Partnership Expands Design, Development, and Manufacturing Capabilities

Partnership Expands Design, Development, and Manufacturing Capabilities

The Leach Technology Group (Westport, CT; www.ummelec.com) and Evergreen Research Inc. (Golden, CO) have joined in a strategic alliance. The partnership will allow the two companies to use each other's capabilities to provide a broader range of services to their customers.

Leach Technology Group has expertise in industrial design, product development, and manufacturing. Evergreen Research specializes in therapeutic medical devices, particularly in the dialysis, thoracic surgery, and respiratory segments, and offers product development as well as pilot-run and small-volume manufacturing. Its core capabilities include electronics, mechanical design, software development, and project management.

"This partnership will enable both companies to increase their product and services portfolios," says Robert F. Doman, president of Leach Technology Group. "We're combining Evergreen's history of developing therapeutic medical devices with Leach Technology Group's experience in developing and manufacturing diagnostic devices."

George J. Eilers, president of Evergreen Research Inc., adds, "Our association with Leach Technology Group will provide our customers with a broader range of technical and manufacturing capabilities to draw upon."

Karim Marouf

Rollprint, Sengewald Announce Partnership

Rollprint, Sengewald Announce Partnership

Rollprint Packaging Products and Sengewald will offer medical packaging products globally through a new distribution agreement.

Combining manufacturing capabilities on two continents, Rollprint Packaging Products Inc. (Addison, IL; www.rollprint.com) and the Sengewald business unit of Pactiv Corp. (Halle, Germany; www.pactiv.com) have joined forces to supply a complete line of medical packaging products on a global scale. The partnership, which brings together 100 years of combined packaging experience, will serve established markets and create a reliable supply line for Asia and other emerging sectors. According to Pactiv director of sales and marketing Michael Troedel, this combined effort will "benefit packagers by offering an alternative supply stream and the ability to minimize qualification procedures worldwide." The two companies also cite reduced customer costs and increased development resources as benefits. Propyflex IV bags, ClearFoil ultra-high-barrier laminates, Allegro peelable sealants, and FlexForm forming webs are among the products offered.

Zachary Turke

Coated Medical Films Enhance Adhesion and Patient Comfort

Coated Medical Films Enhance Adhesion and Patient Comfort

Tyco Models FF 400 and FF 401 are highly breathable, flexible microporous films.

In response to industry demand for a product that provides better adhesion to skin and greater patient comfort, Tyco Adhesives (Norwood, MA; www.tycoadhesives.com) has developed a line of adhesive-coated medical films. The Models FF 400 and FF 401 are highly breathable, flexible microporous films. FF 400 is designed for sensitive skin, using Tyco's gentlest hypoallergenic pressure-sensitive adhesive, while FF 401 employs a nonsensitizing medical-grade adhesive specifically formulated for long wear.

Both products are available in flesh and transparent colors and offer a variety of skin-contact applications, including wound care, first-aid tape, finger bandages, electrodes, pulse oximeter sensors, transdermal patches, and other device-mounting applications. FF 400 and FF 401 are available in custom widths and lengths, and can be easily die-cut into various shapes and sizes.

In addition to FF 400 and FF 401, Tyco has also introduced its new FM 300 moisture-resistant adhesive for high-stress and long-wear applications. FM 300 is constructed of polyethylene foam for greater patient comfort. The specially formulated moisture-resistant medical-grade adhesive is resistant to both perspiration-borne moisture and external sources of water. Currently available on 1/8-, 1/16-, or 1/32-in.-thick foam, the adhesive can also be used with a wide range of carriers for virtually any application.

Karim Marouf

Prosthetic Knee Receives Standing Ovation

Prosthetic Knee Receives Standing Ovation

This smart-structure prosthetic knee from Lord Corp. was honored at a recent SPIE symposium.

