CAM Express to improve customization capability

Hung Chun Bio-S | Taiwan

CAM Express to improve customization capability

Hung Chun Bio-S

Case Study

Using CAM Express, medical specialist reduces time to process single customized bone plate from six hours to two

Hung Chun Bio-S

HC Bio-S uses Siemens PLM Software solution to quickly design high quality fxtures and jigs for small volume, customized production

Focus on quality and speed in producing artificial bone plates

Hung Chun Bio-S Co., Ltd. (HC Bio-S), founded in 2006, is located in the special zone for biotechnology medical devices in the Southern Science Industrial Park in Luzhu, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The company specializes in research and development (R&D) and production of medical implants. HC Bio-S has obtained GMP certification, class III dental implant examination by and registration with the Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare, United States FDA certification and Europe’s CE marking. Bio-S is the frst company with the capability to develop, design and manufacture dental implants in Taiwan, and also the only maker of the dental implant system in the country.

With a solid foundation for artificial tooth implants and related applications, HC Bio-S also started concentrating on the development of artificial orthopedic implants (including artificial bone nail, bone plate, bone spicule and relevant devices) and fillings. The development of artificial bone plates was first among its successes.

Some orthopedic clinical surgeries, such as involving a bone fracture of a joint surface or osteoporosis, use mini bone nail or plate caged in bones as an additional anchor in orthopedic treatment. Basically, an artificial bone plate is characteristic of irregularities at multiple places, not a product that can be mass produced. From fingers to hip joints, every bone plate is different in shape.

As the location and size of bones in a human body’s upper and lower limbs vary significantly, most bone plates are highly different and therefore customized in small volumes. HC Bio-S alone has developed over 20 different kinds and sizes of bone plate. In addition, as an implantable medical device, every bone plate is subject to inspection and approval by the Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare before use by medical facilities.

Soon after entering the commercial production market, HC Bio-S bone plates were well received by its clients and prospects for high quality. Orders backlogged because the company’s production capacity could not keep pace. Frank Lin, HC Bio-S factory director, explains, “Orders kept coming in, but we just couldn’t shorten the lead time, leading to the probable delay of surgeries for some patients waiting for bone plate implantation. We had to tackle this fast.”

For HC Bio-S’s production facility to meet such a “large-variety, small-volume” production requirement, it needed high quality fixtures and jigs and powerful CAM software. This combination would enable its engineers to make bone plates for various body parts in the shortest time. Therefore, HC Bio-S purchased licenses of Siemens PLM Software’s CAM Express,ushering in a new generation of milling machining solution.

With CAM Express, processing time cut in half

To address its production shortage, HC Bio-S first invested in more advanced and efficient production equipment, which meant bringing in more advanced software as well. HC Bio-S invited several CAM distributors to field-test their software, including CADEX Technology, a Siemens PLM Software partner. CADEX’s outstanding test demonstration using CAM Express notably stood out from the competition.

“In the past, it’d take six hours to make one bone plate fitting, and we expected to shorten that to four,” notes Frank Lin. To his delight, by making a few tweaks to some processes, CADEX technicians used CAM Express to accomplish the mission within three hours. The eye-opening surprise was exactly the outcome that HC Bio-S had wanted.

HC Bio-S didn’t stop there. Instead, the company has been constantly striving for further improvements. By January 2016, the company had reduced the time needed to make one ftting to just two hours. The quick response afforded by CADEX’s technical support team often changed perceived problems into opportunities to further improve bone plate productivity.

“CADEX’s technical support director has extensive practical experience and can offer us suggestions on all kinds of parameter setting and jig fine-tuning,” says Frank Lin. “All we need to do is tell him what needs to be sped up and what can be slowed down; then after a thorough discussion, we make some parameter adjustments and we get the shortest manufacturing cycle, as simple as that.”