Case Study: Spinal Technology, LLC

This case study was conducted with Spinal Technology, LLC.

Faster turn-around wins customers.

Vorum helps spinal brace fabricator takes business to the next level.

As the first company in the United States to use computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology for spinal brace central fabrication, Spinal Technology recognized that their system needed an upgrade in order to take their business to the next level.

In 2008, Spinal Technology installed the Vorum system, which they use to fabricate braces from patient scans and to continually
build and maintain their vast library of approximately 6,000 spinal molds. Luckily, Vorum provides Spinal Technology with an efficient and effective organization system. By scanning a large portion of their physical molds into the Vorum 3D Design Software,
Spinal Technology creates a digital library to complement their physical library. This makes it easier to replace old molds, locate the most appropriate mold, and store patient shapes for future reference.

When Spinal Technology receives a work order, they need to quickly locate the most appropriate mold in their library for fabricating the brace. In order to do so, the staff import scan data received from the practitioner into the Vorum software, which extracts the patient measurements from the scan and displays them on the screen. Then, the measurements are compared to those received on the work order. If the measurements are consistent, the staff at Spinal Technology enters the patient information into their database, which indicates the most appropriate mold and its location.

If an existing mold in the physical library is similar to the required shape, Spinal Technology will re-use this mold rather than make a new carving. Using traditional techniques, plaster build-ups can be added to create breasts, abdominals, gluteals and boney prominences. Rasp files and other tools can also be used to modify the foam as necessary. This method provides savings in both cost and time by reducing the amount of blocks that are carved to make new molds. According to Sean Cadieux, Director of Operations, for Spinal Technology, “modifying one of our foam molds has become as easy as modifying the plaster molds.”

If the company does not have an appropriate mold for the customer, or if a mold wears out, a new replacement is easily made. Mr. Cadieux says that their process is considerably faster now that they have the Vorum 3-Axis Carver: “it takes half the time of our old carver.” Spinal Technology can also reach a greater patient population because the Vorum 3-Axis Carver “has the capacity to produce larger molds.”

Since the installation of the Vorum system, Spinal Technology has also improved their turn-around time, thereby increasing their production volume and leading to new customers. Mr. Cadieux described an example of the system’s effect on increased customer potential: “Spinal Technology received an urgent request to make a TLSO for a patient. The patient required this orthosis for the next day so that he could be discharged from the hospital. The practitioner had contacted one of Spinal Technology’s competitors, but learned that the short delivery time could not be met. Spinal Technology was confident that their Vorum system would enable them to produce the orthosis on time – and they did. The next day the patient received his brace and was discharged from the hospital.”

Currently, Spinal Technology is working towards utilizing the system for their lower and upper limb orthotic and prosthetic devices.

At a Glance

Spinal Technology, LLC.

Central fabricator of spinal orthoses Facilities in West Yarmouth, MA and Louisville, KY. Spinal Technology Website

Efficient management of a library of 6,000 braces.
Mold carving time cut in half.
Faster turnaround wins new customers.
"Efficient management of a vast spinal mold library"
"Fast, economical, and flexible: combining new technology with traditional techniques."
“Half the time of our old carver. The capacity to produce larger molds.”
“Our practitioners are at least five times more productive, and the sockets from CAD fit much better.”
"Faster turn-around wins new customers."