A prosthetic knee designed by Lord Corp. (Cary, NC; www.lord.com) was recently awarded the Smart Structures Product Implementation award at the International Society for Optical Engineering's Symposium on Smart Structures and Materials. As reported in the Profile section of the November 2000 issue of MPMN, this device uses a versatile magneto-rheological fluid that adjusts quickly to varying demands to closely recreate a natural gait. Exposure to a magnetic field changes the material from a liquid to a near-solid state, offering the different amounts of resistance needed to complete such difficult tasks as climbing stairs. The technology was modified from a truck-seat damper and offers responsiveness roughly 20 times faster than previous state-of-the-art devices. The award is shared with Biedermann Motech GmbH (Schwennigen, Germany; www.biedermann.com), who helped to design and produce the product.

Zachary Turke

Internet Update

Internet Update

Polyurethane Products Site Enhanced

www.mearthane.com

A custom formulator and fabricator of open-cast thermoset polyurethane products has redesigned its Web site to improve navigation, add more product information, and enable on-line ordering. The site, located at www.mearthane.com, is organized by product and market area in an easy-to-follow color-coordinated plan. Sections include research and design, industrial components, conductivity, and technical materials supports, plus company and contact information. A keyword search function has also been added. To help users choose products, the site features complete technical specifications on Mearthane's line of solid, foam, and conductive urethane elastomers. In addition to custom products, standard shape and gear products can also be purchased on-line.

Webscope and Oracle Establish Strategic Relationship

www.webscopeinc.com

Webscope Inc. has established a strategic relationship with Oracle Corp., a supplier of e-business solutions worldwide, to develop new collaboration and visualization technology for Oracle's Product Development Exchange software. WebScope (www.webscopeinc.com) provides a secure collaborative environment accessible anywhere on the Internet through a standard browser. Using WebScope, manufacturers, suppliers, and purchasers can view and comment on a product's design before committing to purchase or production planning. Java-based architecture heightens security by presenting images temporarily in the user's Internet browser instead of saving them on the hard drive. Oracle's Product Development Exchange provides real-time visualization and interactive markup, engineering item catalogs, CAD data management, and integration with other product development solutions.

Polymer Additive Information On-Line

www.specialchem.com

Registered users can access 7000 technical data sheets, case studies, and application manuals on polymer additives by accessing www.specialchem.com. A product database is searchable by CAS number, supplier name, and additive family. A Tech Direct function provides free on-line technical support including troubleshooting, search for equivalent materials, and processing advice. Users can request products from specific suppliers or send a general request to appropriate suppliers by describing desired properties and applications. Users can also access relevant articles from Plastics Additives & Compounding magazine.

Katherine Sweeny

In Brief

In Brief

Lambda (San Diego, CA) has opened a design verification lab to provide enhanced testing capabilities and custom power solutions. Located in Melville, NY, the new facility benefits OEMs by streamlining the documentation and design process with a full suite of design engineering and manufacturing services on-site....General Polymers div. of Ashland Distribution Co. (Dublin, OH) and BASF Corp. (Mount Olive, NJ) have announced a distribution agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, General Polymers will distribute BASF's general-purpose, high-impact, and Avantra engineering specialty polystyrene molding and extrusion resins throughout the United States and Canada. In addition, the companies will offer related technical and applications support to customers selecting and working with these materials....With the installation of its newest processing unit, Pressure Technology Inc. (Warminster, PA) has expanded the company's capacity for hot isostatic pressing (HIP) services, improved processing efficiency, and shortened turnaround time. The HIP unit measures 30 in. diam and 69 in. long, and has a 25,000 psi pressure capability....

Provider of medical technology outsourcing and medical imaging products Colorado MedTech Inc. (Boulder, CO) has consolidated its CMED Automation division into its RELA division. The RELA division provides custom medical technology and software product development outsourcing services....Brentwood Industries (Reading, PA) is constructing a 205,000-sq-ft facility that will house its Specialty Products Group, a thermoformer specializing in heavy- and light-gauge plastic and medical packaging applications. The site is scheduled to open in the summer of 2001....International Products Corp. (Burlington, NJ), a specialty chemical company, has moved its European operations to a new facility in London. The facility will allow the company to offer more products and ensure faster shipping in Europe....AdvaMed has elected William H. Longfield of C. R. Bard Inc. (Murray Hill, NJ) to serve as its chairman for a one-year term....Rubicon Medical Inc. (Salt Lake City) has announced a technology transfer and worldwide licensing agreement with Abbott Laboratories (Abbott Park, IL) for its Guardian embolization protection system. The Guardian system is a neurological, cardiac, and renal embolic protection system.

