Renishaw is one of those companies that seems to be everywhere in the additive manufacturing world. The global corporation has been involved in everything from aerospace to yacht construction, but one of their biggest focus areas has always been the medical field. That focus area is about to get much bigger, too, thanks to a new dedicated healthcare manufacturing facility opening in Wales.
The Renishaw Healthcare Centre for Excellence was formally opened on Sepetmber 29 in the Welsh town of Miskin, not far from Cardiff. It will be a combination manufacturing facility and training center, with highlights that include a mock operating theatre where surgeons can be trained in complex stereotactic neurosurgery procedures using Renishaw’s neurological projects. The theatre includes all the features of a real-life operating theatre, including lead lining for X-ray protection, so surgeons can train in a realistic setting without having to worry about maintaining a sterile environment. Video and audio technology is also installed for the purpose of live streaming training procedures to anywhere from the adjacent operating theatre to an overseas neurological support team.
Stereotactic neurosurgery is a minimally invasive technique of operating on the brain, commonly used in deep brain stimulation, biopsies and stereoelectroencephalography. It’s an area of specialty for Renishaw, which produces a wide range of medical and dental tools and devices, many of them additively manufactured. The company is a leader in metal additive manufacturing, and the new facility will include a manufacturing center for the production of Class 3 custom 3D printed medical devices under an ISO13485 quality management system. 3D printed parts will include patient-specific cranio-maxillofacial implants, jigs, guides and dental frameworks.
“Today what I have seen is truly astonishing; products with the potential for extending life and for improving life, for example ensuring that people don’t have disfigurement for the rest of their lives,” said Rt. Hon. Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales, who inaugurated the center on September 29. “I’ve been incredibly surprised by what I’ve seen; it’s world beating innovation. I would like to thank the company for having faith in Wales, having faith in the Welsh workforce, but above all else for developing, in partnership with others, many things that will improve the lives of so many people around the world in the future.”
The Renishaw Healthcare Centre for Excellence is adjacent to the company’s main Welsh manufacturing operation, a 450,000-square-foot facility that was purchased from Robert Bosch Limited in 2011, refurbished and opened in October 2012. The facility is where the manufacture of Renishaw’s metal 3D printing systems takes place, as well as additional healthcare research and development and the manufacture of metal components and electronic sub-assemblies.
Locating the new Healthcare Centre at the same site will enable close collaboration between engineers and healthcare professionals on the development of new healthcare technology. In addition to the mock operating theatre and the medical device manufacturing facility, the Healthcare Centre also includes facilities for workshops, lectures, and education. A demonstration area will showcase Renishaw’s large range of metrology and healthcare technologies.
“When this site was formally opened in October 2012 I talked about our commitment to South Wales and the huge potential for the future,” said Sir David McMurtry, Renishaw’s chairman and chief executive. “Four years on we have now invested over £40 million pounds at Miskin and The Healthcare Centre of Excellence is the latest example of that ongoing commitment. The healthcare and life sciences sectors are particularly strong in South Wales which made this location a logical choice for the Centre. Its close proximity to Cardiff also makes it accessible to our healthcare partners and customers from across the world.”
Discuss further in the Renishaw Facility for 3D Printing Medical Devices forum over at 3DPB.com.