Founded in 1963, Cook Medical’s first products were wire guides, needles and catheters. Today it makes 16,000 products that serve 13 hospital lines providing products to 135 countries.

Cook Medical Australia was founded in 1979 to manufacture and distribute medical products for customers in markets located around the Pacific Rim and South-East Asia. Originally focused on angiographic and interventional devices, Cook Medical Australia is at the forefront of the development of technology needed to perform in-vitro fertilisation and assisted reproduction procedures. Cook Medical Australia is the only manufacturing site in the world that produces custom-made stent grafts for the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms.

The Brisbane-based manufacturing facility is Cook Medical’s Asia-Pacific headquarters, employing over 500 people locally and over 1,200 across the Asia Pacific region with approximately 12,000 personnel globally. Recently Cook Medical undertook a project to improve processing efficiency, accuracy and repeatability and to ensure raw material components continued to meet the requirements for the finished medical devices.

The goal was to automate the process for measurement of raw material and in process components. Without a new method, components would continue to be measured and checked by hand (using rulers, micrometers and Vernier callipers). Manual measurements were proving to be slow and prone to human error, while consuming human resources that could be used elsewhere in the company.

To realise these goals, Cook Medical’s Will Williams started contacting various vision system suppliers. It became obvious quite quickly that Hi-Tech Metrology was proactive in responding, maintaining close communications throughout the presale processes.

A practical demonstration was organised in Brisbane, which Williams stated gave the entire inwards goods team an intimate insight into the function and capabilities of the Micro-Vu Vertex Vision system. The team was able to ask pertinent questions whilst some of their very own products were undergoing measurement.

This interactive process provided a lot of clarity around unanswered questions and gave the Cook Medical team a better overall appreciation of what was possible in its manufacturing environment. Shortly thereafter they were able to draw up a list of advantages, expediting the final decision to buy the Micro-Vu Vertex 312. According to Williams, Hi-Tech Metrology’s customer service and follow-up support was detailed, providing outstanding ongoing value.

Since commissioning the Micro-Vu Vertex 312, measuring efficiency at Cook Medical has dramatically improved, with less handwritten paperwork, as well as the ability to monitor tolerances and understand process capability over a given time. Cook Medical is achieving better accuracy and reliability in determining the compliance or non-compliance of incoming goods.

Williams reports that a reduction in time for testing means the production department will receive components more quickly and expeditiously. This gives related departments and processes greater flexibility, because the lead time between receiving the components and having them tested will be greatly reduced, resulting in increased production efficiency. An overall reduction of the cost of goods will be realised with the time savings made for the production process.

The Micro-Vu Vertex 312 technology offers extremely simplified processing of components. Users can just choose a program and press the go button rather than following complex instructions. It enables the complex to become simple.