News reports about Stryker, which reported its fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday, generally centered around the company’s financial performance and the announcement that CFO William Jellison will retire in April.
But buried deep within the earnings conference call, Jellison made a revelation that is bound to thrill any 3-D printing enthusiast eager to see greater application of the technology in healthcare.
The retiring chief financial officer announced that Stryker is a building a new, state-of-the-art 3-D printing manufacturing facility this year.
The details of where and how big were missing from the call and a company spokeswoman didn’t respond to queries, but Lobo and Jellison provided a few more comments that demonstrate Stryker’s 3-D printing strategy or at least the current thinking at Stryker about the technology’s value.
For one, 3-D printing works best with plastics. Metals, to quote Lobo, is complicated. So for now, the 3-D printed products are not aimed at replacing the metal hips and knees business that is Stryker’s bread and butter. Rather, the goal is to create innovative, novel products that gives the company a competitive edge.