How Vaupell helped K2M increase speed to market on their life-saving medical prototypes.

The Company

K2M, now a part of Stryker, is a medical device innovator and manufacturer that works closely with surgeons to design spinal implants and surgical instrumentation.

Industry: Spinal medical devicesVaupell Case Study – K2M
Location: Headquartered in Virginia, with offices in the UK and Germany
Company Size: 500 Employees

The Project

Critical Business Issues: K2M’s prototyping process was too long and costly.They faced pressure from customers to get designs to market faster.
The Solution: K2M partnered with Vaupell to create product prototypes from their spinal technology designs.
The Outcome: Together, they reduced the prototyping phase of time-to-market from eight weeks to just a few days.

K2M is in the business of innovation. Surgeons and patients depend on their products to make spinal surgery safer, effective, and more efficient. “Speed to
market is very important for products in the medical device space,” says Alex Artaki, senior development engineer at K2M. “The industry is changing so rapidly that five year-old products are obsolete.”

As a result, every additional week K2M spends on the development cycle can potentially hurt their bottom line and slow their customers’ ability to implement the latest technology.

More Than Great Parts

Beyond industry expertise and quick turnaround time, there are several more key benefits to the collaboration between K2M and
Vaupell, which include their responsiveness and overall quality of parts.


Vaupell’s responsiveness and email support are contributing factors, as well. “Requests for quote are returned in less than
24 hours,” says Artaki. By comparison, some manufacturers use slower quoting processes that can dramatically delay production time.

Quality of the Parts

The quality of Vaupell’s parts is top-notch, as well — striking a perfect balance between speed and quality. With almost a decade
of experience producing metal parts, Vaupell is both reliable and knowledgeable. “Vaupell’s parts serve our end goal of validating designs in our surgeons’ hands,” says Artaki.

Time Savings

While Vaupell’s technology does cost slightly more than conventional machining, the time savings provide the most staggering return on investment for K2M. “Fitting three rounds of design feedback into the space of one clearly allows us to reach the goal line faster.” In addition, this speed keeps K2M from falling behind their competitors in a fast-paced industry. “All the companies we compete with are using similar technologies, so this allows us to remain competitive.”