Researchers at the University of Michigan, collaborating with Autocam Medical, have tackled the COVID-19 crisis of potential ventilator shortages globally and developed VentMI™ in remarkable time—from prototype to available for use in under a month. This new ventilator splitter overcomes a previously critical limitation for shared use of these devices. Previous splitters could deliver only one pre-set pressure to patients even though each patient requires a unique pressure tailored to their lung size and degree of disease. Excessive volume or pressure can cause lung trauma, thereby limiting the ability to share a ventilator.
A contract manufacturer of precision surgical and medical components and devices is looking to hire dozens of full-time CNC machinists.
Autocam Medical said this week it is seeking new CNC machinist employees to work the night shift at its Kentwood location, from 8 p.m.-6 a.m. Monday through Friday.
The company will provide a shift pay differential for these positions that increases the employee’s hourly base wage by 10%.
Applicants are required to have four or more years of CNC experience. They also must be capable of setting up and operating single and/or multiple spindle machines, as well as monitoring and controlling the quality of machining practices by utilizing process control tools. Proficiency in maintaining production procedures and working within the expected quality standards and established efficiencies also are necessary.
“As our sales have continued to accelerate, so has our need for CNC machinists,” said Kristy White, human resources manager for Autocam Medical. “While there may be similar opportunities out there, the work environment and benefits that we are offering for these positions really sets us apart.”
Autocam Medical offers “a generous compensation package, including a premium-free health plan that rewards employees for positive lifestyle choices,” as well as vision insurance, dental insurance, quarterly incentives, a 401(K) match of $3,000 and tuition reimbursement.
Autocam Medical, a global contract manufacturer of precision surgical and medical components and devices, announced that they are looking to hire up to 10 full-time CNC machinists to work the night shift in their Murfreesboro location.
Applicants are required to have two or more years of CNC experience. They must also be capable of setting up and operating single and/or multiple spindle machines as well as monitoring and controlling the quality of machining practices by utilizing process control tools. Proficiency in maintaining production processes and working within the expected quality standards and established efficiencies are also necessary. Autocam Medical’s night shift runs from 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
Autocam Medical offers a clean work environment and a generous compensation package including premium-free health insurance, vision insurance, dental insurance, quarterly incentives, a 401K match of $3,000.00, and tuition reimbursement. The company also provides a shift pay differential for this position that increases the employee’s hourly base wage by 10 percent.
When it comes to shifting production to aid in the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges can exist even if the product isn’t a sharp deviation from products you normally manufacture. That’s what Kentwood, Mich.-based Autocam Medical, a global contract manufacturer of orthopedic implants, spinal implants, precision instruments and orthopedic cutting tools, discovered.
As the pandemic swept around the globe, hospitals found themselves with an extreme shortage of ventilators necessary to treat and save COVID-19 patients who developed more serious respiratory complications from the virus. While engineers around the world rushed to develop cheaper and easier to build emergency ventilators and companies of all types and sizes pitched in to expand existing ventilator production, Dr. Kyle VanKoevering of MakeMedical, LLC, approached Autocam Medical with a drawing of a “splitter” device that could enable one ventilator to assist two patients at the same time.
Dr. VanKoevering, a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan Medical School, designed the splitter to double the capacity of the vitally needed ventilators. The “splitter” device, called VentMI (Ventilate Multiple Individuals), serves to provide mechanical ventilation to two patients from a single ventilator.
“We know that Individualized pressure control and the addition of other components is the key to effective ventilation,” said Dr. VanKoevering. “Combining custom pressure regulators and one-way valves, this system has been tested in simulated lung and animal environments and has Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from FDA.”
Although Dr. VanKoevering has broad experience in the application of 3D Printing for diagnostic and surgical applications, having played a key role in several groundbreaking and novel uses of additive manufacturing in medicine, and used the technology for initial design and engineering, final manufacturing of the device would benefit from more traditional manufacturing processes.
Enter Autocam Medical. Dr. VanKoevering approached the company, asking if they could use their medical manufacturing skills and experience to rapidly develop prototypes of several components for the piece. To which the company responded with a resounding, “Yes!”
Autocam’s experiencing making medical components and their existing certification to do so, made the company a perfect choice for the assignment.
