Outsourcing Outlook on Disposables

January 9, 2009

5 Min Read
Outsourcing Outlook on Disposables

Originally Published MPMN January/February 2009



Jeff S. Bradbury, sales engineer, Entrocomponent Solutions, Azusa, CA.

Contractors must become experts in their field. Expertise is necessary not only for developing new products but also for improving the performance or reducing the cost of existing or mature ones. To serve as reliable partners of their OEM customers, disposables manufacturers must demonstrate expertise about the materials they convert and the technologies they implement. They should also be able to provide engineering advice. Tolerance changes, slight parts modifications, or the addition of special features can contribute to both the manufacturability and quality of the component.

Good disposables manufacturers will stay abreast of new technologies, material developments, and emerging trends. One such emerging trend in the converting industry is laser cutting, which offers both quick turnaround times for development and prototype production and the ability to cut features that previously were not possible using conventional rotary machinery. As methods for optimizing disposables production, laser technologies are being integrated into rotary equipment, enabling manufacturers to cut very fine features at high speeds and changing the face of the converting industry.

In addition to mastering new technologies, disposables manufacturers must often function as materials reference guides for their OEM customers. By transforming materials such as adhesives, films, foams, foils, and elastomers into finished custom die-cut components, converters not only provide their customers with technical help in manufacturing and packaging their products, but also guide them in the selection of the right materials. Because the materials must be tailored to the application, contractors must know whether an application requires standard or custom products. They must also foresee production lead times and purchase the requisite quantities of materials.

By implementing new technologies, acquiring knowledge of materials, and cultivating their supply base, disposables contract manufacturers can help their customers engineer optimal end products that meet both performance and cost requirements.

Manufacturer Dip Molds Disposable Components

A contract manufacturer of silicone, urethane, and PVC disposable molded components offers intricate and thin-walled parts down to 0.0005 in. Using a dip-molding process that involves minimal tooling costs, the supplier provides multidiameter wire-reinforced or multilumen tubing, balloons, coatings, and sheaths, which are used in stethoscopes, laryngeal tubes, heart catheters, nasal cannulae, and a range of other medical devices. The company’s dip-molding process is suitable for rapid prototyping, reiterations, and product development and design. Additionally, the company provides product design and application assistance.
Flexiparts, Richboro, PA

Supplier Offers Rotary Die-Cutting

A contract manufacturer provides wound-care products, in vitro diagnostic device components, patient-monitoring disposables, IV securement products, point-of-care disposables, and hospital and surgical disposables. Providing Class 100 cleanroom processing, the ISO 9001– and ISO 13485–certified and FDA-registered company performs rotary die-cutting, flat stamping, rotary printing, laminating, slitting, injection molding, and packaging operations.
Entrocomponent Solutions, Azusa, CA

Contract Manufacturer Assembles Single-Use Devices

Offering custom assembly and packaging of single-use disposable medical devices, an FDA- and ISO-certified contract manufacturer provides tube extrusion, ultrasonic welding, radio-frequency (RF) welding, impulse sealing for bag manufacturing, sterilization validation, and private-label products. The manufacturer’s computer-controlled extrusion lines produce standard tubing, thermal-bonded paratubing, single- and multilumen tubing, and other products. In addition, its RF-welded products include a range of bags, pouches, and cuffs. The company offers inventory control, R&D support, validation, specification-gap analysis, and turnkey manufacturing support. It also works with clients to develop customized services.
Command Medical Products Inc., Ormond Beach, FL

Vendor Provides Disposable Parts

Using a variety of processes, including die-cutting, laser cutting, water-jet cutting, CNC routing, and pad printing, a manufacturer produces medical disposable parts, including Tyvek medical pouches, disposable well cards, collagen parts, insulation products, filters and screens, and gaskets and seals. The company claims that its Galvo-based laser, which is used to cut a range of materials at speeds that can exceed 100 in./sec, can cut parts with more-detailed features than conventional tooling can. In addition, the laser system employs roll-to-roll processing for high-volume orders. Materials used for medical applications include RoHS-compliant Bisco medical silicone MS-6000, DuPont Mylar, and 3M VHB tapes and adhesives.
Orion Industries Inc., Ayer, MA

Contractor Offers Cutting, Piercing, Delivery Components

A tier 1 supplier provides cutting, piercing, and delivery components and assemblies for endoscopic, cardiovascular, ophthalmic, orthopedic, and diagnostic procedures. The company offers CNC laser welding featuring microweld technology, which uses small weld-spot diameters for fine applications; dual-beam technology, which enables users to perform welds on opposite sides of a part at the same time; double closed-loop power control, which offers pulse-to-pulse stability of less than 1%; and insert molding, which employs a 60-tn press with a two-station rotary table configuration that performs manual or automated insert molding of sharps. The company also offers proprietary sharps-processing techniques in combination with electrochemical finishing technology. Products include surgical blades, trocars, custom scalpels, endoscopic scissors, tissue cutters, biopsy punches, sharpened tubes, specialty access needles, probes, tips, cannulae, stylets, shaver blades, and bone saws.
IncisionTech, Staunton, VA

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