November 1, 1997

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


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


PVA Sponge

Durable, biocompatible, and hydrophilic

An ultrapure, chemical-resistant sponge is made from a patented polyvinyl acetal polymer that is durable, biocompatible, and highly hydrophilic. Available in a range of densities, the sponge can be manufactured in various shapes and sizes through molding and die-cutting. Surface-treated and impregnated versions can also be supplied. Private-label products, components, and complete assemblies are provided. Merocel Scientific Products, 950 Flanders Rd., Mystic, CT 06355.

Precision Micromachining

Variety of materials can be processed

The machining of intricate shapes and sizes while maintaining tolerances to ±0.00005 in. is the specialty of a company. A wide variety of materials can be processed such as platinum, platinum-iridium, stainless steel, titanium, aluminum, brass, exotic alloys, plastics, and composites. Production and prototype services are available with quick turnaround capabilities. Applications include cardiovascular, ophthalmic, neural, laparoscopic, endoscopic, orthopedic, dental, and surgical devices. Kelco Industries Inc., 6420 Zane Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN 55429.

Impulse Heat Sealers

Feature temperature-control system

A line of impulse heat sealers can achieve high levels of accuracy and performance due to the incorporation of a temperature-control system. Available as an option on the Medical H400 heat sealer, the Accu-Temp system provides 100% temperature accuracy from cycle to cycle. It continually monitors the heat seal temperature without the use of a thermocouple or RTD sensor. Instead, the system takes a direct reading of the heat seal band to measure temperature, thus eliminating any lag in the reading. An optional compact data logger provides a printed record of critical seal parameters such as seal temperature, seal duration, and cooling temperature. The printed record of each cycle provides an additional means of qualifying a given lot. Packworld USA, 539 S. Main St., Nazareth, PA 18064.

Lead Rechargeables

Housed in flame-retardant case

Sealed, pure-lead rechargeable batteries are suitable for a variety of primary, standby, and portable power applications. The Genesis 13-Ah 12-V batteries (Model G12V13Ah10EP) offer high performance in a small, light package. Among the advantages are a high rate discharge performance of 60 W per cell at a 15-minute rate and a low internal resistance of 8.5 m(omega). Hawker Energy Products Inc., 4318 Rainbow Blvd., Ste. 730, Kansas City, KS 66103.

Manufacturing Simulation

Features powerful visualizations

Manufacturers are able to explore new ways of improving their processes with simulation software. The ProModel Optimization Suite 3.5, a Windows-based package, features powerful visualizations, costing features, and statistical capabilities. ProModel Corp., 1875 S. State, Ste. 3400, Orem, UT 84058.

Umbrella Valve

For controlling air- or fluid flow

A molded silicone umbrella valve is supplied for controlling the flow of air or fluids. The flexible valve contains an attachment pin that enables fast and easy snap-fit installation. PressCut Industries, 2828 Nagle St., Dallas, TX 75220.


Surgical Tubing

Made of composite material

A composite tubing material can replace stainless steel and other exotic metals in minimally invasive surgical devices used in laparoscopy, arthroscopy, endoscopy, obstetrics, gynecology, orthopedics, and ophthalmology. Poly-Med II has been tested to withstand 900 V/mil and displays good rigidity, torsional strength, and hoop strength. Available in diameters of 5 mm and larger, the lightweight, radiolucent composite tubing is autoclavable and sterilizable by any other standard method. It is suitable for both disposable and reusable tubing applications. Polygon Co., 440 S. Byrkit Ave., Mishawaka, IN 46544.


Medical-Grade Adhesive Tapes

Offers high tensile strength

Designed with a lightweight, hybrid woven backing, a medical-grade adhesive tape offers high tensile strength and good porosity for products that come into contact with sensitive skin. The Polyken SS 612 tape is made of polyester, cotton, and nylon and is flexible and conformable. It consists of a medical-grade polyacrylate adhesive and is available with a white, silicone-coated release paper. All products are manufactured under GMP standards and are supported by extensive safety testing. Kendall-Polyken, 15 Hampshire St., Mansfield, MA 02048.

