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Stryker Plans Metal Injection Molding Operation

Aug. 7, 2009
Orthopedic device maker adding new production capability
Medical equipment builder Stryker Corp. reportedly is planning to build an in-house metal injection molding operation at its Portage, MI, plant. The project is estimated at $5 million. No time frame for the expansion is reported. Stryker has no similar technology installed now, and the addition is seen as part of a trend to convert machined parts to the new production process. Most of Stryker’s products are produced by precision machining, investment casting, or forging. Stryker manufactures a range of orthopedic products (including implants), powered surgical tools, and operating room equipment. It also produces other healthcare specialties, including general surgery and patient handling equipment. Similar to injection molding for plastics, metal injection molding uses a composition of metal powders and plastic binders, and injects this material under pressure into a permanent mold. Once the part is formed the binders are removed, using with solvents and thermal processes, and the metal part is sintered to bind the particles.