Originally Published MPMN
Originally Published MPMN October 2003
Special cutting and forming capabilities developed by a stamping company enable micromachined and metal-injection-molded components to be converted into precision microstamped parts. The result is enhanced dimensional control and a lower cost per component. The microtechnology has been applied successfully in the production of distal components of minimally invasive biopsy and surgical devices. Probes, needles, jaws, blades, links, and clamping forceps are among the components that can be precision stamped.
Meier Tool & Engineering, 875 Lund Blvd., Anoka, MN 55303.
A contracting provider of precision machining, assembly, and testing services uses a variety of high-speed Swiss-type screw machines, CNC machines, grinding machines, and assembly systems to supply medical and dental device industry clients with various micromachined parts. Components from 0.02 to 1 in. diam are machined from brass, stainless steel, PEEK, titanium, cobalt chrome, and other materials. Small, medium, and large orders for almost any type of precision part can be filled. The company also supplies such subassemblies and small components as pins, sockets, and connectors for medical devices.
Divisa Inc., 63 E. Main St., Kalyto Plz., Pawling, NY 12564.
Flexible circuit board
A thin, lightweight, six-layer flexible printed circuit board uses a thin rigid-flex layup to achieve a package with a very small footprint for incorporation into small-scale equipment. The board folds to fit the space requirements of a device. I/O connections are also integral to the board, thus eliminating connectors and cabling. The flex circuit offers OEMs an electronics component package that enables design of an ergonomic, feature-rich, simple-to-operate device of very compact size. The manufacturer offers multilayer flex and rigid-flex circuit boards for medical and other high-technology devices.
Printed Circuits Inc., 1200 W. 96th St., Bloomington, MN 55431.
Electrofluidic connection systems
Miniature electrofluidic connectors that handle both fluid and electrical lines in a single package address requirements for user safety, instrumentation size reduction, and operating convenience. Fluid is either automatically shut off upon disconnection or automatically routed to another fluid line. The company that has engineered the technology can adapt the electrofluidic connector pair and bulkhead to specific requirements and military specifications. The vertically integrated firm completes design projects rapidly in close cooperation with the client.
Sandbox LLC, Dundee Office Park, Andover, MA 01810.
A specialist in the precision microgrinding of wire less than 0.001 in. diam is able to maintain a surface finish of 10 µin. Ra on such fine wire. The company emphasizes its ability to grind nitinol but is also capable of producing close-tolerance wire and tubing components from stainless steel, tungsten, MP35N, and other exotic materials such as fiberglass and fiber-optic cable. Its programmable equipment can grind consecutive multiple tapers and tapers of any length.
UTI Micro-Guide, 20600 South
A micromachining equipment specialist offers flexible electrical-discharge machining (EDM) systems that perform precision erosion machining to the stringent standards of the microtechnology field. The SX-series EDM machines feature a microfine-pulse shape generator that is integrated directly into a microscale EDM head on each high-precision three-axis CNC machine. The small, user-friendly machines can process hardened steel, stainless steel, titanium, CBN-PCB, ceramics, and carbide materials. The extended-size SX-200 is designed to provide full automatic indexing and loading for volume production.
Sarix S.A., Via ai Molini 22, 6616 Losone, Switzerland.
Components with features smaller than 25 µm, or 0.001 in., can be manufactured via ceramic-injection molding (CIM) in production volumes. Parts that small also are produced from tungsten carbide, titanium carbide, and silicon carbide. Cutting blades, nozzles, orifices, connectors, electrical insulators, and dispense tips are among the many medical components made by means of CIM in a recently renovated plant that is equipped with molding-machine robots that fully automate the molding process. Small Precision Tools, 1330 Clegg St., Petaluma, CA 94954.
Plunger-type metering micropump modules for incorporation into clinical analyzers, titrators, autosamplers, and other instruments offer high throughput potential with a maximum piston travel speed of 0.3 seconds per stroke. The maintenance-free precision HS-series OEM modules feature high stability: the coefficient of variation at 249.40 µl is 0.096% after 3 million full strokes. Their 20- to 30-µl internal volume minimizes reagent volume requirements, and their quick-stroke piston motion maximizes accuracy. Resolution is selectable between 0.01 and 0.003 mm per pulse. Sanwa Tsusho Co., Ltd., 2-6-16 Shibaura Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023, Japan.
Ultracompact drive packages are offered for high-performance motion control applications. Combining a flexible controller and 250/500-VA output stage in a single case, the ViX intelligent servo drive supports multiaxis applications without requiring individual power supplies. E-series microstepping drives come in ac and dc versions; the former supplies up to 3.5 A of current to the motor and accepts 120 V ac of direct line power, while the latter provides up to 4.8 A at 24-48 V dc. These drives incorporate antiresonance circuitry that effectively suppresses the midrange instability inherent in stepping motors. Compumotor Div., Parker Hannifin Corp., 5500 Business Park Dr., Rohnert Park, CA 94928.
Molded rubber components
Custom-molded elastomer microcomponents are produced to demanding specifications from silicone, Viton, neoprene, EPDM, polyacrylate, butyl, fluorosilicone, PTFE, nitrile, and other NSF-, UL-, and FDA-compliant compounds. Prototype and production molding of seals, diaphragms, grommets, and bellows in simple or complex configurations can be performed for small- or large-volume projects.
The manufacturer also stocks more than 300 million standard O-rings, backup rings, and Quattro-seals in a wide range of materials. R.T. Enterprises Inc., 7540 Linder Ave., Skokie, IL 60077.
Brushless dc motor
A high-performance brushless dc motor for medical equipment applications features built-in electronics that keep the package size small while providing smooth, quiet, efficient operation. BND12 and BND23 models of the motor/drive combination have torque ratings of 1.7-22.0 oz-in. and offer speeds to 12,000 rpm. The motion system manufacturer supplies a comprehensive line of brushless and brush-type high-performance motors, drives, resolvers, slip rings, fiber-optic rotary joints, and actuators. Northrop Grumman Poly-Scientific, 1213 N. Main St., Blacksburg, VA 24060.
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