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  • EZOCM JSC is preparing to enter the market of high-precision components for medical devices

EZOCM JSC is preparing to enter the market of high-precision components for medical devices

Ekaterinburg Non-Ferrous Processing Plant JSC is planning to become the largest domestic manufacturer and supplier of high-precision products made of precious metals and other materials for medical industry. The main products are cathodes, anodes and other products for pacemakers. The plant has already produced the pilot batches of cathodes for all the major Russian medical devices manufacturers and plans to begin industrial-scale shipments by the beginning of 2019.

At present EZOCM JSC supplies the medical industry enterprises with gold disks, platinum wire, bimetallic anodes, platinum gauzes, chemical compounds, precious metals powders, labware. But the high-precision products project is unique. The enterprise made the first steps towards the implementation thereof in 2013 when "A.N. Bakulev National Medical Research Center of Cardiovascular Surgery" Federal State Budgetary Institution ordered manufacturing of custom-made electrodes for internal pacemakers.  There were other similar orders, but execution thereof has not escalated into a full-fledged business due to lack of the necessary technologies.   

“Only four major Russian companies produce a wide range of medical devices including internal pacemakers. They have demand for high-precision products made of precious metals, steel, titanium, plastics, etc. At present the average volume of consumption is about half a million pieces a year,” said Alexander Andreev, General Director of EZOCM JSC. “Previously, all these products came from abroad but due to sanctions and currency exchange rate increase the medical industry enterprises began to actively seek reliable domestic partners plants capable of manufacturing of full range of ready-to-operate high-precision components. There were, however, no such plants, and today they have to order a lot of items from several small companies. In other words, the market proved to be virtually empty.”

In 2017 EZOCM JSC has acquired and brought into operation a Swiss sliding headstock machine that allows to start up the production of electrodes for pacemakers as well as a full range of other components for medical devices and to commercialize the production process. Since the beginning of 2018 the Science and Technology Department has been implementing this project.

According to Dmitry Shulgin, Director of Development and Head of Science and Technology Department of EZOCM JSC, the technology of high-precision components manufacturing is extremely complex. This refers to products of various shapes, up to 2 mm long and up to 0.3 mm in diameter. Some of the items have holes with diameter of up to 0.1 mm. The products are made of platinum and platinum-iridium alloys, steel and titanium. As of the present date the negotiations have been carried out with Russian medical industry enterprises, and pilot batches of cathodes have been manufactured for each of them. Some products have already been tested and received positive verification assessment from the customers. In addition, the technique of iridium oxide conductive coating application on titanium components for medical devices, not only cathodes but also plates, bars and tubes, has been developed and successfully tested at the plant.

“By the beginning of 2019 it is planned to enter into a full-fledged cooperation with the largest Russian medical devices manufacturers, namely to supply cathodes for pacemakers on an industrial scale. However, the potential of the new equipment is much broader: in the medium term we will start up the production of components made of non-precious metals and plastics for other types of medical equipment as well as for prosthetics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, dentistry”, said Dmitry Shulgin.

The major European medical industry enterprises are also interested in the supplies of high-precision components. The specialists of EZOCM JSC have learned this by analyzing the market of Western and Eastern Europe and by communicating with the representatives of these enterprises at the industry exhibitions. For example, in April 2018 the plant took part in Medtec Europe 2018, European medical industry exhibition, where negotiations were held with Medtronic, the world leader in medical innovations. In addition, this year the EZOCM representatives met with prospective customers who ordered high-precision products from Russia and other countries during the Fourteenth Russian National Congress of cardio-vascular surgeons at "A.N. Bakulev National Medical Research Center of Cardiovascular Surgery"Federal State Budgetary Institution in Moscow as well as during XIII International Congress on Electrical Stimulation and Clinical Electrophysiology of Heart “Cardiostim 2018” (Saint Petersburg).  However, entry into the European market will only become possible after the complete adoption of new technologies.

 

24 мая 2018