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Implanting Productivity

California medical manufacturer turns to PartMaker SwissCAM to automate programming of their Star CNC Swiss-type lathes

Knowledge-based machining is a term you hear a lot these days. For Paragon Implant (Calabasas Hills, California), a 50-employee manufacturer of dental implants, knowledge-based machining has a special meaning. Although new in the business, the company has been manufacturing dental implants since 1989 when its founder, Dr. Gerald Niznick, started a company called Core-Vent Bio-Engineering to create his patented designs. The original company was sold in January 2001. However, when Dr. Niznick decided to return to dental implant manufacturing at Paragon Implant in late 2004, he assembled a team of veterans who worked for him in the past and worked for the company that acquired his prior implant business. Therefore, these employees had a lot of experience in this niche.

One of the first bottlenecks the Paragon team addressed was the issue of programming. Paragon started with a bank of 16 CNC Swiss-type lathes to manufacture its dental implants, including Star CNC SV-12, ECAS-12 and SB-16 models. The company also has a toolroom equipped with a Haas five-axis mill and an Emco-Maier turn-mill among other machines. The predecessor company to Paragon had a similar mix of equipment, all of which was programmed in quasi-manual fashion with a lot of cutting and pasting. Much of the programming was being done manually by setup personnel at the machine.

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