Laser processing is a powerful manufacturing technique used by the medical industry to create precision surgical implants, prostheses, and other medical devices. Because of its ability to create products with extreme accuracy and reliability, laser processing can also be used to ensure better patient outcomes and quality of care.
According to the Business Research Company, the global medical lasers market is pegged at $6.33 billion in 2023 and still growing at a CAGR of 13.9%. This article will examine how laser manufacturing equipment can improve patient experience and outcomes.
Advantages of Laser Production
Laser manufacturing in the medical industry works with the help of a beam delivery system. The laser beams are concentrated at a particular portion of the medical device for quick cutting, molding, and welding. The laser beam machining process can be used to enhance the final products.
They offer the following benefits:
Lasers are the most precise technology available to medical device manufacturers. Using a laser, you can create tiny details on a part that would be impossible with any other method. Lasers can also be used for cutting and bonding processes. This allows for greater flexibility in your manufacturing process.
Laser beams can effectively penetrate greater depths. The depth can vary based on the laser’s intensity. For instance, a study published on the NCBI website shows that an 830 nm low-intensity laser does not penetrate to great depth. Hence, it can be used for tissue healing.
Another study in the PLOS ONE journal shows that an 808 nm laser can penetrate twice the depths of a 405 nm laser. Hence, it can help treat bigger tumors in the biomedical industry. However, the average laser beam-cutting process is said to effectively penetrate 20 millimeters for cutting metals and alloys with great accuracy.
Laser precision is better than any other technology because it uses light energy instead of heat or pressure to cut materials at their atomic level. Because there’s no contact between the material being processed and any tools used during processing, there’s less risk of damaging sensitive components like electronics or delicate wires within those components.
Robust Processes With Reliable Performance
Laser processing is a reliable production method. It’s been used to fabricate medical devices for decades. It has proven its ability to produce consistent, high-quality parts with repeatable results.
Laser processing is also a robust process, meaning it can be used in almost any environment without causing damage or deterioration of the material being processed. As long as you keep your equipment clean and properly maintained, there shouldn’t be any issues using laser cutting machines in hospitals or other healthcare environments where there may be moisture.
Laser welding machines are also very resilient. They’re built to withstand harsh environments without damage from vibrations caused by movement nearby or loud noises generated by running machinery nearby.
Automated Production Through Laser Technology
Laser technology is used for the automated production of products, parts, and tools. This is done using laser scanners that can detect the dimensions of a workpiece. The system then uses this information to create a tool path that guides the robot arm through its task.
In addition to these benefits, laser processing can also improve quality control by enabling manufacturers to reduce manual inspection time. This will allow the manufacturers to focus more on critical areas, such as reducing time to market and improving the product’s efficiency. If the efficiency is good, it will undoubtedly enhance the patient’s experience.
Laser processing can make many products, including surgical instruments, implants, and prosthetics. The versatility of laser processing allows it to be used across many industry sectors with great success.
Laser processing is not limited only to one industry or product type. It can be adapted for use on any item where an existing material needs modification or removal. For example:
- Medical Equipment: Medical device manufacturers have been using lasers for decades because they offer superior control over what gets cut off versus other methods, such as grinding or milling.
- Laser Treatment: Laser can effectively heal cancer and many other health conditions. Concentrating the laser beams on cancerous tissues can kill them. This can help reduce cancer cells and prevent their spread.
- Beauty Treatment: Laser technology can also help treat many facial problems, such as acne, wrinkles, scars, etc. Using laser technology can help clean the face and make a person look younger.
Seamless 3D Printing Production
In the medical industry, 3D printing is used to make prototypes and tools. It’s also used to produce production parts for surgical implants. To produce these parts, 3D printing laser processing is needed because it can cut through different materials quickly and easily with minimal waste or damage to the material being cut.
This saves time and money compared to traditional methods, such as machining or drilling holes into objects with a drill press. This is called the laser additive manufacturing process, where the prosthetic’s design is developed in additive layers.
3D printing is widely used in the healthcare sector. Based on the data from Precedence Research, global 3D printing in the healthcare market is forecasted to reach $6.21 billion by 2030.
How Laser Processing Helps Improve Patient Experience
Laser processing also helps improve the patient experience. The most obvious way it does this is by removing the need for stitches and sutures, which can be painful and leave scars in some cases. Laser processing also has other benefits for patients:
- It’s fast: The laser can cut through tissue within seconds, so there’s no need to wait while your doctor painstakingly cuts out a tumor or removes an organ from your body with traditional tools like scalpels or scissors.
- It’s precise: With lasers, it doesn’t matter how steady your hands are. You won’t accidentally cut off any healthy tissue because the beam only targets what needs cutting. Take the example of laser eye surgery, whose success rate is 99%, according to the American Refractive Surgery Council.
- It’s less traumatic: Because there aren’t any sharp edges on the incision site after surgery, there are fewer chances that bacteria could get into wounds resulting from traditional operations such as laparoscopic procedures where staples were used instead of stitches.
Laser processing is a powerful tool to improve patient outcomes and quality of care. It can be used in various industries, including medical devices and pharmaceuticals. The benefits of laser processing include precise cutting, superior strength, automated production, and seamless 3D printing.
These capabilities make it an ideal option for surgical implants or other types requiring high precision during manufacturing processes.