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Departments: Quality Applications

Implant Manufacturer Maintains Quality with Renishaw System



Implant Manufacturer Maintains Quality with Renishaw System
Renishaw’s QC10 ballbar system

Smith & Nephew had been creating medical devices, lubricants and implants since 1931. Although advancing technology has brought unparalleled progress, it has also increased the opportunity for error. By February 1998, performance of the plant’s most critical machines had reached unacceptable levels. Based on the Six Sigma scale, thread whirling machines were operating at only 3 sigma. That meant that 7 percent of the time, those machines failed to perform their tasks within a specified tolerance. Vertical mills operated at 2.25 sigma (greater than a 20-percent failure rate) and horizontals operated at less than 1 sigma (a 69-percent failure rate). Instead of smooth, efficient production, Smith & Nephew was becoming increasingly involved in rework and scrap--to the detriment of the company’s bottom line. That was before Grimes implemented ballbar diagnosis with Renishaw’s QC10 ballbar.

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