Lead-Acid Cells

Provide high discharge rates

Valve-regulated lead-acid batteries are well suited for use in UPS and other applications where high discharge rates are required. The NPX-150 delivers 150 W per cell at the 15-minute discharge rate (1.67 end volts per cell), ensuring high power during the critical 15 minutes following a loss of power. The NPX-100 delivers 95 W per cell at the 15-minute rate. The units are housed in a flame-retardant plastic case, suiting them for use in almost any UPS application. Yuasa-Exide Inc., P.O. Box 14145, Reading, PA 19612.

Tight Tolerances

Components as small as 0.002 in. can be made

Components as small as 0.002 in., and 0.0055-in.-diam holes can be produced by a manufacturer of tight-tolerance medical components. Among the materials routinely processed are stainless steels, platinum, titanium, and plastics. The firm specializes in the manufacture of implantable and precision instrument components for cardiac-pacing, orthopedic, dental-implant, and drug-delivery systems. CAD/CAM systems support several CNC machines including Swiss-type turning, wire and plunge EDM, YAG laser, and multiaxis machining centers. rms, 8600 Evergreen Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55433.


Pouch Sealer

Available in two versions

A continuous sealer for processing medical pouches is available in two versions. The horizontal version has an integral conveyor, and the vertical version seals longer pouches. Both machines have digital controls for seal temperature, jaw pressure, and conveyor speed. The controls can be calibrated to permit machine validation. An alarm function prevents pouches from entering the machine if the established seal parameters are not met. Standard seal width is 7Ž16 in., but other widths can be specified. Machines can be furnished with painted or stainless-steel finishes. Additional options include a hot-stamp printer or embossing unit for pouch coding and a cutter for trimming the excess pouch material above the seal. Packaging Aids Corp., 24 Tiburon St., P.O. Box 9144, San Rafael, CA 94912.


Microfabrication Process

Allows complex structures

Complex three-dimensional structures can be created from small-gauge metal tubing using a company's proprietary microfabrication process. The Nµetch process produces spiral slots, straight slots, and holes as well as complex ribbed, surface-recessed, and serpentine patterns in thin- and thick-walled metal tubing. Applications include the production of recessed features for insert molding, micromechanical components, endoscope assemblies, EMI shielding, and connector assemblies. Neuman MicroTechnologies Inc., 26 S. Main St., #112, Concord, NH 03301.


Adhesive-Lined Tubing

Reduces contamination risk

A line of medical-grade, heat-shrinkable tubing products offers adhesive lining to reduce the risk of contamination from bioburden and fluids in surgical and electrosurgical instruments, catheter systems, and other equipment. When heat is applied to the Altera tubing, the outer jacket shrinks while the inner adhesive layer reflows to seal and bond to most substrates, creating a barrier to fluids and bioburden. The adhesive makes the tubing suitable for strain relief and joining components. It also makes the tubing suitable as a seal in reusable instruments, with the seal preventing tissue and fluids from seeping between the tubing and the instrument. Raychem Corp., 300 Constitution Dr., Menlo Park, CA 94025.

Ultraslim Fans

Only 6 mm thick

Cooling fans measuring only 6 mm thick are available in sizes ranging from 25 to 40 mm2 and in voltage ratings from 5 to 12 V dc. The fans employ a highly integrated motor construction that reduces the overall size of the hub to optimize airflow performance. In addition, a single ball bearing system decreases overall resistance to the motor and minimizes power consumption. As a result, the fans require a low start-up voltage. Indek Corp., Elina Fan, 2360 Qume Dr., Ste. A, San Jose, CA 95131.

