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Supplier Stories for the Week of April 19

Here’s what was new in the world of medical device suppliers during the week of April 19, with many suppliers responding to needs in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Festo North America

    Festo North America and subsidiary Fabco-Air Inc. continue to supply pneumatic and electric drive technology to distributors, equipment manufacturers, and end-users in North America. Festo LifeTech Business Unit components are used in high-speed automated laboratory devices (shown above) envisioned for sample screening during the pandemic, and Festo LifeTech components are also used by certified respiratory equipment manufacturers, the company reported in a news release.

    “Festo has launched focused coronavirus mitigation projects,” said Craig Correia, director of life science & process industries, Festo North America, in the release. “Among several initiatives, the first is to ensure that orders for components and systems used in medical devices receive priority treatment and are processed and shipped rapidly.

    “A large research and development team is working full time on a design for a quick-to-manufacture emergency respiratory ventilator.," he added. "Another team alongside a partner firm is developing a concept for automated production of protective masks. This team envisions a complete production system that can be setup and shipped within a standard transport container.”

    Festo reported that it is keeping its overall production and logistics systems sound for the pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and packaging industries as well as for washing systems for hospitals and care facilities.

    The company offers a 24/7 online shop for placing orders and checking delivery status and online product configuration and engineering tools.

    [Image courtesy of FESTO NORTH AMERICA]

    Festo North America
  • Diversified Plastics Inc.

    Diversified Plastics Inc. (DPI), a custom plastic-injection molder and additive manufacturer of high-precision components, has activated its third Carbon printer, named Einstein. The printer is powered by Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology, which according to a press release issued by DPI is 100 times faster than traditional additive manufacturing methods and can produce low- to mass-production quantities.

    “Now more than ever, medical device and other original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are looking for ways to accelerate product design, testing, manufacturing, and validation,” said Kevin Hogan, chief executive officer of DPI, in the release. “Acceleration Station services, including Carbon DLS additive manufacturing, produce high-quality plastic parts quicker without tooling. We are proud to offer the services, speed and technologies that are helping to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.”

    In addition to including Carbon DLS manufacturing, Acceleration Station services include design for additive manufacturing assistance, cleanroom assembly, and packaging expertise. The station’s engineering and production teams work with customers to save time and money by optimizing parts for digital manufacturing, DPI explained.

    [Image courtesy DIVERSIFIED PLASTICS INC.]

    Diversified Plastics Inc.
  • Tru-Form Plastics

    Custom thermofomer Tru-Form Plastics is producing protective masks for healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak. The company is able to produce more than 100,000 plastic shields per week and plans to boost capacity to more than 200,000 per day, it reported in a news release.

    “We’re delighted to leverage our capabilities to provide the necessary tools to help protect our amazing medical professionals on the front lines,” said Jim Goode, president of American Innotek, the parent company of Tru-Form Plastics, in a news release.

    After requests from healthcare professionals, Tru-Form’s design engineering and tooling manager, Ed Hentges, delivered a prototype in two days and started production just days later. Each mask is made from PETG or PVC. The shield can be reused after being sanitized, the company stated.

    “We pride ourselves on being nimble to quickly act on customer requests and adapt the design to provide the best possible solution for their needs,” explained Hentges, who worked directly with the team at a Southern California hospital to design the mask. “Many of us have several close, personal ties to the medical community, so the chance to work with a local medical team and to help providers across the country is a true honor for us,” he said.

    Added Dan Gievers, Chief Financial Officer:  “Tru-Form is able to quickly ramp up production of the face shields at a cost that rivals some of the lowest cost production in the world right here in the USA. Depending on quantity, our shields sell directly to hospitals for less than $3 each.”

    [Image courtesy of TRU-FORM PLASTICS]

    Tru-Form Plastics
  • maxon

    maxon, a Swiss developer and manufacturer of drive systems, has launched a “medical fast track process" to ensure the best possible service for critical application needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company reported. The system is reviewed in real-time to expedite urgent requests for product, and the maxon group management team (Business Unit Medical) reviews each request and matches the need with a solution. Such a process enables the company to prioritize manufacturing efforts globally to ensure rapid product production and shipment to medical essential customers, the company said.

    "As we all continue to navigate through these unique and evolving challenges, we want our customers to know that we are here to help support the larger effort. maxon is working with our global supply chains to ensure critical demand is met. This has been made a top priority," maxon stated in a press release. "We are seeing companies coming together to offer their resources and expertise during this crisis and we understand this importance for no one company can meet these challenging times alone. We see this as our responsibility and are here to support the companies producing these medical devices used to help save lives. Together we can all make a difference."

    maxon develops and manufactures brushed and brushless DC motors, gearheads, encoders, controllers, and entire mechatronic systems. The products are used in medical devices such as ventilators, respirators, protection masks, and lab automation.

