Lead Forensics

Automated 3D Scanning Technology Helps Orthopaedic Company Increase Inspection Throughput

May 13, 2024 | 3D Scanning, Development, Industry, Innovation, Manufacturing, Medical Technology, Quality & Inspection

Orchid Orthopaedic Solutions is a leading player in the medical device manufacturing arena, providing contract manufacturing services for orthopaedic procedures, catering to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and various other entities in the orthopaedic industry.

One area of technological advancement has been specialising in the intricate investment casting manufacturing process for knee implants. Their portfolio includes everything from 3D wax printing to machining and finishing knee femoral components and stemmed tibial plates, all of which undergo a transformation from wax to cobalt-chromium castings.

With a clientele that often demands customised designs meeting precise specifications, Orchid recognised the need for a robust inspection process that could ensure accuracy and repeatability. Traditional methods, such as coordinate measuring machines (CMM), proved time-consuming and limited in their ability to measure the complex features of knee implant components.

In 2019, Orchid looked to revolutionise its inspection processes, and after extensive research and testing, the company adopted a Zeiss non-contact blue light 3D scanning technology solution, to automate final, in-process, and production inspection. This move not only reduced inspection time but also enhanced the amount of information gathered about each part.

One of the key challenges was gaining buy-in from customers, as their requirements often dictated the acceptable metrology equipment for inspection. However, Orchid’s commitment to ensuring consistent results through a rigorous gauge R&R process, aligning with industry standards, helped instil confidence in the new technology.

The seamless communication between hardware and software further streamlined the process. Orchid’s team developed customised inspection templates, tailored to each component’s requirements. This allowed for batch scanning of multiple parts, significantly increasing throughput without compromising accuracy.

By embracing automation, Orchid witnessed a significant reduction in inspection time. What took hours with traditional methods, now only requires a fraction of the time, while also enabling the inspection of a greater number of features. Moreover, the clarity and detail provided by the software’s visualisation tools have enhanced communication with customers, facilitating collaboration and ensuring transparency.

However, perhaps the most compelling aspect of this transformation is the cost savings it has generated. Orchid’s investment in automated inspection technology yielded a return within the first year, with substantial ongoing savings expected as more parts transition from CMM to the 3D scanning system.

See Zeiss for the full story.



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The PES Scanning blog provides information and news on the scanning and engineering services we offer. The blog also includes views from our team and information about projects we’ve been working on.