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5+2 Axis Swiss Machine for Specialty Medical Operation

Sept. 29, 2011
New Tornos turning center in operation at MicroGroup
MicroGroup’s new Swiss turning center feeds material through the collet variably, allowing tools to machine the part with minimal deflection and maximum accuracy.
The Tornos 7 allows MicroGroup to machine miniaturized parts for advanced surgical instruments and medical implants
The Tornos machine can produce precise medical parts as small as 0.030 in. (0.762 mm) in diameter or in length, in tolerances of ±0.0002 in.

A new Tornos Swiss turning center is operating at a Massachusetts shop to machine medical parts down to 0.030 in. (0.762 mm) in diameter and in length, in tolerances of ±0.0002 in., according to MicroGroup vice president operations Alex Magyar. The Tornos 7 brings to 20 the number of Swiss turning centers in production at the company, and makes it possible to machine miniaturized parts that are in demand for advanced surgical instruments and medical implants.

MicroGroup is an ISO-registered manufacturer that supplies micro-machined metal parts, tubing, solid materials, miniature fittings and assemblies for surgical devices and medical implants to more than half of the top 100 global manufacturers of medical and analytical devices. MicroGroup’s All-Tube business distributes cut-to-length and modified fractional and hypodermic tubing. Its vertically integrated operations include R&D, engineering, rapid prototyping, micro machining, and finishing in small or large volumes.

Unlike conventional computer-aided machining (CAM), in which the entire part is exposed during turned, Swiss turning feeds the material through the collet variably, allowing tools to machine the part immediately adjacent to the collet, reducing deflection and improving dimensional tolerances significantly.

“Swiss machining allows the production of smaller parts with greater precision and efficiency than with conventional CAM, translating into higher quality parts at reduced cost for medical OEMs,” Magyar said, “including those requiring miniature components.”

The Tornos 7 operates with five linear axes and two C-axes to machine components of simple to medium complexity at 20,000 RPM. It can be controlled to ±2 microns, allowing part tolerances of ±0.0002 in. Up to 21 interchangeable tools can be set up at a time in any combination. The counter spindle is independent of, and equally in power to, the main spindle, so it has complete programming flexibility.

“Delivering smaller components with tighter tolerances more rapidly is consistent with MicroGroup's commitment to expand and improve capabilities that keep our customers competitive," said company president Bill Bergen.

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