Single-Key Switch

Maximum switching voltage of 48 V

A single-key membrane switch is designed as an alternative to the long lead times and high minimums associated with ordering custom membrane panels. The MCS membrane switch measures 3Ž4 in. and has a profile of 4 mm. It is available in a PCB design with through-hole terminals, or a snap-in panel-mount design with solder terminals. The metal diaphragm is constructed from gold-plated stainless steel; operating travel is 0.5 mm, switching current is 125 mA (maximum), and switching voltage is a maximum of 48 V. Gold contacts are available for low-voltage requirements (<5 V). Schurter Inc., 1016 Clegg Ct., P.O. Box 750158, Petaluma, CA 94975.


High-Precision Machining

For prototypes and production runs

A full-service manufacturer specializes in high-precision machining of device components and implants with tolerances from 1 µm to 0.0010 in. With Swiss CNC five-axis lathes, mills, and grinders, the company can deliver both prototype and production runs. Materials include all stainless alloys as well as titanium and other exotic materials. Processes and products are subject to SPC and stringent inspection in order to uphold ISO and FDA GMP quality standards. LaVezzi Precision Inc., 999 Regency Dr., Glendale Heights, IL 60139.

Miniature Bearings

For IV pumps and other applications

Miniature and instrument ball bearings are available in metric and inch sizes ranging from 0.1181 to 1.0 in. OD. Automated facilities maintain high-volume output while providing tight control over quality and economy. The precision bearings are recommended for use in applications requiring reliable performance, such as IV pumps, surgical drills and saws, blood analyzers, recorders, printers, and other critical medical devices. NMB Corp., 9730 Independence Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311.

Nickel-Cadmium Cells

Suitable for portable equipment

Rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries are suitable for demanding high-drain or long-run applications. Rated at 6 V dc at 5.7 Ah, the TE-6757 units feature a slide-in design with quick-disconnect terminals. The cells deliver more than 500 cycles at 100% discharge and measure 6.1 x 2.6 x 1.3 in. Typical applications include portable medical equipment and a broad range of scientific equipment. The units also meet current requirements for state and federal certified recycling programs. Tauber Electronics Inc., 10656 Roseslle St., San Diego, CA 92121.


Adhesive Components and Assemblies

For the medical device and other industries

A contract manufacturer provides custom adhesive components and assemblies to the medical device, diagnostic, and electronics industries. Rotary and reciprocating die-cutting, laminating, slitting, level winding, and sterilizable packaging services are available. The FDA-registered company adheres to GMP standards and maintains multiple cleanrooms with pressure, particulate, and temperature- and humidity-monitoring controls. Pressure-sensitive adhesives, films, foils, and double- and single-coated foams, conductive adhesives, hydrogels, and hydrocolloids are offered. Tapemark Medical/Industrial Fabricating Div., 1685 Marthaler Ln., West St. Paul, MN 55118.

Low-Pressure Sensors

PC-board mountable

Micromachined silicon pressure sensors measure pressures from 1 in. of water to 1 psi. The Sursense family of pressure sensors eliminate the traditional limitations of piezoresistive technology for measuring low pressures, such as offset errors related to gravity, temperature sensitivity, vibration, and long-term drift. The sensors can replace hot-wire anemometers for airflow sensing, thereby eliminating position-sensitivity problems. PCB-mountable sensors for medical instrumentation is one application incorporating the Sursense sensors. Data Instruments Inc., 100 Discovery Way, Acton, MA 01720.

Fluoropolymer Coatings

Increase surface hardness

Four formulations have been added to a line of fluoropolymer coatings for medical and industrial use. Applied through the supplier's infused-matrix technology, the coatings can increase surface hardness to Rc 68 and enhance corrosion resistance. The coatings also function as a permanent dry-film lubricant and can lower a component's coefficient of friction. Endura Coatings, 2099 Riggs, Warren, MI 48091.


