Visit our production site
Click on the buildings below to take a detailed look at each of our departments
Steps in the finishing process : contouring, polishing and tribofinishing
There are numerous tasks to be carried out after forging, in order to obtain a finished part. These are the main steps :
We use a trimming tool to remove any remaining flash on the rough forging. This is not required on the finished forgings.
We then carry out a contouring operation on the finish-forged parts to avoid creating any defects at the parting lines of the prostheses and to avoid any deformation.
This technique (unlike finishing in a press) enables us to guarantee full compliance of the design of your products. As titanium is a material that has a shape memory, straightening would only mask any defect temporarily.
This contouring makes the polishing operation easier as it leaves only a tiny portion of the parting line to be smoothed out to give a perfect finish to your parts.
This is done in 2 steps: intermediate polishing and final polishing.
In the first, any machining marks are polished off.
In the second :
- The surface condition of the prostheses is perfected
- The final visual appearance is achieved
Chemical-mechanical polishing or tribofinishing is a process for deburring and refining the surface of metal parts. The parts are placed in a rotating abrasive mixture
in a closed tank.
This treatment gives the required smoothness depending upon the parameters such as polishing time and speed of rotation.
These criteria are precisely defined in the manufacturing process for your parts according to the appearance you want to obtain.
- 1 palletised machining centre with pneumatic fixtures
- 1 polishing robot
- 6 manual polishing positions
- 11 tribofinishing tanks and various finishing equipment
Polishing Department Manager
With FORGINAL medical for 19 years
I manage the polishing department. I set up the whole department, and I am continuing to improve it. The management have complete faith in us and this is great. I believe that's the way good work is achieved.
Contouring is entrusted to the proven know-how of a polisher with many years’ experience.
This person has an excellent knowledge of the requirements of all the steps in the finishing process and works as part of the polishing team.
Polishing is one of the most critical parts of the finishing process. It requires considerable know-how and great precision of movement. Our finish polishers have at least 5 years’ experience.
FORGINAL’S medical expertise
All forging operations are precisely regulated according to the manufacturing process defined by the process planning department. The recommended process and production tools are tailored specifically to your specifications.
Here is what takes place in a standard forging process :
- Rough forging
- Finish forging
- Hot trimming
Innovation and R&D
FORGINAL medical applies its know-how to innovation and research and development. This commitment has enabled it to develop very high quality results :
- It currently guarantees a thickness tolerance of +/- 0.1 mm.
- This is an initial technological step, which amongst other things enables our customers to substantially limit their machining and improve cost-effectiveness, as the price of the raw material is relatively high.
- What is more, the quality of finish of the parts is among the best on the market as they are inspected dimensionally and visually at every step in their manufacture to ensure an impeccable final product
- 3 Montbard power hammers (825 kg, 1,000 kg and 1,250 kg)
- 1 pneumatic hammer and 1 press for drawing
- 3 fully mapped rotary furnaces with temperature traceability during production
- 3 presses, 2 of which are for trimming and 1 for bending
- 1 stainless steel shot-blasting machine and 1 sandblasting machine
With FORGINAL medical for 12 years
What do I like about it? - Doing things that are useful and beneficial to others. We produce prostheses that improve people's lives and their comfort. You also have to really like precision and a job well done
This is made up of 3 people and one forging manager. The average experience of the staff is 15 years in medical forging.
Tooling department : a company within the company
The tooling department receives CAE drawings from the design office. Based on these, it creates machining programmes for each part of the tools. In fact several tool assemblies are required to make your forged parts :
These inserts are mounted directly on our drop hammers. This is the part in which your part is forged. In most cases, there are cavities corresponding to the intermediate and final states of the forging.
Trimming tooling or punches
we use this part of the tooling to cut off the flash (the part of the material remaining around the part after forging).
FORGINAL medical also manufactures its own insert holders, tool carriers and weights in-house. The tooling department, in partnership with the maintenance department, maintains production equipment in optimum condition
Steps in tool production
- Preparation of the machining programmes
- Distribution of the blocks of raw materials to each machining centre (one machining programme can last up to 30 hours)
- Testing of the machined subassemblies
- Assembly of the tooling
- Forging and trimming validation trials
- The quality of the tools is checked after each forging run to ensure that production is carried out under perfect conditions.
- No production without tooling! The first step in the scheduling starts in the tooling department. The tools must be supplied on time to ensure the manufacturing schedule runs smoothly.
Tooling Department equipment and production facilities
- 2 HSM (high-speed machining) centres for maximum precision in the manufacture of tooling
- 1 3-axis centre (max. load 700 kg) for the in-house manufacture of custom forging tooling, particularly adapted to small production runs
- 1 FANUC wire erosion machine for all our trimming punches
- 1 3-axis centre for our punch bases, trimmer bases and various minor machining operations
- Various additional turning, milling, piercing and spark erosion machines
This is made up of 7 people. They all have machining qualifications and at least 10 years’ professional experience in this field.
Tooling Quality Manager
With FORGINAL medical for 2 years
At Forginal, I am in charge of setting up and monitoring internal audits, quality procedures, continuous improvement of the tools and in the design office. I am also a member of the company's committee for health and safety at work. The people here get involved: we have over 20 first-aiders in the company
organisation of the overall process and responsible for the individual processes
The process planning department checks the technical data and the feasibility of the parts for forging. It checks the following points in particular :
- The required dimensions and tolerances
- The type of raw material to be used
- The applicable standards (for forging, materials, testing, appearance, etc.)
