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Tubing-Processing Systems

Originally Published July 2000

EQUIPMENT NEWS

Tubing-Processing Systems

Tube Expander

A pneumatic tube expander features a cushioned jaw stroke, which helps avoid tube splitting on expansion. The Model 595AC is suitable for PVC, polyurethane, silicone, latex, rubber, and other elastomeric tubing. A threaded stop screw permits tube expansion width to be adjusted to the customer's exact requirement. The expander is offered with either straight or 90° jaws. Straight jaws are used with materials that slowly return to normal after expansion and are available for tubing from 0.062 to 0.500 in. ID. Ninety-degree jaws are used for tubing that returns very quickly to normal. The jaws are Teflon-coated and are available for tubing from 0.062 to 0.375 in. ID. Special jaw sizes for both types are available. The 595AC expander is also supplied with a gauged and regulated foot pedal. Lakeview Equipment Inc., 2010A Lehigh Ave., Glenview, IL 60025.


Drilling and Punching Equipment

A company offers manual and automatic punching and drilling equipment. Included is a manual press tooled for drilling holes in a spiral pattern in a multilumen catheter. Additional tooling also allows skiving operations to be performed on the same machine. The punch press is capable of eye cutting and skiving of air lumens in a dual-lumen tube. Pneumatic equipment is also available. Automatic drilling, punching, and indexing can be provided for high-volume production. The equipment features PLC capabilities and program storage for ease of setup in multiple job operations. PlasticWeld Systems Inc., 3690 Coomer Rd., Newfane, NY 14108.


Laser Micromachining Station

A laser micromachining workstation is custom built for specific applications. Various lasers can be utilized in the workstation, including UV waveguide, excimer, or Nd:YAG, and each is matched with compatible optics. The unit provides a large work area that can be fitted with different types of stages, from x-y-z to rotary, and is suitable for tubing processing. Software packages contain machine vision and an automated microinspector to aid with the accuracy, speed, and quality of processing. The machine is also used to drill holes in catheters and metal tubing. Potomac Photonics, 4445 Nicole Dr., Lanham, MD 20706.


Improved Extruders

General-purpose extruders have been improved. All control panels have been redesigned and ac vector drives standardized. Communication outputs are available for PLC integration. A single-bolt quick-release clamp has been added for die, screw, and screen changes, and is available on both new and existing extruders. The feed hopper sampling chutes and shutoff slides have also been redesigned. A library of screws can be borrowed for short trial runs, with the option of purchasing the screws. The extruders are available in sizes 1¼ through 3½ in. Welex Inc., 850 Jolly Rd., Blue Bell, PA 19422.


Spindle System

A dual spindle system was created to solve several problems in winding continuous lengths of a difficult-to-handle product. The MS 103 PMC features two spindles that operate through a common dancer system to minimize changeover from full to empty spools. A computer supervises the functions and winding patterns to ensure the precise placement of successive layers while maintaining the proper tension. The package width measures up to 20 in., the winding diameter up to 24 in., and package weight up to 100 lb. Line speed reaches 600 ft/min with tension control between 3 and 32 oz. Three preprogrammed winding patterns are standard but infinite variations are possible. Progressive Machine Company, Inc., 21 Van Natta Dr., Ringwood Industrial Park, Ringwood, NJ 07456.


Programmable Cutting Machine

A benchtop programmable cutting machine for medical-grade tubing uses a system for solvent dispensing on the tube ends. The Readycut system releases the tubing prepared for immediate assembly. It is suitable for medical tubing sets where the cut-length precision and accuracy, and the quality of solvent dispensing are critical. A standard uncoiling system and tubing reel holder are included. An optional motorized uncoiler is also available. TechnoMed Inc., 59 Stiles Rd., Salem, NH 03079.


Angled Hole Driller

A CNC catheter hole driller places angled holes in tubing to allow directed injection. Many hole patterns and locations can be programmed through an integral keypad, and various hole-making systems are available to punch or drill oval and round holes. These access holes in catheters allow injection, drainage, balloon inflation, and sensor placement. Technical Innovations Inc., 20009 N. Hwy. 36, Bldg. 2, Rt. 2, Box 2034-B, Brazoria, TX 77422.


Convection Heating Oven

A heating oven produces an even heat distribution to ensure 360° shrinkage on parts being processed. The Accu-heat II oven is suitable for cleanrooms and provides automatic cooldown and shutoff. Included in the system is a microprocessor-based 1/16 DIN temperature controller with thermocouple input. A programmable dc controller on the conveyor belts has digital closed-loop feedback and an LED display and calibrates in direct reading units. It also delivers ±0.02 of set speed, down to 0 in./min. Strategic Products Inc., 18 Marina Isles Blvd., #202, Indian Harbour Beach, FL 32937.


Rotary Blade Cutting Machine

A rotary blade tubing cutter processes tubing such as PVC, silicone, multilumen, synthetic rubber, PEEK, and vinyl, among others. Capable of cutting tubing with ODs up to ½ in. depending on material, the Model WC600C system produces lengths from 0.10 to 999,999.99 in. It has a batching feature and five variable feed rates. A self-centering belt feed mechanism and the rotary cutting blade provide length accuracy without crushing the material. Programming the WC600C uses a four-line keypad display. The cutter measures 14 x 13 x 8 3/4 in. and weighs 24 lb. The Eraser Company, Inc., P.O. Box 4961 Olivia Dr., Syracuse, NY 13221.


Servo Puller and Cutting System

Designed for catheter tubing production, a servo puller and cutting system uses no gears, toothed timing belts, shafts, or other mechanical transmission that may cause inertia. The system uses three motors—one for each of the belts, and one for the cutter. Touch-screen control software features include a switching output to change tubing inflation air levels for proportional changes in bump tubing ID/OD ratios. The pullers are fully digital and accept speed commands from the laser OD control system. The system is immune to bump cut length creep. Standard pullers are available in 1½ x 12 in., with other sizes available. Wayne Machine and Die Co., 100 Furler St., Totowa, NJ 07512.


Tubing Set Coiler

A coiling machine is used in the manufacture of flexible tubing sets and wire and fiber-optic cables. The Mini-Winder is three times faster than conventional methods of coiling and packaging. Equipped with computer controls, the machine rotates the turntable the exact number of turns necessary to make the coil. Speed, size of coil, number of rotations, direction of motor, height of mandrel, and other features are easily adjusted. After a coil is complete, the mandrel retracts, enabling the operator to slide the finished product into a package without lifting. The Mini-Winder is suitable for cleanrooms. S-Y-M Products Co., P.O. Box 112160, Stamford, CT 06911.



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