Originally Published MPMN
Originally Published MPMN October 2003
Thermoforming Machinery Creates Single-Paneled Enclosures
|A thermoformer |
from Kintz Plastics can create parts from
a continuous sheet
To produce large medical devices, a thermoforming company invested in a four-station rotary thermoformer, capable of molding enclosures from one continuous sheet of plastic.
With the new machinery, Kintz Plastics Inc. (Howes Cave, NY; www.kintz.com) can form parts measuring up to 9 ¥ 13 ¥ 5 ft from a single panel of plastic. The parts can be made into protective covers for large-sized devices such as x-ray or blood-analysis equipment.
"Medical equipment has gotten larger over the years and more sophisticated, and many units are as large as three or four washing machines or big office desks," says Alec Schibanoff, of the company's marketing agency. "In the past, four or five panels were formed and bolted together, but with this machine, only one panel is needed."
In the thermoform process, a weight or mold is dropped onto a sheet of plastic, creating a specific shape and size by using heat, vacuum, and pressure. According to Schibanoff, using one sheet means less labor and fewer seams. Having too many seams increases the chance of liquids, grease, and dirt contaminating the machine's inner parts.
The equipment is housed in the company's newly built Tech Center, created to accommodate the growing number of responsibilities and employees of the engineering staff. The customers previously fulfilled the engineering role while the company strictly manufactured the products. More recently, the engineering staff took on the task of simplifying the manufacturing process for customers through parts reductions and faster assembly.
Copyright ©2003 Medical Product Manufacturing News