Katherine Sweeny

Copyright ©2001 Medical Product Manufacturing News

Femtosecond Lasers: A Solution Looking for a Problem

Originally Published MPMN June 2001

EDITOR'S PAGE

Femtosecond Lasers: A Solution Looking for a Problem

High-power ultrashort-pulse laser systems have been migrating from research laboratories to industrial environments for the past couple of years. Although commercial applications have been limited to niche areas, the technology has much broader potential according to researchers. Adding his voice to the chorus, John Girkin, a physicist at the Institute of Photonics, University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow, Scotland, explained the machining capabilities of femtosecond lasers at a conference on medical polymers in Brussels. Describing the technology as a "solution looking for a problem," he invited attendees at the meeting, organized in May by Rapra Technology Ltd., to seek industrial applications for the tool. It occurred to me that MPMN readers might be interested in taking part in the challenge, as well.

Femtosecond lasers deliver pulse durations that can be as short as a few femtoseconds (10-15 second). Girkin put this in perspective by pointing out that light travels fast enough to circle the world seven times per second and crosses a human hair in 100 femtoseconds. These pulses are too short to transfer heat or shock to the material being processed. Consequently, there is little to no "collateral damage" to the surrounding material, said Girkin. This represents a clear advantage over thermal cutting and plasma ablation, the dominant laser-based machining techniques currently used by industry.

Ultrashort-pulse lasers break the material's intermolecular bonds in a manner similar to excimer lasers, noted Girkin, but they do so in near-infrared wavelengths. The UV light generated by excimer lasers can cause plasma to form in front of the workpiece, and these clouds absorb subsequent light pulses and distort the incoming beam. Femtosecond lasers deposit their energy so quickly that the beam does not interact with the plume of vaporized material. In principle, this enables "ultrashort laser systems to run at much higher repetition frequencies" than UV systems, according to Girkin.

Device designers and manufacturers should also be impressed by the precision of these systems, said Girkin. Holes measuring less than 100 µm have been ablated, and the lasers are able to machine inside materials without causing surface damage. Single pulses can be adjusted to remove material measuring only a few nanometers in thickness. To illustrate the laser's precision and the minimal energy or mechanical shock that is transferred to the material, Girkin cited an experiment conducted at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories in California, where researchers have used the system to machine an unstable and highly explosive material without causing it to detonate.

Thus far, the femtosecond laser has been used to machine materials ranging from collagen to metal with equally remarkable results. In all instances, the workpieces exhibited a similar cutting profile, and little or no damage was observed on the surrounding surface.

When evaluating femtosecond lasers for an industrial application, "there are some considerations to keep in mind," acknowledged Girkin. "They are not fast [in terms of throughput], they are not suited for drilling holes in the millimeter range, and the systems are currently priced at about $200,000." On the other hand, if you are looking for a tool to perform high-precision cutting with little or no collateral damage, then a femtosecond laser may indeed be worth a look. As for the price tag? Everything's relative, noted Girkin: if the femtosecond laser provides you with an enabling technology for an application that otherwise might not be feasible, then you might call it a bargain.

To find out more about research on femtosecond lasers conducted by Girkin and his colleagues, you can contact him via e-mail at j.m.girkin@strath.ac.uk.

Norbert Sparrow

Copyright ©2001 Medical Product Manufacturing News

Spotlight on Computer Equipment, Displays, and Software


Originally Published MPMN June 2001

SPOTLIGHT

Spotlight on Computer Equipment, Displays, and Software


Enclosure

CG Mupac Inc.
10 Mupac Dr.
Brockton, MA 02301


A compact, versatile enclosure features multiple plug-in peripheral choices and variable power supply output options. The horizontal load, rack-mount, or benchtop industrial chassis can be easily configured to meet customer needs. The Model 545 offers five to eight usable 6U x 160-mm front-accessible slots and 6U x 80-mm rear-accessible transition slots, all in a package only 7 to 10.5 in. high, 17 in. wide, and 12 in. deep. Constructed of 0.09-in. lightweight 5052-H32 aluminum, the enclosure weighs approximately 13 lb without cards. It supports a variety of peripheral drives, allowing a combination of front-accessible and embedded devices.

