Slashing Lead Times for Orthoses And Their Robotic Manufacturing System
It took Yann Paitel, founder of OSIC Carbone (Avignon, France), a subsidiary of Orthopédie Bontoux, eight years to master a range of technologies and develop proprietary methodologies (patents pending) that allow his company to deliver customized foam orthoses to nearby orthopedic surgeons and other medical providers in just 12 hours. Now he is promising to deliver these same capabilities to medical service providers and other medical products’ manufacturers in just 10 weeks—not just in France but internationally as well.
Due to the complex, deeply recessed geometries of orthotic appliances and the wide range of size requirements, Paitel decided that a 6-axis arm style robot equipped with a milling head and a long cutter would be best suited to manufacturing them. After studying the marketplace and several trials, OSIC selected Mastercam® CAD/CAM software and Robotmaster. Mastercam has the ability to seamlessly import and work file types that surgeons and orthotists were likely to send OSIC for manufacturing their custom devices.
To get to the point where his company can efficiently manufacture custom orthoses, Paitel modeled the made-to-measure orthoses delivery process from start to finish and introduced many significant digital technology enhancements along the way. For the past three years, his company has been offering these technology modules as separate pieces to customers who would most benefit from them.
Customers for complete robotic manufacturing systems for orthotics will be able to leverage OSIC Carbone’s eight years of experience in modeling the various processes involved to achieve some impressive metrics:
- two minutes to take an accurate scan directly from a patient
- 10 minutes to create the model of an orthotic device from the scanned data
- two minutes to generate a CNC program to carve the device using Mastercam and Robotmaster
- Less than 20 minutes to carve the devices in foam using integrated Mastercam toolpaths and Robotmaster robot arm movements
- 12-hour lead time for robotic milling subcontractor to deliver the custom orthotic to the plastic orthotic designer, vs. three days for carbon devices
These numbers translate to the orthopedic surgeon and orthotist being able to deliver more responsive and better care for their patients while displaying medical technology leadership in their communities.
Paitel cited two other important metrics related to the delivery of these capabilities:
- 10 weeks to take delivery of a complete turnkey system incorporating all of OSIC Carbone’s hard-won process knowledge and proprietary technology to date
- three days to install the system and train users to begin using it productively
Paitel said that OSIC Carbone is engaged in a number of R&D projects that it will use to further advance its own orthotic and prosthetic manufacturing capabilities. These will also be offered to its systems customers once they become commercially viable.