When medicine meets micro technology…

For the second time, medical technology has place of honour in the Bernese Jura (Switzerland). From 10th to 13 March 2009, Moutier will play host to the mediSIAMS fair. Here we look at the first event and the future.

Off to a first success
In March 2007 with little over 200 exhibitors and nearly 5000 visitors, the first edition of this specialist biennial fair held all its promises. For example, almost 500 visitors from ‘research and development’ departments found answers to some of their questions in terms of machining and/or finished products intended for the medical sector. For a first event, the international dimension was a source of great satisfaction for the organizers as just under 300 people came from France, 150 from Germany, 80 from Italy, 65 from Sweden, 53 from the United Kingdom and 30 from Spain, to list only the major foreign markets. The organizers, on the back of their experience in the medical sector and in micro technology with SIAMS generated a considerable success with the first show and decided to set up the second event.

A second edition with something extra
With a very slight increase in the number of exhibitors but 3500 m2 of floor space, nearly 30% more than previously, mediSIAMS 2009 looks like an essential event for the beginning of the year. As far as other medical fairs as concerned, mediSIAMS positions itself as a medical ‘micro technology’ event where the ambition is to meet the requirements of the sector’s players in terms of precision and quality. The mediSIAMS fair works closely with the Medical Cluster of the Canton of Berne (Switzerland) to ensure the fair is perfectly in tune with the needs of businesses in this sector.

A program of conferences with added value will be offered to visitors in order for them to achieve a better understanding of the sector, which is as demanding as it is rewarding.


“Yes, we have our competitors, but who doesn’t these days? It’s up to us to emphasize the quality of mediSIAMS. Exhibitors and visitors will be our best ambassadors,” says Pierre-Yves Schmid.


Eurotec will be fully involved in the show to offer added value through technical articles, information and first-hand clues for the future of that field. For companies that decides not to exhibit, we offer also a superb plattform through the magazine to be there all the same as eurotec will be widely distributed during the show!

Good day


Working for the medical sector? Not that different…

The medical sector is estimated at about € 200 billion in sales worldwide and is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 6.4 percent over the next two to three years.

The world population is aging and the average yearly per capita spending for healthcare increases with age. According some studies, a man age 30-34 will spend an average of € 1500 for healthcare whereas a man age 50-54 will spend nearly three times as much. In 2020 for instance, there will be 55 million Americans aged 65 and over what a potential! In addition to these figures, older people are in general wealthier than younger people.

High precision machining

Orthopedics is the second segment behind cardiovascular in the medical device market and is projected to experience a compound annual growth rate of more than 10 % until 2011. In orthopedics, devices are used for the repair and replacement of skeletal problems and have to be produced. The main way to produce these parts is high precision machining!

Within the past few years, the orthopedic implants, historically a high margin category, experienced a drop in price per unit due to a slowdown in new products and entrance of new competitors thus asking for more productivity. A trend that sounds familiar to manufacturers of other fields.

That’s the secret in fact!

A lot of people are speaking about medical as if completely different than other fields… but a professional working in high precision turning or machining or even assembling already knows how to do well and only a few adjustments need to be done to be fully operational in the Medical device market.

In the next issue of Eurotec, I will emphasize how “easy” it is to benefit from the help of companies providing tooling, oil,  production machines, cleaning machines, services to the medical industry.

There is still a double digit annual growth rate planned for the orthopedics devices for many years!

Good day!


Need more information on the medical device market? The Swiss Business Hub USA publish a very interesting report on US medical market. http://www.swissbusinesshub.com/common/news/reports/detail.cfm?Classification=report&QID=3529&ClientID=11062&TopicID=0

For more general information: http://www.swiss-medtech.org/industry/markets/

In Switzerland you can go to the Swiss Medical Cluster there: http://www.medical-cluster.ch/index.php?langId=2

Applitec tooling for Medical

High precision machining needs know-how and open mind. I’ve met yesterday François Champion who is head of Sales and Marketing with Applitec and that was interesting because once again I discovered that technical skills is important but that’s nothing without a clear vision of what customers need.

Medical tooling

Medical is not significantly different than others field. Material are challenging and maybe the most difficult thing with Titanium is that it’s a material that needs very sharp tools. This implies very hard ones too… but hard means more easily breakable. A challenge to meet to achieve in adding rigidity to the whole set to be sure that the tool won’t break.

What is amazing somewhere is that proprieties of that kind of “pure” Titanium are more or less the same as of some plastics (PEEK for instance).

I will explain in next issue how that tooling manufacturer actually answers  to that challenge.

Meanwhile, you can go there http://www.applitec-tools.com/.

Good day


Iscar’s 3P Productivity plan put into action

In today’s difficult business environment, manufacturers are looking to boost their productivity and competitiveness – sustainably and substantially. Iscar has launched a new 3P Productivity Plan, which already has helped hundreds of successful manufacturers to see an immediate savings of more than 25% in production cost due to an improvement in metalcutting productivity, plus better ROI, speed of delivery and all-around competitiveness.

