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Top Products and Services of the Year: Reader's Choice (continued)

Top Products and Services of the Year: Reader's Choice (continued)

EDM Dictionary

Contains 350 definitions

A 44-page illustrated pocket dictionary contains 350 definitions of terms pertaining to EDM. The booklet can help EDM personnel of all levels, from students and apprentices to operators and managers, and includes common abbreviations and cross-references. Words and concepts range in complexity and specificity from polarity and platen to arc duration, quill, and crater depth. The dictionary is published by a manufacturer of ram, CNC-ram, and wire EDM systems for contract job, mold, die, and forge shops. Hansvedt EDM, P.O. Box 6099, Urbana, IL 61801.

Miniature Parts

As small as 1Ž8 in.

Ultraprecision machining and assembly of miniature, complex, and critical mechanical components as small as 1Ž8 in. long are available from a company. A range of materials are routinely machined including conventional metals, titanium, all grades of stainless steel, and aluminum, as well as precious and exotic metals, for industries requiring tolerances to 0.00005 in. A large QC staff supported by up-to-date microscopes, gages, and other inspection equipment perform quality checks after each step of the machining process. The company is certified for MIL-I-45208. Owens Industries Inc., 7815 S. 6th St., Oak Creek, WI 53154.

Nickel­Metal Hydride Battery Packs

For use in medical OEM applications

Standard and custom high-capacity nickel­metal hydride rechargeable batteries and battery packs are designed for use in medical OEM applications. The nontoxic, recyclable, and quick-charging units are designed to work with the user's existing nickel-cadmium chargers. Also available are custom cells modified to suit specific requirements regarding self-discharge, capacity, discharge rate, cycle life, and charge rate. Harding Energy Inc., One Energy Ctr., Norton Shores, MI 49441.

Thermoplastic Polyurethane

Features high tear strength, elongation, and more

Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), as presented in an eight-page design guide, can be supplied in a range of durometers characterized by high tear strength, elongation, abrasion resistance, and resistance to substances such as hydrocarbons, chemicals, ozone, bacteria, and moisture. Focusing on the supplier's own TPU film and sheet, the guide compares TPU to other commonly used thermoplastic materials such as vinyl. TPU can be fabricated in various ways, including die-cutting, heat and RF sealing, laminating, and vacuum forming. The high-performance material is recommended for use in diverse critical applications. The supplier can provide urethane as blown film or extruded sheet, tubing, cord, and profiles. JPS Elastomerics Corp., 9 Sullivan Rd., Holyoke, MA 01040.

Lithium Power Sources

For portable devices

Available are several models of lithium batteries designed for use in portable medical equipment. The manufacturer reports that the 9-V, UL-recognized U9VL-J lithium battery with full metal jacket lasts up to 4 times longer than any alkaline and 10 times longer than any carbon-zinc 9-V batteries. The high-energy 2/3A cell--Model UB123A--for 3-V industrial applications can be used to supply power backup to computers and other sensitive equipment. The compact U3VL contains a capacity of 3600 mAh in the same volume as a standard 9-V battery. Also available are Thin-Cell batteries featuring thicknesses of as little as 0.019 in., high-rate lithium­manganese dioxide cylindrical cells, and lithium-ion rechargeable units. Ultralife Batteries Inc., Summit Plaza, 160 Summit Ave., Montvale, NJ 07645.

Label Engineering Guidelines

Analyze common errors

An eight-page publication entitled Label Engineering Principles and Guidelines is written to help engineers create accurate label specifications. The brochure begins by analyzing common errors, most of which arise from mistakes during engineering and ordering, not from manufacturing. The second section details the five key components of documentation and explains the proper use of blueprints and color proofs. The booklet also discusses how to create printable artwork and gives tips on supplying reflective art or transmitting digital art. The guidebook finishes with an engineering checklist of 15 questions designed to ensure that critical performance requirements are properly documented. By implementing the procedures outlined in the booklet, engineers can help reduce defect rates and minimize production costs. Steven Label Corp., 11926 Burke St., Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670.

Plastic Buckles

Feature slim-profile design

Strong, lightweight side-release buckles employ a slim-profile design that blends into webbing. The L-series buckles feature contoured openings for comfortable and easy release and can be molded from nylon or acetal. The buckles weigh only 1Ž5 oz and have a 100-lb break strength. Two sizes are available for use with 3Ž4- and 1-in. webbing. Custom color matching is available. American Cord & Webbing Company, Inc., 88 Century Dr., Woonsocket, RI 02895.


