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Supplier Stories for the Week of December 15

Here’s what was new in the world of medical device suppliers during the week of December 15.

  • Carlisle Companies Inc. has completed the purchase of Providien LLC, a provider of contract manufacturing, precision machining, and metals, thermoforming, and injection molding for global medical technology OEMs.

    Carlisle Companies Inc. is a diversified, global portfolio of brands and businesses that manufacture highly engineered products and solutions for our customers. Markets include medical, aerospace, industrial, specialty polyurethane, defense, transportation, and more.

    Carlisle Medical Technologies will exhibit at MD&M West February 11-13, 2020, in Booth #3227.

    [Logo courtesy of CARLISLE COMPANIES INC.]

     

  • Westfield Medical, a manufacturer of single-use packaging solutions for hospital sterilization and medical device applications, has equipped six of its machines with 530UN/R2 peristaltic process pumps from Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group (WMFTG). The peristaltic process pumps have replaced rotary pumps after repeated failures were previously encountered, and the change has reduced downtime and cut maintenance and replacement parts costs, the two companies reported in a statement provided to MD+DI. The 530 series pumps maintain process integrity in applications with flow rates up to 3.5 l/min at 2 bar pressure. 

    Westfield Medical’s in-house manufacturing capabilities include multi-colour flexographic printing, and part of the process involves printing a special ink marker as a sterilization indicator. However, with a viscosity higher than standard ink, the marker was proving problematic to pump on six bag production machines featuring flexographic printing capability, it was reported.

    “We were using rotary pumps, but unfortunately they began seizing on an increasingly frequent basis; in fact, we began encountering issues every month,” explained Ben Begue, Westfield Medical's continuous improvement manager, in the statement. “We experienced a particularly bad phase with the pumps in late 2018 and decided enough was enough. This led us to undertake some online research into alternative pumps, which in turn pointed to peristaltic technology.”

    WMFTG advised Westfield Medical to use the 530UN/R2 process pump, one of which was supplied for a four-week trial.  “Even after the first week we could see that it would be successful,” said Begue. “We returned after Christmas and the machine with the 530 series pump started up straight away, whereas the other five printing machines all needed pump repairs prior to starting. OK, the purchase price of the 530 pump is higher, but the savings associated with reduced downtime, maintenance and spare parts make the total cost of ownership [TCO] far less, especially across six machines.”

    Westfield Medical opted to purchase six Watson-Marlow 530UN/R2 pumps, and since installation, the company has experienced no reliability issues. The only replacement part is the Marprene tubing, which lasts about three months and can be changed in minutes. Westfield Medical runs two day shifts, and when needed, it transitions to 24/5 operations. It is running the pumps in continuous mode.

    After success with the 530 series pumps, Westfield Medical plans to try a larger 730 series pump on one of its bag production machines. “The machine uses an air-operated diaphragm (AOD) pump to apply glue that seals the bottom of the bag,” explained Begue. “However, we’re having trouble with the actual diaphragm, which is perishing. Although we are not quite ready yet, we’re very keen to try the 730 series pump from Watson-Marlow, for which we have high hopes.”

    Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group will exhibit at MD&M West February 11-13, 2020, in Booth #2066.

    [Image courtesy of WATSON-MARLOW FLUID TECHNOLOGY GROUP]

  • Greenlight Guru has updated the change management capabilities of its quality management system platform for medical device companies. The enhanced capabilities include advanced workflow efficiencies in customers’ ability to identify, assess, and track the items impacted by change orders in a collaborative change workspace, while also ensuring connectivity and traceability to any records or sources that influenced design or process changes within the quality ecosystem, the company reported in a news release. Users can also track and trend the effectiveness of their change activities with analytics & KPIs.

    Issues associated with medical device changes, both process- and product-related, represent a significant source of noncompliance for medical device manufacturers. Changes require updated documentation, approvals and signatures across teams, and depending on the complexity of the device across multiple departments, as well as clearly stated justification and desired outcomes for each change, it was reported.

    “We know change is inevitable with highly competitive medical device manufacturers changing rapidly in the pursuit of higher quality and, as medical devices become increasingly commoditized, in response to consumer demand for new features,” stated David DeRam, CEO of Greenlight Guru, in the release. “Modern medical devices require modern solutions to everyday workflows.”

    Added Jon Speer, founder and VP of QA/RA at Greenlight Guru: “Paper and digital-paper based systems, such as spreadsheets and file hosting sites, can only get you so far once serious changes start being made to a medical device. Quality management systems shouldn’t get in the way of innovation; we’ve improved our change management capabilities to make high device quality possible through the QMS, not in spite of it.”

    The company had also recently enhanced the platform's risk and document management workflows and launched digital design reviews.

    Greenlight Guru will exhibit at MD&M West February 11-13, 2020, in Booth #832.

    [Logo courtesy of GREENLIGHT GURU] 

  • The A-351 gantry motion system from PI is driven by linear motors and guided by precision mechanical linear bearings to achieve high speed and accuracy, at a lower price compared with its air bearings-based brother, the company reported in a news release. The new system employs advanced absolute linear encoders in order to increase accuracy and reduce start-up time by rendering homing procedures unnecessary. The integrated ironless linear motors can eliminate cogging, providing smoother motion without vibration and better velocity control. The highest motion performance and easy integration with factory automation systems is guaranteed by an ACS-based motion controller with EtherCat connectivity.

    For applications requiring a motorized vertical axis, several Z-stage options are available, with either screw-driven platforms or linear motors and pneumatic counterbalance. Other customizations, such as mounting platforms for vision systems, dispensers etc, are also offered. 

    The A-351 overhead gantry motion system is available with a range of ACS motion controllers/drives, advanced control algorithms to improve dynamic performance and error compensation specifically for gantries, and a suite of software development tools.

    [Image courtesy of PI]

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