AM Powder Screening for Medical Implants
Medical technology manufacturer Meotec automates powder screening with a Russell AMPro® Lab
Meotec manufactures biodegradable orthopedic implants, using magnesium alloys. The German technology company also has plans to expand its production to use zinc alloys as an alternative raw material.
The orthopedic implants are used by medical technology manufacturers and engineering companies. Using metal alloys allows the implants to biodegrade naturally within the body without needing to be removed.
The Additive Manufacturing process creates the implants from metal alloy powders, but before production can begin, Meotec qualifies the powder to remove coarse particles, fine dust, and any impurities. After production, the used powder can be reclaimed for other products. This requires a further screening step to requalify the powder.
Powder screening was originally conducted by hand which made the manufacturing process time-intensive. In addition, due to the different requirements of each product, the quantities of powder that were screened could vary from 300 grams to 5 kilograms. Screening in small batches also slowed down production.
Following successful trials, Meotec purchased two Russell AMPro® Lab machines, one to screen magnesium alloys and another to screen zinc alloys. This was due to the Russell AMPro® Lab's flexibility with material changes and its ability to handle small quantities of powder.
With the Russell AMPro® Lab, Meotec was able to automate the screening stages. This significantly reduced the time it took to screen each production batch compared to the previous manual method.
The medical technology manufacturer now has the flexibility to easily change material screening depending on the requirements of the finished product. It can screen out large particles with a 45, 63, or 100-micron mesh size and can also use a 25-micron mesh size to remove fine particles.
About Russell Finex
Founded in 1934, Russell Finex is a specialist global supplier of sieving and filtration equipment. With its head office in the U.K. and subsidiaries in Belgium, the U.S.A., India, Brazil, and China the company supplies to over 140 countries.
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A highly adaptable system, best suited to recovering small powder batches and integra…