For use in a variety of devices

An FDA-registered firm specializes in the development and manufacture of adhesive and conductive hydrogels for use in a variety of medical devices including electrodes, ostomy appliances, wound dressings, and other applications requiring a unique adhesive that is highly compatible with skin. The company's product line includes a variety of natural and synthetic polymer hydrogels that differ in terms of adhesion levels, physical characteristics, and conductive properties. Hydrogels are available in master rolls, slit rolls, or die-cut sheets. LecTec Corp., 10701 Red Circle Dr., Minnetonka, MN 55343.

Heat-Shrink Tubing

Shrinks quickly at 275°F

Biocompatible heat-shrink tubing shrinks quickly at 275°F onto unprimed materials, stainless steels, glass, and Kynar. Insul-Grip HS-714 creates a moisture-resistant seal and can be sterilized via EtO, autoclave, hydrogen peroxide gas, and glutaraldehyde. The tubing exhibits a dielectric strength of 1800­2000 V/mil and meets USP Class VI requirements. Supplied cut to length and coiled, the tubing can be specified with shrink ratios ranging from 1.3:1 to 3:1 and ID sizes from 3Ž64 to 1 in. Longitudinal shrinkage is ±5%. Insultab Inc., 50 Everberg Rd., Woburn, MA 01801.

Miniature Self-Tapping Screws

Eliminate need for drilling holes

By eliminating the need for drilling and tapping holes, self-tapping screws speed up assembly. The screws can be inserted directly into existing holes and are self-locking. They allow designers to vary the hole size and torque requirements according to the material. They are made from 303 stainless steel and are available in flat and flat-fillister head styles in sizes from #000 to #2. Available lengths are 1Ž8, 3Ž16, and 1Ž4 in. They can be custom made in brass, steel, and nickel-silver. J.I. Morris Co., 394 Elm St., P.O. Box 70, Southbridge, MA 01550.

Light-Measurement Instruments

Catalog includes tutorials

A catalog of light-measurement instruments includes tutorials describing basic light-measurement concepts such as power measurement, wave effects, and hardware considerations. Written as a resource for technical personnel of all levels, the 36-page guide is organized according to instruments and applications. The publication describes detectors, filters, input optics, and accessories and examines the configuration of turnkey systems for photometry, radiometry, phototherapy, UV curing, photoresist processing, germicidal applications, laser processing, LEDs, and flash measurement. Featured products include the IL1400A radiometer/photometer, which uses smart preprogrammed detectors; the IL1700 research radiometer; and the IL1800 lock-in radiometer for precise measurement of low light levels. International Light Inc., 17 Graf Rd., Newburyport, MA 01950.


Catalog includes selection guide

Industrial casters and wheels from eight major suppliers are collected in an illustrated 112-page buyers guide. The catalog includes a selection guide written to help designers choose the appropriate caster, wheel tread, and brake for a given application. A separate section is devoted to casters used in the health-care industry. An additional 32-page section lists casters and wheels by manufacturer and distributor ordering information, enabling users to cross-reference and identify casters using only a serial number. Most items are available from stock. Youngs, 55 Cherry Ln., Souderton, PA 18964.

Rechargeable Cells

For medical applications

Nickel­metal hydride rechargeable batteries for portable devices are available for such applications as data collection, control and measurement, medical devices, and computers. Available in a variety of standard sizes, Duracell batteries range in voltage current from 4.8 to 12 V and have rated capacities of 1200 to 3200 mAh. Many of the batteries are offered with PowerSmart technology, which permits them to communicate 34 different battery data values to a host device--including number of cycles and state of charge--by means of a microchip. Duracell Inc., Berkshire Corporate Park, Bethel, CT 06801.

Luer Components

Including rotating-collar male luer-lock adapters

High-precision, reusable luer components are presented in a catalog. Standard components in plated brass and type 316 stainless steel are available, as well as a series of rotating-collar male luer-lock adapters for use where rotation of the male and female luer is difficult or impossible. The catalog also contains expanded listings of tube barb and threaded fittings. S4J Manufacturing Services Inc., 374 Remsen Ave., New Brunswick, NJ 08901.

Tube-Gripping Device

For tubing, wire, and fiber optics

A device is designed to handle small- to medium-diameter tubing, wire, and fiber optics during such operations as tip forming, soldering, polishing, and bonding. The Tube Gripper uses a pressurized elastomeric bladder that prevents damage to the item being held. Capable of withstanding axial loads up to 10 lb without slippage, the stainless-steel device is available in five sizes that can accommodate components up to 0.500 in. diam. Multiple Tube Grippers can be used for high-throughput or automated applications. Medical Device Manufacturing, 1020 N. Lemon St., Orange, CA 92867.

