Seven out of 19 manufacturing steps for a standard Zimmer hip stem are quality assurance steps, and every sixth Zimmer employee at the European headquarter works in the quality and quality assurance areas.
Each component undergoes several tests before it leaves the Forming Technology department: molding blanks are dipped in a control liquid. The liquid seeps into even the smallest of tears in the material, making them visible under special lighting. Then the components are sampled on shock-proof granite tables with extremely sensitive probes. Finally, all stems must go to the precision test bench, where they undergo tests at the thousandth millimeter level.
After mechanical processing, the implant components go to the Finishing department (final cleaning and inspection as well as packaging), where they are cleaned in alkaline and acid baths by means of ultrasound. The water of the last rinse cycle then undergoes a microbiological analysis. The prosthesis components are packaged and labeled by specially trained personnel in special cleanrooms. Using various surface and air analyses, the microbiological values are continuously tested in the cleanroom. Lastly, the packaged and labeled implants are sterilised with radiation or gas.