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Sandvik Medical Solutions Broadens Spinal Implant and Instrumentation Capabilities

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Sandvik Medical Solutions Broadens Spinal Implant and Instrumentation Capabilities
Daniel Grace
Sandvik has acquired JKB Medical Technologies (shown above), which will continue to manufacture spinal implants and surgical instrumentation.

In an attempt to expand its reach in the growing areas of spinal implant and instrumentation manufacturing, Sandvik Medical Solutions (Memphis; www.smt.sandvik.com/medical) has acquired JKB Medical Technologies (Milford, CT; www.jkbmedical.com) and the Memphis manufacturing facility of Medtronic (Minneapolis; www.medtronic.com). Both acquisitions will become part of Sandvik Medical Solutions’s new headquarters in Memphis.

The acquisitions will enable Sandvik to merge the production competencies and capacities of its new additions with its own developments in materials technology, says Ken Birdsong, president of Sandvik Medical Solutions. “Over the years of working in medical and other industries, Sandvik has accumulated more than 4500 active-materials patents,” he says. “[The acquisitions] will now allow us to employ those materials for rapidly developing spinal device applications.”

No stranger to medical implants and instrumentation, the company offers a range of components made from its patented materials—bar, precision strip and wire, and seamless tubes—suitable for hip joints, bone nails, scalpels, and bone saws. But the acquisitions could allow for greater manufacturing versatility, especially in spinal devices, says Birdsong.
The Memphis facility formerly operated by Medtronic has served as a contract manufacturing plant for specialized surgical instrumentation related to spinal procedures. Through the acquisition, Sandvik will add capabilities in materials development, manufacturing, surface treatment, and coating. The company plans to retain the workers currently employed in the plant, and, as part of the takeover, Sandvik has entered into a long-term agreement to manufacture spinal instruments for Medtronic.

JKB Medical Technologies specializes in the design, prototyping, machining, and laser marking of spinal implants. Spinal bone screws, hooks, rods, and laparoscopic surgical instruments are among the products the company has produced in the past. The firm’s facility features 15 Tornos screw machines, as well as three-axis CNC milling machines, four-axis horizontal milling machines, chucking lathes for large-diameter parts, and a prototyping toolroom with wire EDM capabilities.

In extending its reach in spinal implants and instrumentation, the company will be reaching out to customers worldwide, says Birdsong. “[Sandvik] has established customers in 140 countries, and we will now be able to provide OEMs from around the world with a more comprehensive set of skills.”

Copyright ©2008 Medical Product Manufacturing News
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