Metal-working skills benefit the medical sector

Posted on 06 Aug 2018 and read 601 times
Metal-working skills benefit the medical sectorGlasgow-based Pascoe Engineering is looking to diversify into the medical sector after being approached by the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) to take part in a project funded by the University of Strathclyde.

The company, which has been a supplier to the AFRC for a number of years, is using its skills and knowledge of manufacturing to produce cranial implants.

If successful, the project could substantially improve the process of manufacturing these vital parts. As a result of previous dealings with key stakeholders at NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, the AFRC introduced Pascoe Engineering to the relevant NHS mechanical engineers to help build a supply chain and a route to market for the new product.

Cranial implant surgery is absolutely critical for people who have suffered major head trauma or need skull reconstruction; using current manufacturing processes, it can take six to eight weeks before a patient receives a suitable implant.

To speed things up, a new way of stretching titanium sheets without causing serious damage to the material had to be developed.

The AFRC and Pascoe Engineering used a technique called incremental sheet forming, which turns the metal sheet into the final workpiece through a series of small deformations. The process was initially demonstrated on aerospace components — successfully.

With help from the AFRC, Pascoe Engineering has since achieved certification from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, and it is currently in discussions with key stakeholders at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow regarding patient trials.

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