Robot-assisted surgery is a game changer, not only for orthopedic device companies but the contract manufacturers serving them. For major supplier Tecomet, it means forging relationships earlier, sometimes tighter instrument tolerances — and much more.It makes sense that Tecomet officials would see the rise of robot-assisted surgery in the ortho space as a big deal.
The Wilmington, Mass.–based company touts itself as the largest supplier to the OEM orthopedic marketplace in the world, with about 17 locations and more than 3,000 employees globally.
Tecomet counts all of the major companies in the space as its customers, including Stryker, DePuy Synthes, Zimmer Biomet and Smith & Nephew. Tecomet makes surgical implants, instruments, delivery systems, cases and trays, and much more.
The company’s work has shifted in recent years toward supporting new robot-assisted surgery systems, including Stryker’s best-selling Mako robots. Barry Parker, Tecomet’s SVP of design and development/innovation, recently discussed the changing landscape with our sister site Medical Design & Outsourcing:
MDO: We’re seeing robot-assisted surgery becoming more common in knee, hip and spine surgery. How does that affect a contract manufacturer in the ortho space such as Tecomet?
Parker: We haven’t seen this as a particularly disruptive technology compared with what we provide in traditional manual instrumentation, but it’s more of a manufacturing adjacency, because we provide both services to the OEM customers. This is still a capability that is in our wheelhouse. Some of the specific process capabilities that are required are a little different than we use to support the traditional orthopedic instrumentation, and because of that, we’ve structured and invested a little bit around that difference as we set up for this.