Original Date: 08/14/2000
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Stryker Howmedica Osteonics began as three independent companies, each with a rich heritage of contributions to the medical industry:
In 1928, Dr. Homer Stryker was a practicing orthopaedic surgeon in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Dissatisfied with the medical products available at the time, Dr. Stryker began designing his own devices to meet his patients’ needs. His inventions (e.g., Walking Heel, Turning Frame, Cast Cutter) laid the groundwork for the Orthopaedic Frame Company, which was incorporated in 1946 with a $20,000 investment by Dr. Stryker. In 1964, the company officially changed its name to the Stryker Corporation. Over the years, the company manufactured many innovative products such as the Cir-O-Lectric bed; the world’s first hydraulic- lift stretcher; the first medical pulsed irrigation system; the first soakable solid-state medical video camera; and battery-powered instruments for reconstructive surgery. Today, the company is a strong global competitor in the worldwide medical market. With its corporate headquarters in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Stryker is organized into five domestic divisions (Biotech, Medical, Instruments, Endoscopy, and Howmedica Osteonics) and achieved $2.1 billion in sales in 1999.
The forerunner of Howmedica began in 1926 with the introduction of Vitallium® by Drs. Reiner Erdle and Charles Prange who founded Austenal Laboratories. Vitallium® was originally designed as a new metal alloy for dental castings, but its reliability and effectiveness led to its use in manufacturing orthopaedic implant devices. Over the next 50 years, Austenal Laboratories underwent numerous changes: acquired by Howe Sound Company in 1958; renamed Howmet Corporation in 1965; spunoff from parent firm as Howmedica Inc. in 1968; and acquired by Pfizer Inc. in 1972. The constant factor during that time period was the company’s leadership in innovative firsts including the Neer Vitallium® alloy shoulder; CAD technologies for designing orthopaedic implants; FDA-approved bone cement; non-hinged total knee systems; and porous-coating for biological fixation. Howmedica was acquired by the Stryker Corporation in 1998.
Osteonics Corporation was founded in 1978 by two ex-Howmedica engineers and acquired by the Stryker Corporation in 1979. The company developed a reputation for creating revolutionary orthopaedic implant design concepts, which have become industry standards. Milestones include the Universal Head Replacement for the bipolar hip market; Normalizations concept; Osteo Trauma products; and material and wear reduction technology. In addition, Osteonics was the first to receive FDA acceptance to market hydroxylapatite (HA)-coated products for cementless applications.
Stryker Howmedica Osteonics specializes in orthopaedic implant products, bringing together the market-leading products from each former component. In 1998, the company was named as one of America’s Best Plants by IndustryWeek. Located in Allendale, New Jersey, Howmedica Osteonics employs 700 personnel. The company’s success has been built on the commitment, dedication, and focus of its talented team of employees. The challenges they face in the changing healthcare marketplace require an organizational commitment to continuous improvement by adapting its skills and resources to meet customer needs. Among the best practices documented were Howmedica Osteonics’ team based cell manufacturing; skill-based pay program; demand pull planning system; and continuing medical education.
Howmedica Osteonics helped make joint replacement surgery one of today’s most beneficial medical procedures, beginning in the early 1980s with its hip implant system. Now, joint replacement surgery enables more than 400,000 people in the United States to regain the mobility which they had lost to arthritis or trauma. Among those with a Howmedica Osteonics replacement hip are legendary Pro Golfer Jack Nicklaus and Former First Lady Barbara Bush. Howmedica Osteonics is an innovative leader in orthopaedics, providing creative engineering solutions to the most critical clinical problems. The BMP survey team considers the practices in this report to be among the best in industry and government.
TABLE OF ACRONYMS
The following acronyms were used in this report:
|CAD|| ||Computer-Aided Design|
|CAE|| ||Computer-Aided Engineering|
|CCD|| ||Charge-Coupled Device|
|CME|| ||Continuing Medical Education|
|CNC|| ||Computer Numerical Control|
|COGS|| ||Cost of Goods Sold|
|FEA|| ||Finite Element Analysis|
|MRP|| ||Material Resource Planning|
|MSS|| ||Mechanical Systems Simulation|
|PRT|| ||Product Recognition Technology|
|SBT|| ||Skill-Based Pay|
|WIP || ||Work In Progress|
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