While promoting a radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag for tracking hoses in pharmaceutical processing plants, AdvantaPure (Southampton, PA; www.advantapure.com) encountered significant interest from other markets desiring the technology for their own tracking needs. The company happily accommodated requests and tailored the tag for use on pumps and valves. But when manufacturers of single-use products expressed interest in an RFID solution for bioprocessing bags, one obstacle stood in the way: compatibility
with gamma sterilization.
When laparoscopic and other minimally invasive surgeries began to emerge as viable procedures, the medical industry realized that many traditional tools and materials would no longer suffice. “It was one of those situations where the market forced the development on us,” explains Jim Shobert, chairman of the engineered materials firm Polygon Co. (Walkerton, IN; www.polygon.com).
The powRgrip collet system from Rego-Fix (Indianapolis; www.rego-fix.com) uses a toolholder and collet that are joined to produce 6 tn of clamping force. Many clamp systems in the industry use heat and hydraulics to expand materials, but this unit uses the mechanical properties of the holder material to generate a gripping force with a runout below 0.0001 in. Efficient operation and ease of use provide added benefits, as the system can press in a tool or remove it from the holder in less than 10 seconds. Furthermore, because the system does not use processes relying on high levels of heat, users can handle tools safely and immediately after a tool change.