansion of its orthopedic implant manufacturing operations. The expansion includes the addition of eight Willemin-Macodel 5-axis contour milling machines, positioning the company as one of the largest providers of single-operation machining to the orthopedic implant OEM market. The company also increased capacity in its Swiss turning and milling department and made capital investments in equipment to support its quality inspections department.
The company believes that its new machining technology will complement its core competencies. The expansion is also meant to help support the growth of the company and position it as a leader for implant manufacturing in terms of capacity and capability.
“Orthopedic implants are one of the fastest-growing segments of our business,” says Dan Stefano, vice president of manufacturing. “This additional technology and capacity fits our experience in manufacturing for this market, which requires tight tolerances, complex geometries, and unique finishing requirements,” he says.
The Willemin-Macodel machining centers that the company added are high-precision units that machine parts such as spinal and extremity implants. The implants are machined by milling and turning them in one cycle, from bar-fed stock to a complete six-sided part. Other methods for manufacturing orthopedic implants often require additional machining steps and multiple machining processes. The Willemin center can be programmed to automate the manufacturing process into a single-operation, resulting in higher output with greater precision and quality.
The orthopedic implant manufacturing expansion is part of Norman Noble’s ongoing strategy to maintain double-digit growth. In addition to expanding its orthopedic implant manufacturing operation, the company has recently doubled the size of its facilities and made substantial investments in its Swiss turning capabilities and its proprietary laser machining and finishing technologies for stent manufacturing.
Norman Noble is also in the midst of a $1.7 million expansion of its mass finishing operations, which support research and development and automated production. The company believes the mass finishing project complements its expansion of orthopedic implant operations.