FOCUS ON EQUIPMENT
Fast Cycle Times Achieved by Catheter Manufacturing Equipment
A compact catheter manufacturing system is suitable for taper, radius, soft, closed-end, and dilator tips; flaring; neck-downs; butt, overlap, and braid-to-nonbraid welds; balloon tips and welds; marker band embedding and placement; and single- and multilumen applications. The semiautomated Saffire 4200 builds on the manufacturer’s Pirf technology while offering a variety of expanded features. Consisting of a generator and one of two forming platforms, depending on insertion force requirements, the system features proprietary inductive heating technology that allows for higher temperatures than previous equipment while extending the life of the heater. An improved cooling manifold reduces cycle times. Platforms can be used with various tipping, welding, and forming molds for a range of applications.
Sebra, Tucson, AZ
Automated Butt-Welding System Offers Repeatability
By providing automation of axial force, an axial compression bonder offers reliable and repeatable joint creation, which has been an engineering obstacle in the past owing to the inherently weak nature of butt welds, according to the system’s manufacturer. In addition, the bonder provides a hands-free means of butt-welding two faces of polymer tubing, including single- to multilumen braided shafts. The system can perform each butt weld within 5 to 30 seconds, depending on the size and material of the tubes, and produces weld areas as narrow as 1 mm. It features such parameter controls as grip pressure, heat duration, cool duration, and axial force. An optional vision system that employs an LCD display and video camera with variable magnification is available to assist with precise component positioning.
Beahm Designs Inc., Campbell, CA
Expander Processes Heat-Shrinkable, Small-Diameter Tubing
A company’s tubing expander processes heat-shrinkable tubing with ODs ranging from 0.01 to 0.38 in. by heating products while pressurizing the inside in order to induce expansion. Expanded tubing is then level-wound onto an output spool on a continuous basis. The tubing expander features heating and cooling systems, which the company says allow the machine to run at higher speeds while producing less waste and fewer tubing bursts. In addition, tubing can be sealed off by a pressure pinch for burst repair. Parameters such as pressure, temperature, speed, and pull ratios can be programmed via a touch screen and stored in recipes for easy editing and retrieval.
Engineering By Design, San Jose, CA
Plasma Welding System Suited for Use with Small Wires and Tubes
Designed for joining operations involving small wires and tubes, a semiautomated plasma welding system is suited for use with such medical products as guidewires, angioplasty wires, vascular closure wires, biopsy tubes, and aspiration tubes. A programmable logic controller and a DT-100 programmable weld controller regulate weld parameters, including time, pulsing, slopes, and preflow and postflow gases. Part clamping, movement to weld position, and retraction to unload the part are pneumatically controlled. To ensure proper weld alignment, x-y-z torch slides can adjust the position of the plasma welding torch. Furthermore, wire or tube that sticks out from the tooling can be set with micrometer adjustment; tooling is also available to accommodate different tube and wire sizes.
Process Welding Systems Inc., Lavergne, TN