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Prototyping

Originally Published MPMN January 2004

Outsourcing Outlook

Prototyping

Chassis Prototype Reduces Downstream Manufacturing Costs

A manufacturer of precision enclosures developed a prototype for the sheet-metal chassis of an ultrasound machine that improved efficiency and reduced downstream manufacturing costs. Design innovations resulting from the prototype process included the use of a preplated material secured with small, nondeforming fuse welds, eliminating secondary brackets and fasteners. In addition, it was discovered that smaller components could be formed from scrap generated during the production of larger chassis pieces. Prototype work is done in the company's secured Allenton, WI site, which incorporates the same systems and equipment used in its manufacturing plants. Maysteel, Menomonee Falls, WI; www.maysteel.com 




Turnkey Development Available for Single-Use Devices


An outsource provider of sterile, single-use medical devices offers complete product life-cycle management. In addition to proof-of-concept testing, the company's services include initial development, production, supply chain management, and product improvement. The company uses its in-house CAD and stereolithography systems for rapid prototype production; stereolithography apparatus models can be produced within a few hours. Avail, Fort Worth, TX; www.availmed.com 



Metal Fabricator Manufactures Prototype of Parabolic Reflector

Custom, precision sheet-metal fabrication and machining services are available from a manufacturer of OEM medical device components. Capabilities range from prototyping to full-production quantities, custom fabrication, machining, chemical processing, engraving, and assembly. Previously manufactured prototypes for initial testing and calibration include a parabolic reflector made from a 1¼32-in.-thick, high-reflectivity aluminum sheet. The reflector is used in infant-care radiant-warmer applications in hospitals. Electromet Corp., Hagerstown, MD; www.electromet.com 






Contract Manufacturer Adds Prototyping Department


A contract manufacturer has added a dedicated prototyping department to its in-house CNC milling and turning capabilities. With a lead time of two weeks or less, the company performs laser marking, heat-treating, turning, microhole drilling, fine threading, slotting, fine deburring and polishing, and other finishing operations. Specialty materials include titanium, platinum, stainless steel, plastics, and metals. Specialized Medical Devices, Lancaster, PA; www.specializedmedical.com 




Biomedical Company Emphasizes Prototype Design for Manufacturability

A company offers full prototyping capabilities in addition to precision machining, fabricating, and finishing services. The company's engineering experience can be applied to improving an existing tool or developing a custom instrument. The latest 3-D CAD software is available for use. Gauthier Biomedical, Grafton, WI; www.gauthierbiomedical.com 






Micromachining Capability Produces Wire Prototypes

Prototypes of high-tolerance miniature medical devices are produced from nitinol, stainless steel, and platinum iridium wire stock, using a centerless and OD grinding machine. The CAM SXE technology OD grinds shapes such as flats, tapers, balls, and threads, and the centerless process is applied to single- or multitapered wires. Multiple shapes are placed on the same guidewire. Reading data from CAD drawings, high-precision servomotors control the grinding of the wires automatically, producing diameters as small as 0.0005 in. Wires are ground with a diameter tolerance as close as 0.0001 in., a length tolerance within 0.002 in., and a surface finish of 9 Ra or higher. Glebar Company, Inc., Franklin Lakes, NJ; www.glebar.com 


Plastic and Metal Manufacturing Services Include Prototyping

With facilities in Ireland and the United States, a company includes prototyping among its complete design, development, and contract manufacturing services. Devices in the conceptual stage undergo prototyping and finite-element, risk, and value analyses before the design and development phases. Capabilities include hypotubes, stents, balloons, extrusions, and medical device assemblies, with specialties in minimally invasive devices and metal and polymer components. 
Creganna Medical Devices, Livermore, CA; www.creganna.com 


Precision Prototyping Uses CNC Tooling to Develop 3-D Parts

A company that provides precision prototyping services focuses on original methods for product validation and testing, providing visual models, engineering breadboard concepts, and functional preproduction prototypes. Capabilities include advanced rapid prototyping techniques with an emphasis on CNC tooling for the development of 3-D parts. Additional modeling services complement the company's model-building strategies. Herbst LaZar Bell Inc., Chicago, IL; www.hlb.com 


Fabrication Services Satisfy Prototyping Requirements

A company that machines and fabricates medical device assemblies, instruments, and implant components also provides prototyping services. In addition to design assistance and value engineering, the company offers single-part or assembly fabrication services to satisfy prototype-engineering requirements. 3D Machining Inc., Riviera Beach, FL; www.3dmachining.com 



Insert Molding Prototypes Offered for Critical-Tolerance Devices

A manufacturer offers specialty 
insert molding prototype services for medical devices, components, and subassemblies. The company also provides customers with part design assistance, materials recommendations, and molded samples as a prelude to full-scale production. In addition to vertical clamp and vertical injection molding presses, book mold tooling is also used to secure delicate inserts in place. Needles, catheters, medical cables, and implantables requiring critical tolerances are routinely produced. Aberdeen Technologies Inc., Carol Stream, IL; www.aberdeentech.com 


Copyright ©2004 Medical Product Manufacturing News

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