Needleless Valves

Reduce risk of infection

Disposable needleless valves were developed for use as substitutes for needle ports in IV applications. Needleless valves reduce the risk of infection to health-care providers by replacing hypodermic needle ports. The line consists of a variety of low-priming-volume disposable parts including slip luer valves, y-ports, t-ports, 1Ž4-in. tubing valves, and ANSI-standard valves. Parts are available in a variety of materials that can with stand gamma, EtO, or autoclave sterilization. The ISO 9001­certified, GMP-compliant company offers a variety of plastic components and assemblies for use in disposable medical devices. Halkey-Roberts Corp., 11600 9th St. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33716.

Manufacturing Documentation

Software manages critical information

A software program is the first in a series of Windows tools designed to manage critical information used to control manufacturing documentation. DocuStat's main screen lets the user navigate up to four additional areas. The Document Information screens have all the document attributes listed. The user can also search for and view text documents and drawings from these screens. Engineering Change Control allows the user to log and track engineering changes. When a product code is entered in DMR Reconciliation, a list shows documents that have been changed and those that have remained the same since the last build. Wellport, 3495 Winton Pl., Bldg. B, Rochester, NY 14623.

Membrane Switches

Tested to ensure reliability

State-of-the-art screen printing, color matching, die-cutting, and laminating processes combined with environmental and life-cycle testing ensure the production of reliable membrane switches. The manufacturer works closely with customers during the design of new parts to make sure that all application requirements are met. The use of laser cutting allows fast, precise prototyping without tooling. Readily available from the firm are a series of design guides and engineering aids. Nelson Name Plate Co., 3191 Casitas Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90039.

Winding Machines

For converting metals, plastics, rubbers

Winding equipment and control systems are engineered for use in converting metals, plastics, and rubbers. A full-color brochure details the supplier's line of traverse winders, pancake winders, horizontal winders, accumulators, and specialized strip-handling equipment. The publication also lists accessories such as expanding mandrels, precision investment spools, hub adapters, interleaf tensioners, interleaf take-ups, spool-flange spreaders, and stock guides. Coil Technology Inc., P.O. Box 477, Wadsworth, OH 44282.

Miniature Bearings

In metric and imperial sizes

An extensive selection of miniature bearings is presented in a manufacturer's product catalog. Miniature bearings are available from stock in metric and imperial sizes. The supplier offers fast delivery on orders ranging from a few bearings to several thousand units. Boca Bearing Co., 7040 W. Palmetto Park Rd., Ste. 2304, Boca Raton, FL 33433.


Adhesives Development

New materials tested

A laboratory offers adhesives development, research, and pilot production. Examples of medical applications include the formulation of medicine-impregnated pressure-sensitive adhesives, electrically conductive adhesives, hydrophylic adhesives, wound-management films, and artificial lens­delivery systems. A pilot production laboratory is designed to test new materials at a fraction of the cost of full-scale production. Adhesive Consultants, 383 Stanton Ave., Akron, OH 44301.

Ultraprecision Components

Machined with eight-axis CNC equipment

A firm's eight-axis Swiss-style CNC equipment permits ultraminiature parts to be machined in one operation. The use of simultaneous multitool/multifunction processing results in reduced machining and handling times as well as lower costs. Continuous and short-run SPC manufacturing techniques ensure the production of accurate and precise parts. Batch and continuous-run processes are available for a variety of applications and materials. Remmele Engineering Inc., Production Machining Div., 17701 U.S. Hwy. 10, Big Lake, MN 55309.

Wound-Care Products

Including island dressings

A line of wound-care products including island dressings is available on a contract basis. The company offers die-cutting, laminating, slitting, printing, and packaging of adhesive devices and components. Tolerances to within ±0.005 in. can be achieved. Adhesives include hypoallergenic, transfer, pattern-coated, high-temperature, acrylic, and rubber-based systems. Orders can be filled within 1­3 weeks, and qualifying prototype runs are available. Precision Converters Inc., 10969 Shady Trail, Ste. 101, Dallas, TX 75220.

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