Also Featured:

LEDs
Touch Monitor
Flat-panel display
Keyboard

Touch panels
Warehouse management system
Plasma display

Laser-Sintered Metal Prototyping Process Yields Durable Metal Parts Quickly

Originally Published MPMN June 2001

HOTLINE

Nondestructive Method Improves Porous-Package Testing

Gas sensor is used to detect leaks

Technology for the nondestructive testing
of Tyvek packaging will be integrated into machines like Mocon's Pac Guard 400, which is designed
for production-line quality control and package development applications.
A manufacturer of testing equipment recently acquired intellectual property that provides a unique method for detecting defects in porous packages. Mocon Inc. (Minneapolis, MN) purchased technology from True Technology Inc. (Boston, MA) for the nondestructive testing of packages made of DuPont Tyvek. The technology promises to provide an attractive alternative to current methods, which rely on destructive dye or pressure tests.

"Tyvek-containing packages breathe—how do you know if they are leaking?" asks Dane Anderson, chief financial officer at Mocon. The company's new test relies on tape placed over a porous Tyvek package. A tracer gas is introduced, and a sensor detects any leakage of the gas from within the package.

According to Anderson, the advantages of the new testing method for medical OEMs are twofold: "First, it's sensitive; the test gives a specific signal with defective packages," he says. This is in contrast with the visual inspection methods currently employed by device manufacturers. "Secondly, the test is nondestructive, so you are not losing package and product," he adds, explaining that this is particularly important for high-value products.

Mocon is a provider of testing systems and consulting services for the assessment of materials and processes. The company plans to incorporate its new technology into a new whole-package integrity testing device that will join its standard product line early next year. "This patented technology will enable us to introduce other instrumentation and services for testing the integrity of a variety of sterile medical packages," says the company's president and CEO, Robert Demorest. Mocon began by manufacturing permeation-testing equipment, but now also offers technology for leak-testing nonbreathable packages for drugs and medical devices.

Benjamin Lichtman

For more information, contact Mocon Inc., 7500 Boone Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN 55428; ph: 763/493-6370; fax: 763/493-6358; URL: http://www.mocon.com; email: mocon@mocon.com

For more information, contact True Technology Inc., 143 California St., Newton, MA 02458; ph: 617/630-9911; fax: 617/630-0365; URL: http://www.truetechnology.com; email: info@truetechnology.com




Laser-Sintered Metal Prototyping Process Yields Durable Metal Parts Quickly

The process makes fully dense metal parts using stainless-steel alloy material

LSM prototypes are fully dense metal parts made directly from CAD data.
Laser-sintering of metal is one of the fastest ways to rapid prototype fully dense metal parts, prototypes, and tooling inserts for plastic injection molding. Rapid Prototype Company, Inc. (Auburn Hills, MI) uses LaserForm ST-100, a powdered metal material made with a stainless-steel alloy to produce complex, durable metal parts directly from CAD data. The metal material allows a better surface finish and a stronger model. Parts can be polished, textured, plated, and machined, and typical turnaround time is only four to seven days.

Laser-sintered metals offer two advantages. First, cavity and core tooling inserts can be created quickly and use production materials. "Most other short-run or bridge-tooling options can't run production materials, and the few that can don't get high part volume because the tooling quickly wears," says Rob McCarthy, Rapid Prototype Co. marketing manager. Laser-form molds have shot greater than 100,000 injection-molded plastic parts.

The other advantage of this process is that it can be used to create metal parts directly. "Previously, parts could be made in nylon materials, or in photo polymers, and used to evaluate form," says McCarthy. "But if the part is metal in production, a plastic one just doesn't have the same feel. Imagine a plastic fork versus a stainless-steel one." Designers want the feel of the real thing, he adds. "Previously this meant machining parts, investment casting, and sand casting, processes that take more time and that have constraints. With the sintering process, we can provide multiple iterations in less time," says McCarthy.

