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Jamie Hartford 1
May 4, 2016
8 Min Read
From a new chemical-resistant alloy to an instant measuring system, here are just a few of the innovations medtech suppliers and service providers will be showcasing at the MD&M East expo in June.
With OEMs refocusing on core capabilities to increase innovation, it has never been more important for medtech companies to find trusted suppliers and contract partners. At the upcoming MD&M East expo, set to take place June 14-16, 2016, in New York City, more than 900 industry suppliers and service providers will be showcasing their wares and capabilities.
We culled eight of the most exciting innovations you can check out at the show. Check them out and vote for your favorite below. The top five winners will be featured in an Innovation Tour at the event.
Instant Measurement System
This instant measurement system from Keyence (MD&M East booth #2207 and #2107) eliminates the need for optical comparators, hand calipers/micrometers, measuring microscopes, and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing and profile measurement systems. The IM-6225 system system can identify a part, pull up the correct program, and measure up to 100 dimensions per part on up to 100 parts on the stage at once in just 3 seconds. The IM-6225 will automatically adjust the lighting and focus, and repositions the program to match each part on the stage. It recognizes the profile and reflective images of each part, compares it with preprogrammed tolerances, produces a pass or fail for each dimension, and saves the data locally or to a network. With one more button press, it prints out a full inspection report. The IM-6225 features accuracy of +/- 2 µm and has four different light settings. It automatically solves top-light application, and features an automatic program mode.
Wire and Tube Bending
Using equipment including its own custom tooling and software applications, Marshall Manufacturing (MD&M East booth #549) offers bending capabilities for premachined wire and tubing. The company wanted to find a solution for the loss of precise tolerances when bending a premachined wire or tube. Premachining features include precision cut-off, turning, and milling of special tips, cross-holes, grooves, and slots--all with precise tolerances that need to be held throughout the bending process. Production techniques include wire EDM, flaring, swaging, and laser tube machining. Premachined parts are bent to orient the premachined features on each end to a precise, final destination, with customized separators and indexing features. The company offers professional expertise using a variety of materials and practicing specific production processes to achieve the optimal form, function, and manufacturability of any medical part.
MTD Micro Molding (MD&M East booth #1539) offers micromolded components with a workpiece accuracy target of 42 millionths. The company uses a Sarix 3-D EDM milling machine, which creates cavity geometry by following a tool path similar to CNC milling; the major difference is that the end mill is an electrode that can be as small as 5 µm. The company can produce wall thicknesses down to .002 in., aspect ratios of 250:1 without draft designs, and tip radii of 5 µm for applications in endoscopy, drug delivery, laparoscopy, and other markets. MTD can also insert tiny metal marker bands, overmold to delicate electronics, or simply join two precision components that otherwise would have been assembled in high-risk, manual fashions.
Counting and Bagging System
PAC Machinery (MD&M East booth #2921) offers an automatic bulk counting and bagging system for packaging small medical devices. The compact Rollbag R1275 system combines an automatic bagger with an advanced vision system, which when used together can count and bag large quantities of small, high-value parts quickly and accurately. The precision vision system relies on advanced mathematical algorithms to count bulk parts ranging in size from 0.25 in. to 1 in. at up to 99.9% accuracy. The versatile, high-speed Rollbag R1275 Vision bagger can fill and seal bags significantly faster than manual packaging. Matched seamlessly with the R1275 bagger, the vision system track feeder facilitates counting a wide variety of parts without changing the feeder configuration. Products do not need to be separated over individual lines, nor do they need to be fed one-by-one or spaced at specific intervals, as is often the case with conventional counting systems.
Interactive Quoting System
Proto Labs (MD&M East booth #409) offers an automated interactive quoting system that allows medical device engineers to upload a 3-D CAD model and receive free design for manufacturability (DFM) analysis and real-time pricing information within hours. ProtoQuote uses proprietary software and compute clusters to analyze the 3-D CAD model and generate an interactive price quote and design analysis. OEM engineers can leverage the free DFM analysis during the prototyping phase to eliminate problems such as sink or internal undercuts, so modifications can be made early and often. In turn, developers can iterate, get premarket approvals, pass clinical trials, and launch products to market faster. Partners have been able to compress new product development cycles by up to 6 months. The software has been enhanced to offer a detailed design analysis including an interactive three-dimensional image, which allows developers to review their part geometry and assess any potential design issues that are highlighted. Interactive quotes are provided within hours.
RTP Co. (MD&M East booth #2009), a manufacturer of custom formulated thermoplastics, has developed a new proprietary alloy technology, the RTP 2000 HC series. These compounds are formulated to maintain strength, functionality, and integrity, even with repeated exposure to harsh disinfectants used on medical devices and hospital equipment. The combinations of resins and additives that make up the RTP 2000 HC series demonstrate superior resistance to damage and degradation caused by hospital cleaners. These compounds can be further enhanced with properties such as UV resistance, EMI shielding, and colorability. The RTP 2000 HC series is available in flame-retardant and nonflame retardant versions, and also in sheet format, with thicknesses ranging from 0.020 in. to 0.250 in. The RTP 2000 HC series has proven performance for superior chemical resistance under molded in stress conditions, allowing OEMs and injection molders to improve the quality and service life of the medical devices and equipment that they produce. Additionally, the RTP 2000 HC series thermoplastic compounds can be used as a direct replacement for other amorphous resins such as PC/ABS and PC/PBT, making it a convenient option for injection molding.
Medical Device Marking
Surface Solutions Group LLC (MD&M East booth #868) has developed a technology to place marks of PTFE over a PTFE coated substrate. Called VisiMark, this technology makes it possible to add a high contrast marking system to medical devices. VisiMark technology creates a permanent, contrasting mark in a variety of color combinations. This mark is highly visible, and the contrasting color mark does not increase or substantially decrease the coating thickness of the medical grade PTFE coating. Unlike other types of marks applied to a PTFE coating, which can change the surface friction and potentially be removed or dislodged during a procedure, VisiMark technology maintains a smooth surface with a low coefficient of friction and ensures markings cannot become dislodged. These marks can be used by the doctor to know the depth of a cannula, needle, or other medical devices.
Vention Medical (MD&M East booth #570) has developed a universal handle that eliminates the need for OEMs to design and tool a handle in-house, allowing them to test concepts faster and focus their efforts on developing the clinical potential of their device. The Versatility and Versatility Mini universal handles feature ready-made molded components that can be configured for a variety of applications and functionalities, including articulation, translation, and rotation. The Versatility handle platform can accommodate shafts up to 24 Fr. In a case study, leveraging the Versatility handle and Vention's advanced components saved more than $75,000 and shaved nine weeks off the schedule for achieving a critical development milestone--a time and cost savings of more than 80%. The handles are available via Vention Medical's online store, and the company can also work with OEMs to develop a custom shaft to go with the handle.
Vote for your favorite to win a spot in our MD&M East Innovation Prize expo tour. Voting ends Saturday, May 14, at midnight.
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