With the support of ERDF and the ESIF, APOS is participating in a project to modernise the production of prosthetic limbs using additive manufacturing.
Concentrating on the conversion of manual prosthetic orthotic manufacturing processes to a digitised process ensures that Atlantic Prosthetic Orthotic Services Ltd remains at the frontline of prosthetic orthotic manufacture. Further, it will provide for an innovative launch pad into international markets where prosthetic and orthotic needs are growing and in demand.
The support facilitates the training of graduates into prosthetic /orthotic clinical and manufacturing roles allowing those graduates to acquire clinical base knowledge under direct supervision. From the outset, the integration of scanning and additive manufacturing training and technology with new graduates prevents disruption and accelerates the adoption and uptake of new technology amongst all staff. In addition, this process permits experienced staff to expand their existing activities into the additive manufacturing arena.
In 2018, APOS engaged in an innovation research project partially funded by the InterTrade Ireland Fusion program whereby we conducted an Enterprise Ireland (EI) funded Feasibility study with the Advanced Manufacturing Research (IMR) team based in Mullingar. This study centred on converting some of the APOS prosthetic manufacturing processes to 3D Printing.The next step is to augment this work in the form of the Innovation Partnership Program (IPP) Express. It is envisaged that the outcome of the program will accelerate our progress towards a more efficient manufacturing workflow allowing APOS to engage in prosthetic manufacture for other clinical centres nationally. Looking further afield, this project has significant potential with an international dimension.
The goals of the project are:
1. to accelerate the innovation process within APOS
2. to assist in the move to advanced scanning techniques
3. to assist in the move from manual to additive manufacturing processes
4. to launch an APOS training program for additive manufacture within the global prosthetic orthotic industry which will feed into the provision of additive manufactured products into international markets via APOS.
A graduate has been co-funded in APOS by the European Regional Development Fund and Enterprise Ireland under the Border, Midland and Western Regional Operational Programme (2014-2020) with the aim of bringing skills into the company that are critical to future growth. The graduate commenced employment and is contributing to improvements in company productivity and to changes in output to meet defined market requirements.