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technology in action


Many of ConMed’s precision machining fl ow cells hinge on multitasking machines from Mazak, including the shop’s two newest cells. One of which has been designated as a “developmental machining cell.”


Developmental Cells Surgeons depend on ConMed to keep them on the cut- ting edge with new, innovative instruments and systems that increase procedure speed and effi cacy. All these demands, in turn, dial up the pressure on ConMed not only from an in- novation standpoint but also a developmental lead time one. This is where the devel- opmental machining cells come into play.


Once ConMed models


a new product in CAD and proves out feasibility, that product segues to the design phase and into a developmental cell. These cells determine manu- facturability and ensure a smooth transition of a new product and its compo- nents into full produc- tion. ConMed runs parts in developmental cells until the product matures, after which the product’s components will move to production fl ow cells to step up throughput and meet the growing market demand. “Developmental machining cells get us to market with


(VCN) 410A vertical machining center—teamed up with other processing equipment. The Integrex 200SY multitasking machine also sports


twin turning spindles along with a RPM mill spindle with B-axis capability and multiple position tool magazines. As a four-axis vertical machining center, the VCN 410A, now known as the Vertical Center Nexus (VCN) 430A from Mazak, provides ConMed fast, effi cient setups and ample worktable space for various part fi xturing, including rotary indexing units. According to William Mazurek, director of continuous improvement at ConMed, leveraging the precision machin- ing fl ow cell method- ology together with a rapid developmental cell, the company will maximize its customer and busi- ness responsive- ness. The precision machining factory operates three shifts, fi ve days a week, so most of its cells—the Mazaks—basically run 24/7.


Integrex i-200S working at second spindle.


“Our goal is to achieve the highest


new products as quickly as possible, while fl ow cells provide speed and effi ciency once those products are in full produc- tion,” said Rob Kalo, factory manager and chief engineer at ConMed. “During product development, we generate a lot of iterations to achieve optimum designs, and using our dedicated development cell we provide fl exibility and speed. Speed is critical, and the Mazak Integrex i-100S developmen- tal cell provides that by allowing us to process very complex components on one machine and in single setups.” At the heart of ConMed’s developmental cell is a Mazak


Integrex i-100S multitasking machine. It features twin turn- ing spindles and a 12,000-rpm milling spindle with B-axis capability, in addition to a 72-position tool magazine. The second cell incorporates two Mazak machines—an Integrex 200SY multitasking machine and a Vertical Center Nexus


levels of equipment use that we can,” said Mazurek. “We focus on waste elimination, faster setups/changeovers and less operator intervention. And multitasking capability gained from our Mazaks helps us accomplish all these objectives. Plus, the machines are extremely accurate, provide more part processing fl exibility and fi t well with our production fl ow cell concept.”


At ConMed, prototyping various design iterations as well as minimizing job change time adds to responsiveness and shop-fl oor fl exibility, Mazurek said. Job lots can vary from several per shift, while others may change over every couple of days, especially those jobs involving highly complex parts.


Surgical Tools ConMed produces both disposable and reusable surgical instruments. Many are medical hand tools, but the company also produces pneumatic and battery operated power hand tools, as well as the implants that are put into the body using


74 — Medical Manufacturing 2015


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