Karim Marouf

For more information, contact Rapid Prototype Company, Inc., 4141 N. Atlantic Blvd., Auburn Hills, MI 48326; ph: 248/391-6600; fax: 248/391-7462; URL: http://www.rapidprototypeco.com; email: rapid@rpparts.com



Software Manages Manufacturing Changes

Streamlining the change process helps shorten time to market

Using Manufacturing Change Manager, anyone involved
in a manufacturing process can track changes via the Internet.

Manufacturers can shorten product introductions and achieve faster time to market and volume production using Web-based Manufacturing Change Manager (MCM) from Ingenuus Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA). MCM is an automated solution that allows manufacturers to manage product and process change requests and orders in real time throughout the global supply chain. Using MCM, every kind of change request and change order is efficiently routed, reviewed, and approved.

"The rapid rate of technological change, combined with a demand for more powerful and customizable products, means that product lifecycles are often measured in months rather than years," says Dave Allenbaugh, vice president of sales. "These developments are forcing manufacturers to rethink and streamline their change process in order to remain competitive."

Since it integrates easily with any enterprise data system, MCM is suited to companies managing multisite engineering, manufacturing, sales, and distribution operations connected via the Internet.

MCM's Smart Expediter controls the flow of change by providing a virtual tracking agent that understands business relationships, monitors progress, and eliminates bottlenecks. The Smart Expediter pushes and tracks entire packages of information through the supply chain, including manufacturing and engineering orders, indentured bills of materials, drawings, specifications, procedures, and other essential documents. It tracks change of all types, including customer, supplier, purchasing, manufacturing, engineering, ISO, and variation change requests.

Karim Marouf

For more information, contact Ingenuus Inc., 830 E. Arques Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94086; ph: 408/774-2199; fax: 408/522-9450; URL: http://www.ingenuus.com; email: dklint@ingenuus.com



Medical Product Manufacturing News is always on the lookout for innovative products and services. If you are aware of any that have recently been or are about to be introduced, please call the Hotline editor, Karim Marouf, at 310/445-4267.

Copyright ©2001 Medical Product Manufacturing News

Laser-Sintered Metal Prototyping Process Yields Durable Metal Parts Quickly

Originally Published MPMN May 2001

HOTLINE

Nondestructive Method Improves Porous-Package Testing

Gas sensor is used to detect leaks

Technology for the nondestructive testing
of Tyvek packaging will be integrated into machines like Mocon's Pac Guard 400, which is designed
for production-line quality control and package development applications.
A manufacturer of testing equipment recently acquired intellectual property that provides a unique method for detecting defects in porous packages. Mocon Inc. (Minneapolis, MN) purchased technology from True Technology Inc. (Boston, MA) for the nondestructive testing of packages made of DuPont Tyvek. The technology promises to provide an attractive alternative to current methods, which rely on destructive dye or pressure tests.

"Tyvek-containing packages breathe—how do you know if they are leaking?" asks Dane Anderson, chief financial officer at Mocon. The company's new test relies on tape placed over a porous Tyvek package. A tracer gas is introduced, and a sensor detects any leakage of the gas from within the package.

According to Anderson, the advantages of the new testing method for medical OEMs are twofold: "First, it's sensitive; the test gives a specific signal with defective packages," he says. This is in contrast with the visual inspection methods currently employed by device manufacturers. "Secondly, the test is nondestructive, so you are not losing package and product," he adds, explaining that this is particularly important for high-value products.

Mocon is a provider of testing systems and consulting services for the assessment of materials and processes. The company plans to incorporate its new technology into a new whole-package integrity testing device that will join its standard product line early next year. "This patented technology will enable us to introduce other instrumentation and services for testing the integrity of a variety of sterile medical packages," says the company's president and CEO, Robert Demorest. Mocon began by manufacturing permeation-testing equipment, but now also offers technology for leak-testing nonbreathable packages for drugs and medical devices.