Heat-Sterilizable Epoxy

Withstands up to 500°F

An epoxy formulation withstands temperatures up to 500°F and can be used to assemble, bond, and insulate instrumentation requiring hot sterilization. Resbond S5H13 cures at room temperature to provide good thermal-shock resistance, high-temperature stability, and electrical insulation. The machinable material also resists corrosion, common chemicals, and solvents. Containing no solvents or volatile compounds, the epoxy is safe and easy to use, requiring only simple mixing before application. Resbond S5H13 has been successfully used to bond bipolar electrocautery devices requiring repeated steam sterilization cycles at 375°F. The epoxy comes packaged in premeasured kits, pint containers, gallon containers, and 5-gal pails. Cotronics Corp., 3379 Shore Pky., Brooklyn, NY 11235.

Medical Batteries

For infusion pumps, oxygen monitors, and more

A manufacturer of replacement battery packs offers an extensive product line. Available are specifically biomedical replacement, sealed lead-acid, lithium, and nickel-cadmium batteries, among others. Typical applications include ambulatory monitoring units, infusion pumps, oxygen monitors, and other compact medical equipment. Unipower Corp., 1216 W. 96th St., Minneapolis, MN 55431.

Miniature Peristaltic Pump

Flow rates from 0.004 to 18 ml/min

A low-flow fluid pump is designed for applications where space is limited. The Model P625 has built-in control circuitry that provides precise bidirectional speed regulation using a single power supply and an analog control voltage. The pump's operating current is low enough for battery-powered applications. Tube sets are available in a range of materials and sizes. The pump measures 1.06 x 1.25 x 2.40 in. and weighs 55 g. Instech Laboratories Inc., 5209 Militia Hill Rd., Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462.

ISO 9000 Manual

Discusses policies, procedures, and forms

A manual, complete with policies, procedures, and forms, is available to ease documentation of quality systems for ISO 9000 certification. The manual is arranged in five sections. Part I provides ISO 9000 background, with an overview of the five ISO standards. Part II guides the user through planning, formatting, and writing policies and procedures for operations. Part III is a quality manual that addresses all aspects of ISO 9001. Part IV contains sample responses for each of the 20 key topics addressed by the ISO 9001 standard. Part V consists of reports, forms, checklists, and documents for operations and manufacturing. The manual is available in both text and software formats. American Business Resources Inc., 1550 Dover St., Ste. 1, Lakewood, CO 80125.

Precision-Machined Parts

Tolerances as tight as ±0.0001 in.

A contract manufacturer of miniature precision-machined parts with tolerances as tight as ±0.0001 in. offers services that include complex drilling, cross-drilling, centerless grinding, threading, milling, and burnishing. From prototypes to full production runs, parts can be produced from exotic, precious, and base metals as well as machinable plastics. Typical medical applications for the parts are pacing devices, catheter connectors, dental and orthopedic implants, and angioplasty devices. Microcision Inc., 5805 Keystone St., Philadelphia, PA 19135.

PVA Sponge

Provides good liquid absorption

A sponge made of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) provides good liquid absorption, wicking characteristics, and excellent chemical resistance. The Clinicel PVA sponge consists of 3-D, interconnected open cells that are soft and pliable when wet. The interconnected cell structure produces a sponge that is highly absorbent and is virtually lint- and fiber-free. The PVA sponge is an inert material that is not affected by hydrocarbons, acids, or most chemicals. Standard sizes and densities are offered. Custom sizes are available to meet individual requirements. M-Pact, 1040 OCL Pky., Eudora, KS 66025.

Miniature Pressure Sensors

Feature rugged sensing member

A family of miniature stainless-steel diaphragm pressure sensors has been designed for applications that require small size and an environmentally rugged sensing member. The sensors come in a variety of styles, including a cylindrical probe with a 0.125-in. diam, a 0.04-in. low-profile surface mount, and a 10-32 UNF or M5 x 0.8 threaded unit with either a flush or recessed diaphragm. Available in full-scale pressure ranges of 5­5000 psi and 0.35­350 bar, they are useful for both static and dynamic measurements. Some models are capable of a flat response rate to greater than 90 kHz. Entran Devices Inc., 10 Washington Ave., Fairfield, NJ 07004.

Laser Microdrilling

For holes as small as 30 µm

A manufacturer of drilling and machining systems offers turnkey laser systems and contract services for the noncontact microdrilling of holes as small as 30 µm. Delicate substrates such as fused silica, polyester, and multilumen catheters as well as Teflon, polypropylenes, polyethylenes, and nylons can be machined easily. The drilling systems feature a self-contained CO2 laser that prevents material distortion or particle migration. Depth penetration can be precisely controlled, eliminating back-wall strike when drilling miniature and multilumen tubes. A proprietary processing technique also prevents cratering or the formation of raised edges around drilled holes. The Industrial Laser Source, 1C Spaceway Ln., Hopedale, MA 01747.

