Generating value in medtech process chains

The Swiss mechanical and electrical engineering industries export around 80% of their products, thereby accounting for 35% of the country’s total exports. But where is the value created? At the WMTF Expert Park, machine tool manufacturers will be demonstrating how they successfully master medtech process chains. The Expert Park is chaired by Professor Konrad Wegener, Head of the Institute of Machine Tools and Manufacturing at ETH Zurich.

Innovation is everywhere in the Medtech industry. For instance high precision turning reaches new challenges with new operations and new materials. Image (c) Tornos.
Innovation is everywhere in the Medtech industry. For instance high precision turning reaches new challenges with new operations and new materials. Image (c) Tornos.

With a total headcount of around 338,000 and a contribution of 19% to gross domestic product as well as 9% of value creation, the mechanical and electrical engineering (MEM) industries are Switzerland’s largest industrial sector. But in the hardball competition of global markets, constant innovation is vital.

Never-ending innovation
Innovation is driven by new developments in materials for medtech products and tools. “There is a lot happening in ceramics in particular”, comments materials expert Konrad Wegener. “The focus is on properties such as strength, hardness and wear resistance.” Since diamond and polycrystalline cubic boron nitride (CBN) are currently regarded as the ultimate cutting materials in terms of wear resistance, the trend has now shifted toward anchoring the cutting materials in tools. The hot topic of the moment is surface technology. The focus is on a combination of surface and volumetric properties. “As the example of hydroxyapatite shows, the real challenge lies in the art of harmonizing both property groups with each other”, says the ETH researcher. “With implants, the biocompatibility that can be achieved through material surface properties is particularly interesting. The detailed surface topography and the ability to generate this over large areas are crucially important.”

.To be discovered at the expert park on WMTF Lucerne

  • Machine tool to master the process chains
  • New manufaturing processes
  • New technologies for customized applications
  • Robotics
  • Interface between technologies
  • and much more

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You can read a complete report by Professser Wegener here.
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www.medtech-forum.ch

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