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Hip and knee replacements and the rise of autonomous surgery boosts the future of medical precision engineering

Anyone who loves movies can’t have helped but notice that robots have always been destined to play a part in our future. Similarly, with implantables, TV shows like The Six Million Dollar man have long imagined human bodies made better by technology, which is becoming more common every day.

The impact for businesses likes ours, here at Kirkstall Precision Engineering, is a positive one. From making replacement parts for a wide range of machines to creating replacement hips and other tools for surgery and replacement parts for animals and humans, we have a long track record and tradition of precision medical engineering.

The robots are coming and demand is increasing

According to Allied Market Research the global surgical robots’ market could grow to $98.7 million by 2024—an 8.5 percent growth from 2017. The rise of artificial intelligence, miniaturisation and high-speed processors are some of the factors contributing to these advancements.

The impact on this for patients is the ability for procedures such as knee and hip replacements (for which there is now a backlog due to the coronavirus pandemic) to be sped-up and more implantable surgery to be undertaken than ever before.

Yet with an increase in surgery, the pressure falls on companies like Kirkstall Precision Engineering to help ensure companies, that supply crucial parts for these machines and surgery procedures, are kept supplied with what they need.

Shaping a precision engineering business for the future

Addressing this issue, our MD Adam Thornton commented that: “As part of our business planning, we proactively monitor market changes and advancements across a wide range of sectors that we are involved in, as well as the emergence of new sectors. We’ve long been aware about the rise of implantable surgery procedures, largely driven by the increase in medical insurance for humans and pets. The rise of surgical robots has also been on our radar, which is why we have taken steps recently to invest in people, technology and processes that are already having a positive impact across the business and on the kinds of orders we are fulfilling.”

But is the whole fact of robot surgeries just a fad that will fade, our Operations Director, Iqbal Bahia, doesn’t think so:

“If you look at the DaVanci system created by Intuitive Surgical, it has already performed more than 7 million procedures, but these machines don’t operate by themselves. The robots are helping surgeons perform what is known as robot-assisted surgery. Interestingly research is now underway to devise new automated technologies that can take over repetitive tasks, such as suturing. This will allow surgeons to concentrate on more complicated tasks and prevent mental and physical fatigue, especially during procedures that can go on for many hours, thereby increasing the amount of implantable surgical procedures that can happen globally.”

Ready and rated to assist

With new processes in place and the relevant ISO ratings awarded, Kirkstall Precision Engineering is already helping supply the demand for implantables add a wide range of surgical instruments.

We are already seeing enquiries and demand in the medical precision engineering sector increasing with us also being invited onto the roster for some very prestigious medical companies.

All of this is combining to ensure the future is bright, not only for patients, but for precision engineering companies like ours who have invested in the right people, processes and technology.