HYUNDAI WIA THREE-AXIS LATHE KEEPS TURNING OUT ORTHOPLASTICS’ MEDICAL IMPLANTS
The low weight and compactness of the Hyundai Wia E160 LMA three-axis lathe were the key criteria for machine selection when Orthoplastics - the leading supplier of materials as well as implants and devices used in medical applications – wanted to expand its machining capacity.
“We needed the new machine to be taken down in a lift to its chosen location in the production department,” says the company’s New Product Co-ordinator, Mick Marshall.
“Because the Hyundai Wia weighs just 2,400 kgs and occupies a floorspace of only 1.9 metres by 1.6 metres, it was the ideal choice. That and, of course, the fact that it had all the technical attributes we wanted in a new lathe.”
Lancashire-based Orthoplastics is acknowledged as a leading global supplier of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), supplying many of the world’s orthopaedic device manufacturers. Its premium grade UHMWPE is manufactured on-site and is the material of choice for a wide range of implants and devices for use in hips, knees, shoulders, elbows, ankles and fingers. The company also supplies biocompatible plastics for instrument applications.
It was for the machining of UHMWPE knee cap components that the Hyundai Wia was installed, using a series of “straightforward turning operations” to produce a family of nine different sized parts extending up to 38 mm diameter by just 15 mm long.
Supplied by T W Ward CNC Machinery (Ward CNC), Hyundai Wia’s exclusive UK and Ireland agent, the 11 kW/6,000 revs/min spindle E160 LMA’s maximum turning diameter and turning length of 280 mm and 450 mm, respectively – combined with a 480 mm swing over the bed and 285 mm swing over the carriage plus linear guideways and high-speed servo turret - is more than adequate for the application, says Mr Marshall.
“The E160 LMA has now freed up much-needed capacity on the machine we formerly used,” adds Mr Marshall. “It is working across three shifts producing these components in large batches, and we’re utilising its 30 m/min rapid travel rates to the full.”