Manufacturing medical parts remains a growth opportunity for machining operations, in part because demand for prosthetic devices continues to be strong thanks to a large population of aging citizens who aim to remain active and independent. Hardinge Inc. notes that there is a strong demand for high-precision components needed for neurological, orthopedic, spinal/bone fixation, dental implants, drug infusion, catheter connectors, optical, maxillofacial, micro/minimally invasive, surgical instruments, and other medical devices — most of which can be manufactured on Hardinge’s Quest® Super-Precision® GT27 gang-tool turning center.

The GT27 is designed to machine small diameters, complex and tight-tolerance parts, and other demanding specifications of precision parts. It achieves a continuous machining accuracy of 0.0002 in. on diameter, part roundness variation of 0.000015 in., and part-surface finish of 8 micro-inches: it has proven “indispensible to some of the best medical manufacturing companies in the world,” according to Hardinge.

For bar turning, stock up to 1.625 in./27 mm and chucked parts up to 4 in. in diameter (using a step chuck) can be machined on the GT27. The developer emphasized that level of accuracy can be expected to be maintained over a long term, “ten years down the road,” it projected.

Hardinge claimed the GT27 differs from other “gang tool” machines in that it includes a patented, interchangeable top plate and their quick-change, collet-ready spindle. The top plate secures to the dovetailed cross slide and is interchangeable for quick and accurate tooling changes that can be performed in under a minute. Pre-tooled top plates can be quickly interchanged within 0.0002 in. repeatability to produce a new part or family of parts.