Benjamin Lichtman

For more information, contact Mocon Inc., 7500 Boone Ave. N., Minneapolis, MN 55428; ph: 763/493-6370; fax: 763/493-6358; URL: http://www.mocon.com; email: mocon@mocon.com

For more information, contact True Technology Inc., 143 California St., Newton, MA 02458; ph: 617/630-9911; fax: 617/630-0365; URL: http://www.truetechnology.com; email: info@truetechnology.com




Laser-Sintered Metal Prototyping Process Yields Durable Metal Parts Quickly

The process makes fully dense metal parts using stainless-steel alloy material

LSM prototypes are fully dense metal parts made directly from CAD data.
Laser-sintering of metal is one of the fastest ways to rapid prototype fully dense metal parts, prototypes, and tooling inserts for plastic injection molding. Rapid Prototype Company, Inc. (Auburn Hills, MI) uses LaserForm ST-100, a powdered metal material made with a stainless-steel alloy to produce complex, durable metal parts directly from CAD data. The metal material allows a better surface finish and a stronger model. Parts can be polished, textured, plated, and machined, and typical turnaround time is only four to seven days.

Laser-sintered metals offer two advantages. First, cavity and core tooling inserts can be created quickly and use production materials. "Most other short-run or bridge-tooling options can't run production materials, and the few that can don't get high part volume because the tooling quickly wears," says Rob McCarthy, Rapid Prototype Co. marketing manager. Laser-form molds have shot greater than 100,000 injection-molded plastic parts.

The other advantage of this process is that it can be used to create metal parts directly. "Previously, parts could be made in nylon materials, or in photo polymers, and used to evaluate form," says McCarthy. "But if the part is metal in production, a plastic one just doesn't have the same feel. Imagine a plastic fork versus a stainless-steel one." Designers want the feel of the real thing, he adds. "Previously this meant machining parts, investment casting, and sand casting, processes that take more time and that have constraints. With the sintering process, we can provide multiple iterations in less time," says McCarthy.

Karim Marouf

For more information, contact Rapid Prototype Company, Inc., 4141 N. Atlantic Blvd., Auburn Hills, MI 48326; ph: 248/391-6600; fax: 248/391-7462; URL: http://www.rapidprototypeco.com; email: rapid@rpparts.com



Software Manages Manufacturing Changes

Streamlining the change process helps shorten time to market

Using Manufacturing Change Manager, anyone involved
in a manufacturing process can track changes via the Internet.

Manufacturers can shorten product introductions and achieve faster time to market and volume production using Web-based Manufacturing Change Manager (MCM) from Ingenuus Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA). MCM is an automated solution that allows manufacturers to manage product and process change requests and orders in real time throughout the global supply chain. Using MCM, every kind of change request and change order is efficiently routed, reviewed, and approved.

"The rapid rate of technological change, combined with a demand for more powerful and customizable products, means that product lifecycles are often measured in months rather than years," says Dave Allenbaugh, vice president of sales. "These developments are forcing manufacturers to rethink and streamline their change process in order to remain competitive."

Since it integrates easily with any enterprise data system, MCM is suited to companies managing multisite engineering, manufacturing, sales, and distribution operations connected via the Internet.

MCM's Smart Expediter controls the flow of change by providing a virtual tracking agent that understands business relationships, monitors progress, and eliminates bottlenecks. The Smart Expediter pushes and tracks entire packages of information through the supply chain, including manufacturing and engineering orders, indentured bills of materials, drawings, specifications, procedures, and other essential documents. It tracks change of all types, including customer, supplier, purchasing, manufacturing, engineering, ISO, and variation change requests.

Karim Marouf

For more information, contact Ingenuus Inc., 830 E. Arques Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94086; ph: 408/774-2199; fax: 408/522-9450; URL: http://www.ingenuus.com; email: dklint@ingenuus.com



Medical Product Manufacturing News is always on the lookout for innovative products and services. If you are aware of any that have recently been or are about to be introduced, please call the Hotline editor, Karim Marouf, at 310/445-4267.

Copyright ©2001 Medical Product Manufacturing News