Automatic finishing of artificial joints

Automation of grinding and polishing of artificial joints, which are hard to machine manually



Medical device manufacturers


Support for mass production is required at manufacturing sites, because artificial joint production volumes are increasing as the market grows
Above all, the shortage of artisans for the grinding and polishing processes, which require advanced skills, and the need to improve working efficiency, were urgent challenges

Application examples

Artificial joint
[Image]  Artificial joint

The issue is the significant work burden

Artificial joint finishing processes require artisans with long experience and practiced skills.
However, there is a severe shortage of such workers, because of the high level of skill, the difficulty of the work, and the harsh working environment.
Titanium, a material that is particularly hard to grind, requires manual machining for long periods, and its low thermal conductivity means that it accumulates heat, becoming very hot.
The work is hazardous and requires extended periods of close attention, so the burden on workers is an issue.


Grinding and polishing processes were performed manually, leading to a serious labor shortage because of the high quality requirements and significant labor burden.


  • Lack of experienced workers and successors
  • Significant labor burden due to the “3Ds” (dirty, dangerous, and demanding)
  • Variations in finish quality

Conventional method

[Image] Conventional method

Resolved with finishing robot system

Automate the finishing process for which high accuracy is a must with a robot system purposely-built for grinding and polishing.
Use robots instead of humans in 24-hour operations for tasks that are particularly arduous for workers.
Even on artificial joints which must be made as smooth as possible, Yamaha's proprietary control method maintains high quality by reproducing human sensitivity.


Introducing a dedicated robot system for the finishing process to the processing line contributed to greater stability in quality levels, and reduced demands for workers.


  • Solved the issue of worker shortage and reduced labor costs
  • Improved environment and reduced burden on workers
  • Stable quality levels achieved through unique control

Example system

[Image] Example system