Key solutions for implants

Bumotec machining centres for efficient complete machining

The representatives of Mathys AG, who came all the way from Bettlach in Switzerland for the event, used their time to prepare a joint engineering study with the Starrag Group and find out about useful peripheral devices.


From 15 –17 February, Starrag Group held its Technology Days Precision Engineering 2017 event in the new Tech- Center für Medizin und Feinmechanik in Immendingen (Tuttlingen). The focus was on the Bumotec high-precision machining centres s191 and s181. Interested visitors were impressed with their highly efficient precision machining after watching live demonstrations and taking part in individual discussions. The event was supported by specialist partners Hoffmann Group, Haimer and Condat, whose products – including tools, tool holders, shrink units and coolants – play a significant role in the process chain.

Almost 400 medical engineering firms have their production sites in “medical valley” around Tuttlingen. And there are numerous precision engineering businesses towards the Swabian Alps. The leaders of the Starrag Group saw these as the ideal conditions for a new TechCenter and set one up in Immendingen for medical and precision engineering.

To appeal to a wider audience for the relatively new TechCenter and its related skills, the Technology Days Precision Engineering 2017 were held there. Oliver Lenhardt, Head of Application Technology at the TechCenter, demonstrated the variety of processing options of the s191 Linear using the example of a micromechanical sample piece to show how to completely machine a 35-mm bar on six sides in one step. It is rotated, subject to five-axis milling and drilled.
A plane surface and a diameter are sanded, and an external tooth system is applied. “The complex machining takes just 20 minutes”, emphasises Oliver Lenhardt. “Then a double gripper removes the piece and places it in the palletizing system.” The application specialist says the particular strengths of the s191 lie in the linear drives on the Z and Y axes and in the thermal stability of the machine, which is facilitated by water-cooled components. “We achieve accuracies in the μm range and surface finishes that are ideal for applications in medical engineering and precision engineering.”

The high-precision machining centre Bumotec s191 Linear used a micromechanical sample piece to show off its wide range of processing capabilities.

The Starrag Group has more than just technical data to win customers over. Marc Lehmann, Head of the TechCenter, points out that they are always striving to work in close partnership with the customer; whether it be for application advice, piece timings, a detailed offer or sample work, if requested: “The entire Starrag Group believes in offering a complete package that includes supporting the customer when developing their processes and peripheral devices. Ultimately, we are in the position to deliver ready-to-use production systems that ensures maximum process security.”

Visitors happy to travel from further afield

The representatives of A.K.TEK Medizintechnik travelled to the Technology Days in Immendingen all the way from Hagen in Westphalia. The company develops turnkey solutions for dental implantology, spinal surgery and hand surgery. Junior Manager and QM representative Björn Arndt explains: “We see ourselves in the top area of quality and always want to go one better than the competition when it comes to our products. This means we need reliable, high-precision machines.” He praised Bumotec machines for their excellent technology and an appealing machine design with good accessibility: “After an interesting conversation at the AMB, we wanted to take the opportunity to see the s181 and s191 in action.”

At the Technology Days Precision Engineering event, which took place between 15–17 February 2017, the Starrag Group demonstrated for the first time how complex components can be machined in a single clamping operation even with small batch sizes, yet still remain profitable.

“We achieve accuracies in the μm range and surface finishes that are ideal for applications in medical engineering and precision engineering.”

Of particular interest to the medical engineer from North Rhine-Westphalia was the application running on the s181: an abutment. This is the connection between a dental implant and the visible dental crown. It is only a few millimetres in size with very close dimensions. A.K.TEK already process this type of abutment. “This means we can assess performance directly”, says Björn Arndt. “The timesaving parallel processing through the counter unit is definitely a plus point of the s181”. He also appreciated the chance to have a detailed discussion whilst visiting the TechCenter: “They provided us with every single detail on machine construction. This is critical for us, because such a cost-intensive investment needs careful consideration. We may even think about the s191, which has a more versatile setup.” A future joint sample processing will seal the deal.

This abutment is only a few millimetres in size with very close dimensions. The s181 completely processes pieces in record breaking time. Most importantly, this offers the option of using a counter unit to process the rear side at the same time.

The representative from Mathys AG, who travelled from Bettlach in Switzerland, is already familiar with what the Bumotec s191 can do. The company specialises in products for artificial joint replacements (i.e. hips, knees, shoulders, fingers) and is currently looking for a new machine for machining plastic balls for hip prostheses. Process Engineer, Beat Uhlmann, thinks the concept of the s191 is very innovative: “We already visited the Bumotec plant to find out about the technical capabilities of the machine. It proved its fundamental suitability for the planned product series. Because we wanted to take on more components in this range, we attended the event for more details and to see what other automation options there may be.”

Under the leadership of Erwin Fässler, Starrag Group Area Sales Manager for Switzerland and Austria, the Mathys representatives discussed a joint engineering study at the Technology Days event. They also used their time in Immendingen to find out more about the Starrag Group. Beat Uhlmann explains: “We want a partnership with our suppliers and really appreciate their experience in the entire process chain. We therefore find it valuable to make personal contact with the Starrag Group’s partner companies and get feedback on our own production.”

Bumotec s181 - solutions for dental implants