Custom Fiber Optics

For lighting and imaging

A firm specializes in producing custom optical fibers for both lighting and imaging applications. In addition to optical fibers, the company offers a broad range of custom high-loss, short-distance fiber-optic products for numerous computer and medical applications. Available are UV, laser, visible illumination, and special-effects products. Offered is a patented compact fiber-optic light source that uses natural convection for heat management. Both small- and large-scale projects can be accommodated. Fiber Touch International Inc., 5942 Edinger Ave., Ste. 113, Huntington Beach, CA 92649.

Automatic Heat Sealer

Provides strong seals

Built on the band-sealing principle and designed to control temperature instead of voltage, a heat sealing machine consistently provides strong seals. The BD-II sealer handles lightweight bags and sachets of polyethylene, vinyls, coated papers, and other materials. It has a capacity of up to 70 bags per minute and a sealing speed of up to 9.3 m/min. The sealer comes with a height-adjustable conveyor and with casters for easy moving. The conveyor can be tilted from the horizontal position to about 45°. Optical equipment includes a continuous coder, hot printer, emboss coder, dust cleaner, wider conveyor, and special-pattern compression sealing rollers and gusset rollers for gusseted bags. American-Newlong Inc., 5310 S. Harding St., Indianapolis, IN 46217.

Coating/Surface Modification

For medical applications

Ion implantation and coating equipment and services are available to biomedical and dental companies. Ion-beam texturing modifies surface topography to create desired nanoscale structures and increase effective surface area on such devices as electrophysiology catheters and pacing leads. Extremely dense, strongly adherent radiopaque coatings for use on stents, catheters, guidewires, and other intravenous devices are customized to suit the substrate and application and can be selectively deposited to make any particular area opaque under fluoroscopy. Silver-based multilayer antimicrobial coatings for transcutaneous devices can be deposited on a wide variety of substrate materials and geometries. Implant Sciences Corp., 107 Audubon Rd. #5, Wakefield, MA 01880.

Catheter-Bonding Adhesives

Solids and solvent free

A line of catheter-bonding adhesives is formulated to provide a 100% solvent-free, low-cost solution for catheter manufacturing. The CTH adhesives have good adhesion, flexibility, and high cure speeds and processability. In-line quality control is made possible with their fluorescing characteristics. The adhesives bond to a variety of rigid and flexible plastics, glass, and metals. One transparent surface is needed to allow UV or visible light to penetrate. With this combination the bond is clear and colorless and will maintain structural integrity of assembly. The adhesives are USP Class VI compliant. Dymax Corp., 51 Greenwoods Rd., Torrington, CT 06790.

Metal Tubing

Available in metric and fractional sizes

Mill lengths and sizes of 300-series stainless-steel, aluminum, and nickel­nickel-based alloy tubing and pipe are supplied from stock from a manufacturer. Both metric and fractional sizes are available, and custom cutting capabilities and prototype through mill runs are also offered. The firm supplies stock and cut-to-order tubing to a diverse range of industries including medical, biomedical, laboratory, and instrumentation. Eagle Stainless Tube Corp., 10 Discovery Way, Franklin, MA 02038.

Lead-Acid Batteries

Use thin lead foil

Lead-acid batteries use an extremely thin lead foil as the basis for spiral-round plates that take the place of traditional sponge lead or lead calcium. The cells in the TMF batteries offer the advantage of the 2.0 open-circuit cell voltage associated with lead acid, yet they exhibit a flat voltage profile under a broad range of discharge currents; the units are also rechargeable. The TMF cells can replace nickel-cadmium and nickel­metal hydride batteries in many applications. Also available from the firm are battery chargers and custom assemblies. House of Batteries, 16512 Burke Ln., Huntington Beach, CA 92647.

Electrically Conductive Tapes

Provide long-term stability

Pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes are constructed with a patented electrically conductive acrylic adhesive that maintains long-term stability while resisting environmental stress. Several standard products are available, including ARclad 8001, which is recommended for low-amperage electrical connections, and ARclad 8257, a transfer adhesive providing instant high-strength bonds for instrumentation components. Also available is Flexshield 8269, a highly flexible metallized-fabric tape for use in die-cut EMI shields. In addition, the supplier offers a patented adhesive that absorbs moisture from skin and reduces bacterial growth. Adhesives Research Inc., P.O. Box 100, Glen Rock, PA 17327.

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