    [Image courtesy of MAXON]

     

    maxon
  • Curbell Plastics Inc.

    Curbell Plastics Inc. has published a new resource, Kydex Thermoplastics for Medical Devices, Diagnostic Equipment, and Medical Furniture Material Guide. Written by Curbell’s senior business development manager, Liz Grimes, the new material guide is intended to educate designers and manufacturers of medical equipment about the advantages of Kydex Thermoplastics. “Kydex sheet is inherently anti-microbial and chemically resistant, making it the material of choice for medical equipment housings.” Grimes said in a news release.

    Kydex Thermoplastics offers medical device and equipment manufacturers physical durability against brittleness or discoloration from continuous chemical contact and wipe down schedules that have implemented to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, the company reported in the release. The thermoplastics feature an anti-microbial chemical nature, but do not include plasticizers in their chemical makeup.

    Kydex sheet offers medical device manufacturers and hospital equipment providers capabilities for thermoforming detailed part geometries. For instance, products that are traditionally injection molded are often capable of being thermoformed with Kydex Thermoplastics. Kydex sheet forms to deep draws, creating a more consistent product than other thermoplastics, and often resulting in fewer rejected parts, the company reported.

    [Image courtesy of CURBELL PLASTICS INC.]

    Curbell Plastics Inc.
  • IDEX Health & Science

    IDEX Health & Science has shipped its 5 millionth Semrock optical filter. Used to discriminate wavelengths of light, Semrock optical filters enable detection of fluorescent-labeled molecules in life science applications like super-resolution microscopy, DNA sequencing, and hyperspectral imaging.

    The Semrock optical filters have recently played a role in detecting (through PCR instruments) and monitoring (through sequencing instruments) the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, the company reported in a news release.

    “Supplying 5 million optical filters is a great achievement for our organization” said Joe Rytell, president of IDEX Health & Science, in a news release. “But what’s most impressive is the role IH&S has played in supporting our customers whose instruments are being used 24/7 in the fight against this pandemic. I could not be more proud of our employees as they deliver on our mission and take care of each other during these extraordinary times. IH&S gives thanks to all its customers and key suppliers for helping to make this remarkable milestone possible during these challenging times.”

    The Semrock filter line is manufactured in IH&S's facility in Rochester, NY.  All Semrock optical filters are made with hard-coated sputtered thin-film coatings.

    [Image courtesy of IDEX HEALTH & SCIENCE LLC]

    IDEX Health & Science
  • Portescap

    Portescap, a provider of miniature motors and precision motion control solutions for medical devices and clinical diagnostics, has created a Business Continuity Task Force as well as a Pandemic Response Plan to ensure the safety of customers and employees.

    "The Portescap team is hard at work building motors that power ventilators, infusion pumps, clinical diagnostic equipment, and many other medical devices used in the fight against Covid-19," the company stated in a news release. "We are working closely with device manufacturers to reduce the stress on the medical community created by the sudden surge in demand and shortage in supply. At the same time, the health and safety of our employees, customers and communities is our top priority. We have been able to mobilize our global teams to help sustain production and fulfillment, while ensuring their safety and health including virtual meetings, work space distancing and scheduled operational work shift teams in cooperation with the best-practice recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO), national health organizations, and other local government agencies."

    Portescap offers coreless brush DC, brushless DC, stepper can stack, gearheads, digital linear actuators, and disc magnet technologies. It has manufacturing centers in the United States and India and a Global Product Development network with research and development centers in the United States, China, India, and Switzerland.

    [Logo courtesy of PORTESCAP]

    Portescap
  • Flex

    Philips is working with Flex, a global manufacturer, to further expand its hospital ventilator assembly lines and strengthen its supply chain. With expertise in medical device technologies and a global footprint, Flex offers s a network of certified materials and component suppliers.

    “In these challenging times, we can help meet Philips’ pressing need for an almost instant increase in hospital ventilator production capacity,” said John Carlson, president of Flex Health Solutions, in a statement provided to MD+DI. “Additionally, Flex has a very strong, global supply chain. We have extensive knowledge and deep relationships with key suppliers which enables us to be very successful in securing components for critical medical products.”

    The assembly lines at Philips’ Murrysville manufacturing site in western Pennsylvania (U.S.) and at Flex focus on the production of the Philips Trilogy hospital ventilator for invasive and non-invasive ventilation, according to the statement. The combined hospital ventilator output among Flex and other manufacturing partners is projected to increase to 4000 units per week by the third quarter of 2020.

    Flex is using its expertise, technology capabilities, and resources to build a range of products beyond ventilators such as oxygen support products, hospital beds, portable oxygen concentrators, patient monitoring systems, infusion pumps, and test kits, according to the statement.

    [Image courtesy of PHILIPS]

    Flex
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