Vertical Success

Oscor Inc.
Palm Harbor, Fla.,
www.oscor.com
Number of employees – 130
2007 sales – N/A
Markets served – Medical

sinker EDM cell

Oscor’s fully automated sinker EDM cell.

To really compete, Oscor Inc . offers customers more than just quality components, it provides full manufacturing solutions. It does designing, prototyping, low-cost production manufacturing and mold building, and it provides assembly and packaging when necessary.

The shop focuses 100 percent on medical work and continually grows within that market to always be a full-service provider to its customers.

By vertically integrating, Oscor gains more control over its processes and makes it easy for its customers to work with the shop. As a result, the shop’s revenue has grown about 40 percent per year, and business has doubled over the past three years.

“We shy away from jobs that involve making, for example, 100,000 of just one component and that’s it. We will do that, but our strength is providing a complete solution for not only manufacturing the component but also for designing it and assembling the finished device,” Thomas Osypka, president and chief executive officer of Oscor, said.

“Instead of concentrating only on what we are good at, we strive to be good at everything we do,” he added.

Oscor’s in-house capabilities are paramount to the shop’s vertical growth and being able to offer customers full turnkey solutions.

Starting with engineering. The shop has 22 staff engineers, most of whom have experience with medical devices. Some are biomedical engineers, while others are manufacturing engineers from such fields as moldmaking and materials.

In addition, the shop has a group of project managers on hand who are responsible for complete project overviews and for outlining all the shop’s different capabilities.

When it comes to manufacturing, the shop always incorporates only those machines, equipment and systems that will expand its capabilities. This includes manufacturing cells, job tracking and data-collection systems, and automation.

On the shopfloor, jobs, whether at the prototype or production stage, flow seamlessly from one process to the next because all aspects of manufacturing are fully integrated and process controlled. Full integration also makes for quick communication between shop departments.

All revisions and changes to design and manufacturing processes are tracked and documented. Plenty of live data is on hand, so machinists get a complete overview of a project, which helps them decide the best and quickest way to complete their jobs.

Oscor further optimizes workflow using manufacturing cells and automation. Because all of its parts go on medical devices, much of the equipment is housed in clean rooms.

However, Ed Smith, the shop’s tooling manager pointed out that the shop doesn’t always run out and purchase the latest manufacturing technology.

“While most shops will purchase additional machines when workloads increase, what we do is first evaluate our current processes and figure out how to increase their capacities, such as through automation,” Smith said, noting that the shop often builds its own automation for production, testing and fixturing processes.

“Then if needed, we’ll look at new equipment,” he added.

For example, the shop recently invested in an automated Mitsubishi sinker EDM cell that includes a System 3R pallet and work changer and a Roku-Roku graphite-milling machine.

At first, the shop was hesitant to add EDM to its repertoire of capabilities, but then more jobs came in that were best done with that technology.

The shop also is looking into other new technologies such as laser machining (for mold cavities), metal-injection molding or powder- injection molding, special heattreated coatings for part strength and corrosion resistance, and innovative mold techniques.

“We constantly re-evaluate how we do things, and we are not afraid to try different approaches because most of the jobs we do are firsts for us. We continually find new and better ways to solve problems,” Ernie DeBella, manager of operations for Oscor’s tool and mold shop, said.

Oscor conducts frequent training to keep its employees’ skills honed. Classes are conducted internally by an OEM or off-site. The shop promotes from within where ever possible and has daily focus meetings to get everyone’s input for solving particular problems.

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