Myrdal Orthopedic Technologies – Winnipeg, Manitoba

Myrdal Orthopedic Technologies

C-fab cuts turnaround and grows business.

The above video segment features Technical Director, Alex Brett R.T.P.O.(c), describing his experience with CAD/CAM during a Vorum Academy educational webinar in February 2017. Watch the entire educational webinar recording on the Vorum Academy.

C-fab cuts turnaround and grows business.

MOT offers digitally-powered orthotic and prosthetic c-fab services, enabling CAD/CAM adoption by small clinics across Canada.

Myrdal Orthopedic Technologies (MOT) is well-known in the Canadian orthotics and prosthetics (O&P) industry; for over 18 years they have been supplying components, tools, and consumables to many clinics across Canada. MOT also provides a range of central fabrication services. “We are strictly a supplier of products and technical services to O&P clinics,” explains Alex Brett, Technical Director.

“We do not offer patient services, so we are considered an asset and partner by clinics rather than a competitor.”

“We saw an opportunity to improve our fabrication services and grow that business in several ways by investing in the Vorum Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM) solution. Small O&P clinics across Canada have been rapidly adopting 3D scanning and CAD software but they are often too small to justify the investment in a foam mold carving machine. We wanted to be among the first companies to fill that gap by offering digitally-driven central fabrication services in this country. Our customer base is also growing, because the faster turnaround time means we can better-serve a larger geographic customer area. Previously, the lag time due to dealing with plaster casts was a deterrent to some farther-afield customers.”

“We thoroughly researched CAD/CAM and evaluated several systems and strongly concluded that Vorum is the clear choice because their products and support were both unrivalled. The Vorum toolset is much more powerful and covers a wider range of device types, both prosthetics and orthotics.”

“Our fabrication business has grown substantially since we installed the carver and we are exceeding our original targets of 50% per year growth in the custom fabrication part of our business. The Vorum solution has also enabled us to cut our turnaround time in half. In Fact, we’re able to guarantee same day processing of foam molds to be shipped anywhere in Canada if we receive the digital file by 11 am. With that quick of a turnaround time, we’re attracting more clinics as customers.”

Alex describes the before and after scenarios: “Under our traditional model, our clinical customer would cast their patient, create a plaster positive and modify it, then take a negative cast of their modified shape and ship that us. That way, they protected and preserved their modification work against damage in transit. At MOT, we then poured it up, waited for it to cure, then fabricated the device and shipped it out. With that model, we were typically building about one device per day. If we use an AFO as an example, it could take about 8-10 days from the time our customer created their modified negative and shipped it to us until the time they received the final device back.”

“With the Vorum-based digital model, we can cut that turnaround time in half. As soon as a clinician finishes applying their modifications to a shape in CAD, they can email the design file to us. We can immediately carve the foam shape on the Vorum system and be ready to fabricate in under an hour. If we’re just shipping the foam mold, it usually will leave MOT the same day, guaranteed in most cases if we receive the file by 11 am. If fabrication work is to be done by us, we can have a device out the door in a few days, depending on our work schedule. Overall, we’re saving about 2 days on in-house work and 3-4 days in inbound shipping that initial mold, so we see that adds up to over four days saved, which cuts traditional turnaround times in half.”

“In addition to the impressive speed increase, the accuracies of the Vorum scanner and carver are amazing, and I’d like to share a fun story about that. We had a customer who was getting started with CAD/CAM and wanted to gain confidence in the accuracy of the system by comparing a hand-shaped positive plaster mold for a Trans-Tibial (TT) prosthetic socket with a carved foam mold of the same shape. They poured a TT socket shape in plaster, handmade their modifications, then used their all-purpose object scanner to digitally capture its shape. They emailed us the scan file, we used it to carve the shape in foam, then shipped it back to them. When the customer compared the foam model with the plaster one, they thought it didn’t look right.

I was very concerned, so I packed up and went to visit the customer immediately. Using Vorum’s Spectra Scanner, I scanned both the original plaster model and the foam model we carved, imported both shapes into Vorum’s Canfit software and ran a measurement comparison. It was simply amazing to see that there was absolutely no difference. They were virtually identical! It turned out that the scanner and carver were incredibly accurate; it was just the difference in appearance between the shiny, white plaster and the matte yellow foam that threw the customer off.”

“We cleaned-up our plaster room by replacing the physical storage of old casts and molds with the storage of the files in a digital library. It’s great to have the original shapes preserved for future reference at the click of a mouse.”

“The digital c-fab model also provides a lot of flexibility for the clinics we serve. Many like to start by receiving foam positive molds from us and fabricating in-house at their facility. As they quickly gain confidence in the accuracy and quality of the process, some outsource the plastic fabrication to us also. Others come directly to us for the final device fabrication from the start. What’s nice is that clinics now have flexibility in how they manage their transition to CAD/CAM. They also gain the business capability to tap c-fabs like MOT as needed to augment their in-house fabrication capacity when facing periods of heavy demand or technician absence due to vacation or sick leave.”

“We encourage small clinics across Canada to not delay their evaluation of CAD/CAM and c-fab services for mold carving and fabrication. We are currently seeing a major shift in our industry. O&P practices that choose not to embrace technology are at a significant disadvantage,” concludes Alex.

At a Glance

Myrdal Orthopedic Technologies Inc. (MOT)

Canada’s leading provider of O&P tools, components, consumables, and fabrication services for over 18 years. Myrdal Orthopedic Website

C-fab service turnaround time cut in half.
Able to guarantee same day shipping of foam molds.
C-fab business growing at over 50% annually.
Digital library replaces warehouse of plaster shapes.
“Vorum enabled us to improve our custom fabrication services and significantly grow that part of our business.”
“We saw the need for digitally-driven central fabrication services for small clinics.”
“Vorum is the clear choice."
"The investment in CAD/CAM has really paid off.”
"Vorum enabled us to cut traditional turnaround times in half.”
“The accuracy is amazing.”
“The digital approach offers many additional benefits and flexibility for us and the clinics we serve.”
“Vorum has proven to be a great partner and enabler.”