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Supplier Stories for the Week of August 11

Here’s what was new in the world of medical device suppliers during the week of August 11.

  • Inovus Medical, a manufacturer of simulation products for teaching surgical skills, has switched from hand-building products to additive manufacturing using the ProX SLS 6100 3D printer from 3D Systems.

    “As a start up with basically zero start up capital, we were at a point where we couldn’t afford traditional production because of the prohibitive costs: Tooling, minimum order quantities (MOQs), storage, import duty. The list goes on,” said Inovus Medical cofounder Jordan Van Flute, CTO, in a news release. “And there was the risk: Get the tooling design even slightly wrong and we would be out thousands of pounds.”

    The ProX SLS 6100 was installed in December 2018 for rapid prototyping as well as for production parts for the simulators. The company also helps other innovators and startups access SLS additive manufacturing with an ‘incubator-style’ additive manufacturing service. “We usually use the DuraForm PA Nylon 12 material as it has enough strength to be used for the simulator housings as well as fantastic elongation at break for other parts both for us as well as other startups we are working with,” added cofounder and CEO Elliot Street.

    All 3D Systems’s plastic 3D printers are supplied with the 3D Sprint additive manufacturing software, which enables rapid 3D file repair, multiple import of various 3D file formats, nesting and optimization of the build, and job management of the 3D printers. “3D Sprint is a true selling point for the ProX SLS 6100,” said Van Flute. “It works perfectly with SOLIDWORKS CAD files, delivers seamless transfer of data across the network, and an intuitive workflow for customers.”

    Additive manufacturing has eliminated some upfront costs for Inovus. “While additive is not the cheapest form of production compared to, say, injection molding, it negates the need for expensive up-front costs in tooling for each new product we design and bring to market,” said Van Flute. “Removing these up-front costs means they do not have to be passed onto the end user and allows us to meet our objective of delivering affordable healthcare simulation.”

    Minimum order quantities typically required for injection molding were also avoided. “Those MOQs would cost us thousands but then we would also have to store them and bear the ensuing inventory costs,” said Van Flute. “SLS production avoids this through rapid, on-demand production of parts so we can operate with a lean inventory and free up cash flow to drive growth of the company.”

    The elimination of tooling enabled the company to evolve its designs. “Our curiosity about improving the product design was helped through being able to change the CAD data and then simply print the parts to find the best design,” added Street. “You can’t do that with traditional production methods. Once your tooling is created, you are locked in for the duration.”

    Such capability allowed the Inovus team to accelerate new product development. “The ProX SLS 6100 has allowed us to get a much faster start on some new, more complex products we had been developing, and we are bringing them to market much more quickly than we ever thought we could do,” said Van Flute.

    [Image courtesy of 3D SYSTEMS]

  • A recent independent study of expanded offerings in the Certified Pure Porex product lineup has found that the media and filters have virtually no material additives, contaminates, or heavy metals that can cause interferences in clinical, analytical, and blood transfusion testing, Porex reported in a news release. Porex originally initiated the Certified Pure Program in 2009 by qualifying its porous polymeric materials through analytical, clinical, and life sciences testing procedures. For the study, Porex expanded its Certified Pure Porex program to include its Fortress pipette tip filters.

    “It is imperative that components used during the testing process are pure and not contributing to an inaccurate diagnosis, which can lead to additional operational costs for laboratories and potential liabilities from patients who can suffer greatly from a misdiagnosis,” stated Maria De Capua, vice president at Porex, in a news release. “Our Certified Pure Porex components ensure that everything in the clinical and analytical supply chain—from separation filters to pipette tip filter media—will not interfere with the accuracy of testing outcomes.”

    [Image courtesy of POREX]

  • RTP Co. has expanded its line of conductive compounds to include new CCX Conductive Masterbatches for environments that are prone to electrostatic discharge (ESD). Available in a variety of resin systems, they can be formulated with four distinct additive technologies: stainless steel fiber, carbon nanotubes, carbon black, and PermaStat dissipative polymer technology, the company reported in a news release.

    Stainless-steel fiber CCX Masterbatches are created using the company’s long-fiber manufacturing process and can achieve the highest level of conductivity, providing EMI shielding for sensitive electronics, colored parts and components, or even FDA-compliant applications. They are available in most resin systems and have similar shrinkage and mechanical performance to the unfilled base resin, suiting them for injection molding, the company reported.

    Carbon nanotube CCX Masterbatches can be used in high-purity applications. They demonstrate virtually no effect on shrinkage or mechanical properties versus the unfilled base resin. 

    Carbon black CCX Masterbatches have similar isotropic shrinkage, strength, and stiffness to the unfilled base resin, but are an economical way to introduce versatile, high performance conductivity for a plastic part, the company reported.

    PermaStat CCX Masterbatches are suited for applications that require permanent antistatic or static dissipative performance. They can be used in most resins with processing temperatures below 520°F (270°C). They provide uniform dissipative performance, full colorability, and even transparency in some resins, while retaining or even enhancing the impact performance of the base resin. 

    [Image courtesy of RTP CO.]

  • Private equity firm Kohlberg & Company LLC, which owns packaging manufacturer Nelipak Corp., has acquired Bemis Healthcare Packaging Europe from Amcor’s Flexible Packaging business unit. Located in Clara (Ireland), Derry (Northern Ireland, UK), and Elsham (United Kingdom), Bemis will merge with Nelipak, and together they will operate under the Nelipak Healthcare Packaging brand.

    “We are excited about the addition of the Bemis European Healthcare Packaging business, a great organization with outstanding people and tremendous capabilities and we proudly welcome the team to Nelipak,” said Mike Kelly, president and CEO of Nelipak, in a news statement. “We will leverage the unique capabilities of both organizations to delight our customers with innovative designs, world class quality, and excellent service. This will significantly enhance Nelipak’s capabilities with the addition of flexible packaging alternatives for our global customers.”

    Seth H. Hollander, partner of Kohlberg, stated that the “recent acquisition of Nelipak represented a platform for growth and consolidation. The Bemis acquisition provides a unique opportunity to create global scale and diversification across complementary product offerings.” Added Roger Prevot, operating partner of Kohlberg: “This combination provides attractive opportunities for revenue growth from cross-selling and geographic expansion. Mike and his team will be better equipped to serve the company’s customers as a comprehensive partner for their packaging needs.”

    [Logo courtesy of NELIPAK]

  • Durex Industries, a manufacturer of electric industrial heaters, sensors, and systems, now offers screw plug, flange immersion (an example of which is pictured above), and circulation heaters with fast shipping capabilities. Durex builds standard as well as custom heaters for a number of applications and industries, including medical device, pharmaceutical, plastics, packaging, and others. 

    The company uses product platforms to provide standard designs as well as customized designs in the same fast turnaround window, it reported. For instance, regardless if the design is standard or custom, plug heaters ship in 3 to 5 days, flange heaters ship in 5 to 7 days, and circulation heaters in 9 to 12 days. 

    Durex tech support personnel are available to offer "fast, intelligent support to get the right solution into customer hands as quickly as possible," the company reported.

    [Image courtesy of DUREX INDUSTRIES]

     

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