- The customer’s specifications and requirements
Following this analysis, the department determines the most suitable manufacturing process for your requirements. It specifies the production facilities, the subcontracted operations and the tests to be carried out.
This department is at the very heart of the business so that it can work closely with the company’s operational teams. It is only once they have validated the manufacturing process and the tests on the parts that series production is started. The specialist experience of the process planners ensures that the production processes are optimised.
Process Planning team
The team is made up of 2 technically trained staff who have more than 20 years’ professional experience in metallurgy.
Process Planning Manager
With FORGINAL medical for 22 years
I am involved right at the project creation stage. I am involved in establishing the rules so that everything is done in accordance with best practices for working and for making the part.
Design office – CAE
FORGINAL medical, your supplier for forgings
The task of the design office is to transform your drawings of finished parts into drawings of as-forged parts.
Each customer part is reproduced in 3D using Solidworks™ in order to incorporate the information needed to manufacture in the forging process. Various technical points are checked at this stage (draft, radii, parting lines, dimensional tolerances, form tolerances, etc.).
After validation by the customer of the forging drawing, the design office designs the various tools required at each stage of the production process. The machining path for the creation of each forging tool is simulated to ensure the best possible appearance after forging.
How is a tool prepared ?
The rules for designing a forging tool are not limited to a single forming cavity. An in-depth study is necessary in order to :
- Comply as closely as possible with your technical requirements
- Validate the surface quality of the parts after forging
- Optimise the machining time of the forging tooling
- Maximise the service life of the tools in order to reduce costs
The project manager is a member of the CAE team. He/she is responsible for your project from beginning to end, from the design of your part right through to its series production.
- The production of drawings and tools
- Technical advice to optimise your part
- Ensuring that forging trials are carried out correctly
- Monitoring project milestones and logistics in-house
There are 5 people in the design office.
They are all trained in the use of design and machining software.
They all have technical qualifications and have at least 5 years’ professional experience.
- In-house data sheets :
These are FORGINAL medical’s in-house rules for designing tools. They are a mixture of traditional forging rules and FORGINAL medical‘s specialist skills, capitalising on knowledge gained from the company’s 35 years’ experience.
- SOLIDWORKS™ software
- MASTERCAM™ software
- FORGE 4™ software
With FORGINAL medical for 17 years
I love what I do because it is one of those rare jobs where you go from a simple "lump of metal" to a finished precision part. In my job, I create things, using tools that have virtually infinite possibilities.
With FORGINAL medical for 5 years
I was in the tooling design office, like I am here. The work here is a bit different on the materials we use.What I like about my job is that it is never the same! There's something new to do every day. It is anything but monotonous.
The medical production site is dedicated exclusively to the manufacture of medical implants
- It covers 29,000 m²
- The buildings and grounds are owned by FORGINAL medical’s shareholders
- The adjoining plots of land mean that FORGINAL medical can build future extensions without any restrictions
Testing & dispatch | our primary concern : the optimum quality of your prostheses
A rigorous testing system adapated to the critcal nature of your parts
All product batches are tested during their manufacture and prior to dispatch. This testing programme is defined after a risk analysis: according to the end use of the part, the customer’s requirements and feedback from past manufacturing. The testing programme is formalised in a quality assurance plan that is submitted to the customer for validation. Any significant modification of the manufacturing and/or testing process is submitted to the customer for validation.
Numerous tests are carried out on your parts. We adapt them to your specifications. The main tests are listed below.
FLUORESCENT DYE PENETRANT INSPECTION
This is carried out on 100% of the surface of all parts by staff with COFREND (French confederation for non-destructive testing) level 2 qualifications. The tests are carried out in accordance with standards NF EN 10228-2 and ISO 3452-1. The penetrant inspection line is an SREM line specifically for products intended for the medical market. Our products are sensitivity level S3. A brand-new penetrant inspection system was installed in 2016.
These are carried out at the various stages in the production process and at the end of the process, prior to delivery. Manual tools (callipers, gauges, profile projectors, etc.) or automatic tools (3D machine) are used for this.
MECHANICAL AND MICROGRAPHIC TESTS
- Micrographic structure
- Grain size
Additional subcontracted tests
FORGINAL medical has a comprehensive list of approved subcontractors for carrying out additional tests.
All our subcontractors are COFRAC (French accreditation body) accredited. They can carry out tensile testing in accordance with ASTM E8/E8M or ISO 6892-1.
Full traceability is assured, and control of the service provided is guaranteed by the use of precise specifications. Other tests can be carried out on request, according to our customers’ specific requirements (hydrogen content, alpha-case depth, grain flow, etc.)
Testing Department equipment and production facilities
- Mitutoyo Crysta-Apex 3D machine
- Universal hardness testing machine
- Microscope and preparation equipment (cutting sections, mounting, polishing)
- SREM sensitivity level S3 penetrant inspection line for medical products
Testing / Quality team
This is made up of 10 people, 2 of whom are COFREND (French confederation for non-destructive testing) level 2 qualified penetrant inspection and magnetic particle testers. The average experience of the team is over 15 years. The testing team is multi-skilled.
Testing Department Manager
With FORGINAL medical for 10 years
I set up the testing department and implemented all the in-production and final quality monitoring. You need a firm grounding in quite a few areas, including metallurgy, heat treatment and measuring systems. I am still learning every day and it is fascinating!