SME: Autocam Medical Featured in SME’s Humans of Manufacturing Heroes Edition

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.

Continue reading at SME…

ODT: Autocam Medical Leaders Discuss Advancements in Orthopedic Device Fabrication

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.

Continue reading at ODT…

BONEZONE: Autocam Medical Account Managers Highlight the Importance of Engaging Suppliers in DFMEAs.

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.

Continue reading at BONEZONE…

MD+DI: VentMI Device Manufactured by Autocam Medical Addresses Critical Need for Ventilators

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.

Continue reading at MD+DI…

DBUSINESS: Autocam Medical, AMP Lab Noted as Resource for Students and Entrepreneurs Pursuing Careers as Makers

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.

Continue reading at DBusiness…

GRBJ: Autocam Medical to Participate in Summer Youth Employment Program

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.

Continue reading at GRBJ…

VANTAGE POINT: Autocam Medical Manufactures Breakthrough Ventilator Splitter Invented by VA Doctor

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.

Continue reading at VAntage Point…

MD & DI: Autocam Medical Works with University of Michigan, Brings Vital Vent Splitter from Protoype to Production in Under a Month

MW Industries Inc., a manufacturer of precision metal components, has been playing a role in the supply chain for ventilators and other medical devices needed in the COVID-19 pandemic response. All of its locations have remained open to support the needs of its clients in every industry, including the following medical device industry support described below:

Tri-Star Industries, a manufacturer of precision threaded inserts for plastic applications, has stepped up production in its Berlin, CT, location to meet demand from the largest ventilator manufacturers in the world.
RAF Electronic Hardware, in Seymour, CT, a supplier of precision metal fasteners and components for medical equipment such as ventilators, air filtration and medical imaging systems, has been able to design, manufacture, and ship parts in a matter of days to keep production lines up and running.
Century Spring Corp. in Commerce, CA, a source of springs such as stainless-steel compression springs for both ventilator R&D and production volumes, has maintained inventories to ship same-day and supported medical OEM and contract manufacturers as they have scaled up production of ventilators.
Servometer, in Cedar Grove, NJ, manufactures several bellows used in critical ventilator applications.
Economy Spring & Stamping, in Southington, CT, used additive manufacturing to address a shortage of PPE masks at a Connecticut hospital, delivering the first batch of 3-D printed masks in under a week.
[Image courtesy of MW Industries]

MW Industries Inc.Autocam Medical
Autocam Medical, a global contract manufacturer of precision-machined surgical instruments and other device components, has been manufacturing a new ventilator splitter with individual pressure capability. The company has been collaborating with researchers at the University of Michigan to develop VentMI, moving from prototype to a part available for use in under a month, it reported in a news release.

“We’re extremely grateful to have been asked to participate in the creation of this vital new product,” said John Kennedy, CEO of Autocam Medical, in a statement. “And we’re very proud of our team’s ability to go from prototype through manufacturing, engineering, to finished product in a matter of days to help meet this crucial need for the healthcare community.”

Autocam Medical reports that the new splitter was “conceived only weeks ago” by Dr. Kyle VanKoevering of the Department of Otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Michigan Medicine and an associate faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. VentMI overcomes a previously critical limitation for shared use of these devices. The new splitter enables individual pressure capability, whereas previous splitters could deliver only one pre-set pressure to patients.

The new splitter was designed, prototyped, tested, and received FDA Emergency Use Authorization; Autocam Medical, which was mobilized to implement Design for Manufacturing (DFM) processes, has been manufacturing the VentMI.

A new company formed by U-M inventors, MakeMedical LLC, has licensed the technology from U-M and will provide VentMI at cost to other institutions, it was reported in the release. Autocam Medical is providing its manufacturing services at cost, as well. Said Owen Tien, CEO of 3-D printing company Thingsmiths, a co-developer of VentMI and co-founder of MakeMedical: “Autocam Medical’s professionalism, speed, and quality of work is world-class. Their ability to move our components beyond 3D-printed prototypes has resulted in a product we can stand behind, and we are proud to partner with them.”

Continue reading at MD & DI…

ODT: Autocam Medical: Adapting to the Dynamic Orthopedic and Spinal Implant Industries

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cripple every industry, and the orthopedic implant market is especially affected. With the exception of traumatic injuries, orthopedic surgeries are elective. The U.S. Surgeon General and many medical specialties such as the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Anesthesiologists recommended interim cancellation of elective surgical procedures for the duration of the pandemic. For these surgeries to resume, there must be a sustained reduction in new COVID-19 case rates in the relevant geographic area for at least 14 days before resuming elective procedures.1

“All attention right now is on the impact to the supply chain from COVID-19,” said Scott Shankle, VP of operations at MicroPort Orthopedics, a Memphis, Tenn.-based multinational producer of orthopedic products. “Employee safety, local or state orders guiding operations facilities, disruptions at suppliers, bans on elective surgical procedures, and everyone in the supply chain being cash conservative while trying to manage inventory and readiness for the global recovery is the current environment. The most significant trend to watch is how and when global recovery advances. I expect the cash conservation to squeeze smaller organizations the hardest, and expect at least some consolidation in OEMs and contract manufacturers.”

Continue reading at ODT…

TODAY’S MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS: University of Michigan, Autocam Medical, Make Medical collaborate amid COVID-19

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.

Conceived only weeks ago by Dr. Kyle VanKoevering of the Department of Otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Michigan Medicine and an associate faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the new splitter was designed, prototyped, tested, and received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA. In less than a week, Autocam Medical was mobilized to implement design for manufacturing (DFM) processes and started manufacturing the VentMI. Autocam Medical is poised to produce hundreds of the new device.

A new company formed by U-M inventors, MakeMedical LLC, has licensed the technology from U-M and will provide VentMI at cost to other institutions. Autocam Medical is providing its manufacturing services at cost, as well. Of significant note, the VentMI costs only one-hundredth that of a new ventilator, thereby helping to reduce vent costs into the future as well.

Continue reading at Today’s Medical Developments…