New Smith+Nephew plant uses Rösler equipment

To function properly and last for a long time in the human body, orthopaedic implants require precisely defined finishes on different surface areas. For the targeted surface finishing of femur components at its new high-tech plant in Penang, Malaysia, Smith+Nephew is utilising two manufacturing cells, each containing three R 6/1000 SF drag finishers from Rösler.

The drag finishers undertake process stages that include pre-grinding with ceramic media, pre-polishing using plastic media and dry polishing with a specially prepared organic polishing medium. To prevent any disruptions of the surface finishing operation, all drag finishers are suitable for running the dry polishing process. Furthermore, four of the six drag finishers are suitable for the pre-grinding and pre-polishing as well as the dry polishing operation.

The drag finishers consist of a processing bowl with a diameter of 1000 mm and a carousel with six rotary spindles. These are equipped with specially designed workpiece fixtures, to which the femur components are mounted.

“We’re now able to process 18 femur components in one single batch compared with only 12 the past,” says Jürgen Preiser, senior manufacturing engineer at the plant. “This increases our throughput by around 50%, a truly remarkable productivity boost.”

The plant also has two fully automatic Z1000 centrifuges, equipped with the ‘Advanced’ digital process water management system from Rösler Smart Solutions, which ensure that the process water is reliably and efficiently cleaned and recycled. Another indispensable contribution towards the stability of the finishing operation is the continuous monitoring and classification of the grinding and pre-polishing media.
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