Medical Manufacturer automates EDM and Milling operations to optimize workflow

Medical Manufacturer automates EDM and Milling operations to optimize workflow

December 11, 2013 12:26:16 PM

For more than 25 years, Oscor Inc. has operated exclusively within the medical field. Oscor is a Class III supplier of implantable medical devices and components such as pacemakers, adaptors, nerve endings, vein picks, and catheters. 


The need to comply with FDA regulations and meet customers’ expectations requires excellence from Oscor in development and production. The company meets these high standards by using superior technology and keeping all of the production in-house for quality control assurance.



Total Solutions

Oscor has continued to expand its capabilities by incorporating new technologies, equipment and processes that are in line with customers’ needs. Positioned as a complete solutions provider, the company offers designing, prototyping, manufacturing, mold building, assembly and packaging services, among others. 

When a customer needs a project fulfilled, everything is done in-house. This gives Oscor better control over the process and timeline, and has helped reduce run times and lead times. As a result, the company has averaged 25 percent growth over the past four years in a row.

Growth and expansion

This consistent growth and expansion has the company currently building its third facility in Palm harbor, FL. This is in addition to the company’s second location, an offshore manufacturing facility in the Dominican Republic. The new Palm harbor location will house the company’s 160+ employees and offer much more space for engineering resources.

Within Oscor’s metalworking department are two manufacturing cells that share Mitsubishi EDM and Roku-Roku milling equipment. Oscor optimizes workflow and efficiency by combining and automating these technologies. EDM is a capability that the company incorporated only after it saw an influx of jobs that were best suited for EDM. 



Constant Evolution


“It is important that we constantly evaluate our processes,” explains Oscor’s Tooling and Manufacturing Manager, Ed Smith. “The industry is always evolving; it’s crucial that we can meet our customers' needs at all times.” 

For example, when Smith started with Oscor, the company was primarily an off-the-shelf product manufacturer with a large inventory. Today, he finds that customers want their own products, on demand, so it’s important that jobs flow quickly and efficiently from one process to the next during production. As a result, the company has little-to-no stock inventory at any given time.

“Our in-house capabilities need to be well-managed to get reasonable lead times on all of our incoming work,” Smith explains. “Being able to deliver on these requests for quick turnaround is what gets us repeat business.”

Partnering with Mitsubishi

Before purchasing its wire and two sinker EDMs from Mitsubishi, Oscor used equipment from another EDM manufacturer. Since switching to Mitsubishi, the company has experienced simplified automation and a user-friendly controller with many more programming capabilities.

Controls for the company’s two Mitsubishi EA12V sinker EDMs can be located on either the left or right side of the machine. This allows for simple integration into automated work cells. The EA12V’s Mitsubishi 700 Series CNC control delivers advanced programming capabilities for Oscor’s high-precision machining requirements. 

Performance-enhancing features of the control include 3D-PM (Power Master) which analyzes 3D data and recognizes shape characteristics, and nozzle-close conditions which allow for easy elimination of transition lines and streaks. 

Mitsubishi EDM’s CS (Cost Save) mode helps reduce consumable and electrical costs by reducing the wire consumption rate during rough machining without affecting machine accuracy or speed. An energy-conserving power supply reduces energy consumption, thus supporting Oscor’s bottom line.

Each of Oscor’s sinker EDMs is combined with a RokuRoku hC-658 milling machine. These vertical machining centers are designed to perform best in high-speed, high-performance milling operations. Their one-piece column and crossbeam creates a bridge-style mono-block casting, providing extra-rigid support and a wide X-axis guide base. 

“I have never run a better mill for graphite or hard milling,” vouches Smith, who has worked with milling equipment from several other manufacturers. Roku-Roku’s ability to repeatedly deliver smooth finishes and part accuracy supports Oscor’s reputation for superior finished-part quality. 

Oscor acts as a Mitsubishi EDM showroom in the southeast, welcoming other companies into their facility to see the equipment in operation.

“We have a great relationship with Mitsubishi. They’ve always been very responsive when it comes to service,” Smith comments. “For me, a company’s reputation for service and its equipment’s performance are the most important things in a machine tool partner.” This, Smith says, is why he will buy Mitsubishi again, when the time is right.


Product Development 

Unlike the repeat jobs that go through Oscor’s manufacturing facility, new product development projects typically have long lead times. Sending a new product to market requires lengthy testing against all of the elements. Extensive in-house testing equipment includes refrigeration, freezers, ovens, and destruction simulators. All of these processes are designed to ensure products can withstand drastic temperatures and severe impact that can happen during shipping and handling.


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