Kevin Botta, continuous improvement manager at Orchid Orthopedic Solutions, has been having a hard time keeping people out of the Quality Inspection lab.
“I’ve had to chase people out of here because they want to measure everything with the new equipment,” said Botta. “It’s amazing how much faster it is than our legacy inspection methods.”
He’s talking about the instant measurement (IM) systems Orchid purchased recently to increase inspection throughput on the small, tight-tolerance components machined at the company’s Arab, Alabama facility. With the ability to simultaneously measure up to 99 dimensions, and do so in less than 3 seconds, the IM gives Orchid employees a tremendous increase in the speed and efficiency at which they can measure parts.
It’s a good thing the company bought three of the units; otherwise quality control would really have their hands full. Orchid is a global developer in the design and manufacture of life changing—and life saving—orthopedic implants, surgical instruments and other medical devices. The company’s mission statement is “to provide an opportunity for people to live a better life.”
That mission pertains to everyone the company touches: the patients treated with Orchid products, the surgeons who use them, their OEM customers and the employees who make and market a diverse range of spinal screws, fusion cages, fixation plates, hip and femoral stems, as well as the instruments needed to install those components in the human body.
Considering what’s at stake, the company has a strong emphasis on quality, and it is registered with the FDA. This is at least part of the reason it partnered with KEYENCE, as it needed a reliable method of measuring together with a metrology partner that would stand behind its products. Botta—a self-avowed CMM junkie—says he’s been monitoring vision measurement technology for the past decade, and he made the final decision to go with KEYENCE during a visit to the 2014 IMTS show.
Before signing on the dotted line, Orchid sent a test part to KEYENCE a geared component Orchid was making for a customer in Italy and had previously had trouble getting repeatable inspection results. The IM had no problem measuring the spline gear’s pitch, major and minor diameters, the tooth angle and form and concentricity, a tall order for many inspection machines. Based on these results, Orchid placed the order for three IM-6225 “Place-and-Press” Image Dimension Measuring Systems.
Orchid Orthopedic Solutions