My name is Ben, I am currently a PhD candidate working for Lulea university of Technology in Sweden, with a focus on the biological tribology aspects of total hip replacements.
For the month of February, I was able to visit and experience work at Simulation Solutions (SimSol), based in Stockport, UK.
They are a small to medium sized company with a friendly welcoming atmosphere. Their business strategy is focused on three areas; Warehouse planning, glass imaging and joint simulators. My aim during my placement was to work closely with the joint simulator team, specifically the 6 axis hip simulator that was to be shipped off to Shanghai at the end of the month.
What’s really special about SimSol is that they are one of only four companies that can produce clinically relevant simulators that adhere to the ISO standard (international standard for reproducing clinically relevant hip simulator data) over a few million cycles. This is thanks to their great engineering team.
During my stay I was able to experience the behind-the-scenes mechanical operation, with tasks such as bearing replacement and maintenance, troubleshooting and likely errors/red flags that I should be aware of when it comes to my personal testing. (I will be running the hip simulator in Lulea for many millions of cycles, so knowing what to look out for is imperative, as failures inevitably occur).
I was also able to gain experience calibrating, verifying, and running the system software, which has been designed to be user friendly (maybe only to us engineers though!). Once the test is running, you must ensure that the motors are in tune with the ISO cycle, using PID controls, so that accurate results are obtained.
Overall I gained valuable experience from my months stay at SimSol, which I would like to thank them for, and I am exited to return later in March to learn more about securing and mounting samples in collaboration with DePuy, who are purchasing two newly renovated hip simulators.
I appreciate your time spent reading
This article was written by Ben Clegg part of an ongoing series of scientific communications written and curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.
Ben is researching the Wear particle characterization and bio-compatibility of newly 3D printed self-lubricating polymer composites in total joint replacements at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden.