Sometimes a minor change can have a major impact. By simply adding an optional air-feed cutter bushing to its established Medline tubing puller/cutter, for example, Conair (Cranberry Township, PA) claims to have dramatically improved process efficiency, ultimately saving customers time and money.
"We try to feel our customers' pain and come up with solutions," Bob Bessemer, Conair sales manager, medical extrusion, said yesterday at MD&M West. "[The optional bushing design] looks very simple, but it actually solves a big problem."
The problem, he explained, stems from the demand for smaller, more-flexible tubing designs for heart and brain catheters. As it shrinks in size and increases in flexibility, tubing often lacks the column strength to effectively move through the cutter because the blade can actually act as a barrier. In turn, the interruption of movement can jam the machine. To avoid this scenario, companies are forced to take the tiny, uncut, flexible tubes to another room to have someone hand-measure and cut them, Bessemer said.
With the improved bushing design, however, Conair's Medline puller/cutter employs vacuum to seamlessly suck these tricky tubing configurations into the machine. As a result, Bessemer noted, the puller/cutter streamlines the process and eliminates a manual operation, effectively saving users time and money.
Shana Leonard is executive editor of the UBM Canon MedTech Group.