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Renishaw opens dedicated healthcare facility at its South Wales site

4 October 2016

Global precision engineering company Renishaw plc has announced a new Healthcare Centre of Excellence at its Miskin site, located close to Cardiff, South Wales. The Centre, which was formally opened on 29th September by The Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales, provides a facility for the manufacture of custom medical devices, as well as education and training for the life sciences community.

The Renishaw Healthcare Centre of Excellence is a unique facility that highlights the company's continuing technology advances for the healthcare sector, including patient-specific implants, dentistry and neurosurgery. It contains a mock non-sterile operating theatre and facilities for education, training, workshops and lectures, plus a facility for the manufacture of class 3 custom medical devices produced on Renishaw metal additive manufacturing (3D printing) machines.

Renishaw believes that it is extremely important that neurosurgeons have a familiar and comfortable environment in which to practise using its latest technology. The mock operating theatre suite within the Healthcare Centre of Excellence mimics a real-life hospital setting, but without the complication of a sterile environment. In the state-of-the-art suite, which is lead-lined to enable X-ray use, surgeons can be trained to perform highly complex stereotactic neurosurgery procedures using the Renishaw range of neurological products. The suite also includes video and audio technology that allows the live streaming of training to the adjacent lecture theatre or to the neurosurgeon's support team that may be located in another country.

Stereotactic neurosurgery is a technique used by neurosurgeons to locate surgical targets within the brain in a minimally invasive way. Surgeons would most commonly use this technique in procedures including deep brain stimulation (DBS), stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) and biopsies.

The manufacturing facility within the Healthcare Centre of Excellence produces custom medical devices under an ISO13485 quality management system. Here Renishaw's extensive manufacturing knowledge combines with its latest metal additive manufacturing machines to enable the precision production of dental frameworks, craniomaxillofacial patient specific implants, jigs and guides.

Renishaw is a world leader in the design and manufacture of metal 3D printing systems which are made at the Miskin site in a production hall adjacent to the Healthcare Centre of Excellence; the only such products made in the UK. The site, purchased from Robert Bosch Limited in September 2011, has now been fully refurbished by Renishaw and the 460,000 sq ft facility also includes the manufacture of metal components, electronic sub-assemblies and healthcare R&D activities.

The close proximity of Renishaw's manufacturing operations to the Healthcare Centre of Excellence is seen as being highly beneficial for collaboration between engineers and healthcare professionals, as they work together on current and future healthcare challenges. A demonstration area within the Centre also showcases Renishaw's full range of metrology and healthcare technologies, including Raman spectroscopy instruments, neurological products and therapies, dental scanners and frameworks, molecular diagnostics and additively manufactured implantable devices.

The Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales, who originally opened the Miskin site in October 2012, said, “Today what I have seen is truly astonishing; products with the potential for extending life and for improving life, for example ensuring that people don't have disfigurement for the rest of their lives. I've been incredibly surprised by what I've seen; it's world beating innovation.

“I would like to thank the company for having faith in Wales, having faith in the Welsh workforce, but above all else for developing, in partnership with others, many things that will improve the lives of so many people around the world in the future.”

Sir David McMurtry, Renishaw's Chairman and Chief Executive, said, “When this site was formally opened in October 2012 I talked about our commitment to South Wales and the huge potential for the future. Four years on we have now invested over £40 million pounds at Miskin and The Healthcare Centre of Excellence is the latest example of that ongoing commitment.”

He continued, “The healthcare and life sciences sectors are particularly strong in South Wales which made this location a logical choice for the Centre. Its close proximity to Cardiff also makes it accessible to our healthcare partners and customers from across the world.”