Well known partners
Among the 3P Productivity partners are the biggest names in automotive, off-road equipment, aerospace and medical device manufacturing, as well as world-class contract manufacturers and die and mold shops. A multitude of countries around the globe are represented. And the roster grows monthly. One thing they share in common is the drive for sustainable improvement in overall profitability and competitiveness, not just a one-shot fix for a single operation.

“Under the 3P Productivity Plan we follow a proven protocol leading to better productivity/profitability solutions sooner –and the advice is free,” says Jacob Harpaz, ISCAR CEO and IMC Group President.

* Productivity
* Profitability
* Performance

Want to know more about the 3P program? Go to www.iscar.com


Things are moving fast in the cutting tool industry, Sandvik and Iscar are fighting close to offer more to the customers… and they are not alone as many other competitors are in the “battlefield”. What makes the difference finally? Yes products but that’s only a part of it. Services, advices, tailored solutions, prices, availability, choice.. a lot of parameters have to be taken into account.

The good news? They are all working for their customers, as often, competition is pushing quality of the global performance (including services, sympathy of the sales guy and more) higher and higher… for the best for the users!

Good day


Precision cleaning in the field of surgical implants

Bio-compatibility is a fundamental element in the cleaning of surgical implants. It is important to eliminate cutting fluids and lubricants after mechanical operations. This allows for a simplified final cleaning process and guarantees bio-compatibility. The use of A3 non-chlorinated solvents on site during the manufacturing of implants is a genuine example of modern techniques being used in the bio-medical industry.

Surgical implants: huge growth

The huge growth in the demand for implants requires an overhaul in precision cleaning capacities. And there are some companies ready to take up the challenge!

I was this afternoon with Maurizio Rasori, Head of Sales and Marketing at Amsonic (www.amsonic.com) to discover that the world is changing!

Companies all around the world are more and more sensitive to the cleaning topic. In the automotive industry there are some new regulations to actually define what does “clean” means! (We’ll come back on that point) and in the medical, any “leftover” is just not an option!

You’re a manufacturer of small precision parts? You can enter the medical field, a lot of know-how is there to help you… but nothing must be underestimated.

  • Machining does affect the final impact of the metallic part put into the human body
  • More than that, it affects also the way we clean the parts
  • Oil is important, not only in term of possibility to clean it but also in term of viscosity. Maybe a 20 is perfect for thread whirling but what if we need a 10 for high pressure drilling?
  • What about FDA regulations?

I’m eager to release the new Eurotec, there will be a lot of added value for everyone!



Finished parts in one clamping

Who doesn’t know Schaublin Machines in Europe? Many professionals grew with a lathe labelled with this brand. Nowadays ten thousands of these machines are being used throughout the world. For many decades, the brand is closely linked with high quality and Swiss precision.

The company never stops innovating, on the communication field with its actions with Alinghi or in term of products. Schaublin Machines SA recently launched a new vertical machining center, the 51-5AX.

High-precision machining center

This completely new machine from the Schaublin Machines SA product range enables simultaneous 5-axis control for machining even complex workpieces in one setup. Thus, the machining time can be shortened considerably. “Precision”, “flexibility” and “long life” are the core principles of machine conception. Linear motion guides and ball screws have been generously dimensioned. The X, Y and Z axis anti-friction guides of 35 mm width enable feedrates of up to 30 m/min. The 5-axis rotary table is highly rigid and is made of annealed cast iron. Workpieces with a weight of up to 75 kg can be clamped on this table. This guarantees a consistently high machining precision.

The new 51-5AX is dedicated for automotive, optical, aerospace, micromechanics and medical and dental industries. Its wide range of possibilities to finish the parts allows users to be very competitive with a good return on investment.

I’ll come back later with some insights from Schaublin Machines SA. Stay tuned!

Good day


Meanwhile, if you’re interested: [email protected] | www.smsa.ch

Prodex, Basle (Switzerland) – Record number of visitors

The Prodex international trade fair for machine tools, tools and production measurement held from 18 to 22 November in the Basel Exhibition Centre can be described as a success. The 325 exhibitors, who are spread out over an area of about 20,000 square metres, and represent more than 900 suppliers, welcomed 28,195 trade visitors during the five days of the trade fair.

An impressive demonstration of the “real economy”
This issue of Prodex lived an increase of about 10% and a new record number of visitors for this industry event held for the fourth time! In view of the current economic conditions it is more than just a reasonable success.

Everywhere in the show people were saying that the general public medias are responsible for part of the crisis. Maybe a short vision of a wider problem, nevertheless that’s true that listening to radio -bad news, watchin telly -bad news or reading a newspaper -bad news is not the best was to feel confident about the future.

Industry leaders are confident, yes we’re living a downturn and so what? Let’s fight to be the best.

Good day


Pierre-Yves Schmid, publisher