TJO Klassic ONE®: Your Single-Tray System

26 October 2021
tjo trays resized

Background

A young and dynamic entrant into the established implant market, Total Joint Orthopedics (TJO) is a Utah-based implant company that focuses on knee and hip arthroplasty. Founded in 2009, TJO prides itself on efficiency – simplifying use, storage and sterilisation of instrument trays to reduce turn time in the operating room. The organisation also aims to give back: for every ten joints the company sells, it donates one to Operation Walk, a charity that offers no-cost joint replacements to those in need.

Despite the organisation’s relative youth, TJO has already established itself in the market, with the help of the Klassic One, a single-tray system for knee arthroplasty.

Challenge

As a company built around the philosophies of ‘less is more’ and ‘efficiency by design’, TJO recognised the need to provide instrument sets that were compact, affordable, functional and efficient. The Klassic ONE knee set would offer compelling proof of concept for this design strategy. As a company that designs and sells implants, and partners with companies for production, TJO was looking for a manufacturer capable of delivering on time and at scale.

Enztec applies a similar philosophy to design and manufacture of orthopaedic instruments, so when the two organisations began to work together a few years ago, there was an instant connection. With each project completed, both companies continued to develop deeper and more collaborative ways of working together. TJO recognised that the Enztec team was capable of filling gaps and enhancing what their own in-house team did.  This collaboration recently culminated in delivering the Klassic One instrument sets.

While the complexity of the Klassic One and the scale of the production was not new to Enztec, the turnaround for delivery before the launch date did present logistical challenges. The timeline to deliver the Klassic One was short by industry standards – 50 sets of instruments were to be delivered within four months (and during a global pandemic) despite the fact that some designs were yet to be completed or locked in.

“We aren’t just capable of meeting these challenges at Enztec, we thrive on them. Delivering high-quality instrumentation on time and as ordered is our reason for being; a mindset that TJO not only recognised but shared within their own four walls.” Iain McMillan, CEO of Enztec.

TJO visit 1

Approach

The project began in earnest with two members of the TJO team being hosted in Enztec’s Christchurch-based offices for a week. The week of deep collaboration resulted in the development of a design language, discussing product intent and developing possible solutions for key products within the set. There were hand-drawn sketches, discussions, debates, and deep thought on how products could be refined without adding cost or complexity.

Armed with a different set of perspectives, the TJO team went back to Utah to begin the detailed design phase. Over the coming months there was regular contact between our engineering and manufacturing teams, discussing the impact of different design decisions on cost and reliability. 

Finally, as the designs were being released, the Enztec production team helped refine the final details, as well as offering DFIM advice to ensure the finished products would meet all expectations for quality, cost and function.

McMillan states “at Enztec, we work to build long-term and mutually beneficial relationships, and our partnership with TJO perfectly encapsulates this ethos.”

Solution

On the back of this collaborative effort, the team at Enztec were able to successfully deliver the Klassic One knee sets on budget and, to the delight of the TJO team, in time for their launch.

There were inevitable bumps in the road, like optimising unexpected interactions between parts, refining haptic mechanisms on instruments, and keeping everyone on the same page despite geographical differences. But through regular emails and video calls, these challenges were resolved efficiently and effectively.

Since the successful delivery of the first 50 sets of Klassic One knee instruments, minor adjustments and improvements have regularly been made, as feedback is received from surgeons. This process of refining, prototyping and manufacturing is an ongoing one, which Enztec and TJO continue to work on in unison.

TJO has also started to explore how they will bring the same efficiencies to their Total Hip Arthroplasty customers.

The delivery of this product range was an immense undertaking for all involved, but through great collaboration (and with great pride), Enztec were able to successfully deliver on every promise made to TJO regarding the Klassic One knee set. It was delivered on time, with care, and to the highest quality standards possible. The resulting product was the refined and efficient set that everyone had set out to create when first spending time together discussing the TJO’s goals and philosophies: that less is more, and that the procedures would be efficient by design.

Through this process, the Enztec team stayed true to its own goals. We aim to deliver a complete customer experience, and we did. We aim to add real value, and we did. We hoped to offer the most complete contract manufacturing service possible, and we did. Thanks to a close and completely transparent relationship, the project was a success for all involved, including those now using the resultant sets.

“We could not have achieved our goals for our Klassic ONEⓇ Instrumentation without a lot of help from Enztec. Their manufacturing is top-notch and we love working with them”

Erin Hofmann, President and CEO of Total Joint Orthopedics.

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