Originally Published MPMN April 2003
HOTLINEAutomatic Catheter Tipper Smooths Transition from R&D to Production
System works with glass and metal dies
An automatic catheter-tipping system uses air to heat and cool glass or metal tip-forming dies.
At the prototype stage, catheter tipping is often done with the use of glass dies. When the device is ready to go into production, however, manufacturers typically switch to metal molds to form catheter tips. Beahm Designs (Los Gatos, CA) has developed an automatic tipping system that operates with both glass and metal dies, providing engineers with flexibility to refine the initial design prototype and process.
Described as a cost-effective alternative to radio-frequency-based methods, the Auto-Tipper uses air to heat and cool the tipping die. Catheter tubing is automatically inserted into either a glass or metallic die, which is exposed to a focused stream of hot air. Compressed air then cools the die, and the tipped tubing is released.
Visibility is a key benefit of using glass dies, according to the firm, because engineers can observe the tip-formation process and troubleshoot, as necessary. The use of air to heat and cool the die also eliminates bioburden and maintenance issues that may be associated with water cooling.
The Auto-Tipper produces closed or open catheter tips and can simultaneously attach, weld, and form soft tips. Almost any tip geometry can be created, and the system comes equipped with quick-change tooling to accommodate a range of catheter sizes and styles.
The equipment's modular design enables users to retrofit the tipper to the company's popular line of hot-air stations.
Beahm Designs, 112 Elmwood Ct., Los Gatos, CA 95030; phone: 408/489-1396; fax: 408/378-9837; [email protected]; www.catheterequipment.com
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