Medical industry technologies are evolving to serve more surgical and patient needs. People are living longer, with higher expectations for staying active as they age. Surgeons want better devices, instruments, and tools to help them achieve these goals—which in most cases requires state-of-the-art manufacturing and tight-tolerance machining. Machining continues to advance to meet the challenges of making smaller and more complex devices, sometimes from newer, harder-to-machine materials. Computer numeric control (CNC) machines can integrate other technologies to produce complex shapes and features, quickly and efficiently, with tolerances of only a few microns. These advanced capabilities are often software-driven, enabling the use of sensor and other Internet of Things technologies to maximize efficiency and performance.
“For example, information from various sensors can be integrated and analyzed, enhancing computer-aided manufacturing simulation and offline G-code verification,” said Dave Davie, production manager at the Dayton, Ohio, facility for Lincotek Medical, an Italy-based contract manufacturer for the orthopedic, trauma, spine, and dental markets.
Even with additive manufacturing (AM) looming constantly in the wings, the demand for CNC subtractive machining remains robust in the medical device industry. This is largely due to a willingness to embrace process improvement in all areas and push current manufacturing systems (sometimes to the limits) for the quickest and most cost-effective process. OEMs and their contract manufacturers (CMs) are always looking for ways to improve machining and tooling, especially to reduce cycle times and get products to market faster. As OEMs continue to apply price pressures on their manufacturing partners for increasingly complex devices, CMs are forced to be more innovative with their equipment and their approaches to process improvement.
Successful design and manufacture of an implant requires that everyone involved, including your contract manufacturer, is familiar with the product and its components. Autocam Medical Account Managers Michael Spencer and Morgan Taylor are experiencing more conversations during the design for manufacturing (DFM) phase, and some OEMs are even sharing their Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (DFMEA). This early collaboration is desirable, because it allows OEMs to identify manufacturing issues and cost efficiencies earlier in the process.
We asked Spencer and Taylor three questions about working with OEMs.
As the healthcare industry began responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns emerged of a potential shortage of ready-to-use ventilators for patients. The response to such need has been incredible, from medical device companies and their innovation partners to manufacturers and designers from other industries. MD+DI shares some of these amazing stories below, and we’d love to hear how you have helped by emailing our editorial team.
The process of launching a product or business as a maker doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
From a budding entrepreneur’s first exposure to engineering to career fairs to hands-on shops where students and early-stage developers can work on prototypes, Michigan offers a bevy of resources.
The city of Grand Rapids launched a youth employment program aimed at providing jobs for 1,000 young people.
GRow1000: Employing 1000 GR youth for a brighter tomorrow is designed for Grand Rapids residents ages 15 to 21. The city is home to more than 9,000 residents in this age group.
The program is a collaborative effort between the city and local businesses and organizations. Participating organizations will offer young people 120-hour work experiences over six weeks starting July 13.
Youth participants will earn $10 an hour for 20 hours each week. They will have the opportunity to earn up to $1,500 during the program, which goes through Aug. 21. To participate, individuals must meet the following basic requirements:
- Be between 15 and 21 years old as of July 22
- Live in the city of Grand Rapids
- Be eligible to work in the U.S.
The city will prioritize youth applicants from the 49503, 49507, 49508 and 49509 ZIP codes, as these areas have been most heavily impacted by disproportionate outcomes, including COVID-19.
Ear, nose, and throat surgeon Dr. Kyle VanKoevering is doing his part to help Veterans and others who fall ill with COVID-19. Working together with a team at the University of Michigan, he developed a new device that will allow two patients with different needs to safely use the same ventilator.
As the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic came into focus, VanKoevering and his colleagues worried that not all hospitals would be able to provide ventilators for the sickest patients. They also knew that using a simple “vent-splitter,” a Y-shaped adaptor that allows medical staff to deliver pressurized oxygen from one ventilator to two patients, had significant limitations.
“The problem is that for patients to share a ventilator using a currently available vent-splitter, they must have the same ventilator needs,” said VanKoevering, according to the University of Michigan Health Lab. “Otherwise one person may receive excessive volume or pressure on their lungs, which can cause lung trauma.”
His solution was to invent a device that would allow physicians to customize air pressure settings for patients using a single ventilator, based on the size and elasticity of their lungs and their ventilatory needs.