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Supplier Stories for the Week of January 19

Here’s what was new in the world of medical device suppliers during the week of January 19.

  • Full-service contract manufacturer MICRO is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. The family owned and operated company, originally called Micro Stamping Corporation, was founded in 1945 in Maplewood, NJ with a focus on manufacturing high-precision metal stampings and has grown into a worldwide provider of medical device contract manufacturing services. It specializes in precision medical components, sub-assemblies, and complete devices for laparoscopic surgical procedures.

    “We are incredibly proud to celebrate 75 years providing engineering and technical expertise, fulfilling our vision to help our customers save lives,” stated Brian Semcer, president, MICRO, in a news release. “As a trusted and valued product development partner to our clients, innovation has always been the hallmark of our business and we continually seek ways to improve and reinvest in technology, equipment, state-of-the-art facilities, and training to create new and better solutions for customers and their patients.”

    MICRO’s medical device division began developing ligation clips for use in surgical procedures and today produces more than a million endoscopic instruments annually in its environmentally controlled Class 8 cleanroom, the company reported. Its Design For Manufacturability expertise helps customers design products optimized for production, keeping costs manageable and maximizing return on investment, MICRO explained.

    MICRO was founded by four partners including Frank Semcer Sr., who worked at the company until 1986. Four of his brothers joined the company, and his son Frank J. Semcer Sr. joined in 1969 and purchased the company eight years later. Today, four of his children work at MICRO, which now employs more than 450 people and has annual sales revenue over $100 million. Operations have expanded from 28,000 sq ft to nearly 180,000 sq ft, increasing manufacturing capacity to meet market needs. The company recently dedicated an expanded research and development center to showcase its cutting-edge product development capabilities.

    “At the heart of our company’s growth and success are our employees, who we consider family. We’re deeply committed to their development, which reflects our core values,” said Frank J. Semcer Jr., director of human resources, MICRO, in the release. “We routinely invest in our employees through competitive compensation, benefits and on-the-job training, while our culture allows us to attract and retain top talent. With continued success, MICRO provides opportunities and career growth to graduates of top engineering programs as well as high school graduates who elect not to pursue a college degree but want to learn a trade.”

    MICRO will be exhibiting at Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West 2020, February 11-13, 2020, in Booth #1807.

    [Logo courtesy of MICRO]

  • Nordson MARCH, a Nordson company, introduces the PROGENY plasma treatment system for cleaning and activating a surface prior to applying a lubricious coating and for providing adhesive bonding of a balloon to a catheter. Featuring a 2-meter-deep chamber with overall dimensions of 660 mm W x 2260 mm D x 660 mm H, the system supports plasma treatment of catheters at their full extended length. It removes contamination, impurities, and organics at the nanometer level and improves surface wettability, hydrophilicity, and bonding capabilities to address issues such as poor wetting, poor coating uniformity, voids, and poor adhesion, the company reported in a news release.

    "Nordson MARCH has set the global standard for plasma treatment in the medical device market for 25 years with its industry-leading catheter treatment technology platform, the B-Series," explained Al Bousetta, director of marketing, Nordson MARCH, in a news release. "PROGENY builds on that platform with new features for ease-of-use, improved data capture, product handling and positioning, and plasma performance capabilities. The increased depth of the PROGENY chamber is important for manufacturers who want to treat the catheters in their extended form to prevent any shape deformation that could occur if the catheters were treated when bent or coiled."

    The system provides plasma treatment at 13.56 MHz and accommodates all common gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, and argon, with high process reproducibility and uniformity. Equipment can be remotely controlled through an EPC controller with SECS/GEM interface, which also supports real-time data logging. The system is controlled by an intuitive touch screen GUI with a one-button start feature. Also included are configurable plasma cells with high flux electrodes and direct gas injection for uniform gas flow.

    In addition to catheters, PROGENY systems can plasma-treat other products with part surfaces up to 2 m long and 50 cm wide that need better wetting, coating, and adhesion.

    Nordson MARCH will highlight this new product as well as other plasma treatment solutions at MD&M West in the Nordson EFD (Booth #2915) February 11-13.

    [Image courtesy of NORDSON MARCH]

  • Guill Tool & Engineering, a global manufacturer of extrusion tooling, has introduced a reciprocating head for automated extrusion processes. The traditional tip and die assembly can be replaced with a linear reciprocating assembly that changes the tube’s profile within a given length, the company reported. This process is repeated throughout a single-extrusion run without interruptions. Cutting capability, in association with the extrusion speed, cuts the finished product to length.

    The head can help reduce cost and value stream activities while improving quality, the company reported. Only one extrusion run is needed to produce a finished product, instead of multiple extrusion runs with tooling changes along with a manual assembly operation to connect different tubing shapes.

    The new reciprocating head eliminates an assembly operation, a connecting piece, and in-process inventory. As a result, there is no need for storage of various tubing shapes and connectors needed for assembly, fulfillment of orders, and replenishment of finished goods. It also enables JIT production and made-to-order products.

    Using the new head could reduce total run time from receiving the order to shipping, the company claimed.

    Guill will exhibit in Booth #3348 at MD&M West February 11-13.

    [Image courtesy of GUILL TOOL & ENGINEERING]

  • At MD&M West Booth #2351, Clariant will feature a new line of polymer compounds formulated to resist degradation caused by exposure to high humidity and temperature. The company explained in a news release that the new technology is important in applications such as catheters made of resins incorporating high loadings of radiopaque metals. These fillers make devices visible under X-ray fluoroscopy, but they also are known to exacerbate hydrolytic degradation, which can affect critical performance properties and compromise patient safety, the company stated.

    Clariant can also modify a given resin family to enhance functionality and will demonstrate that capability at the show with a new range of MEVOPUR compounds. Examples include compounds of opaque and transparent ABS formulated with antistatic properties and high contrast laser-marking, optically transparent laser-absorbing and -transmitting compounds for laser-welding, and gloss black compounds with improved scratch resistance. “In the medical device and pharmaceutical packaging segments, it is not enough to create an attractive-looking product,” Steve Duckworth, global head of marketing and business development, explained in a news release. “Your product must meet all the rapidly changing regulatory requirements, while performing reliably over time. Applying Quality by Design (QbD) principles, we believe that every decision you make on plastic materials in the early development stages represents an opportunity to meet these challenges and avoid problems later in the validation or lifecycle.”

    Clariant is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the launch of the MEVOPUR ‘medical-grade’ materials portfolio with the introduction of a theme: "The Color of Innovation - The Science of Design." The theme will be the focus of Clariant’s exhibit at MD&M West 2020.

    “Even after 10 years, no other company in the plastics industry has anything like MEVOPUR,” said Duckworth. “We apply multi-industry problem-solving expertise grounded in deep technical and regulatory knowledge to help ensure the safety, compliance, and performance of our customers’ products throughout the manufacturing process and beyond—so they can get to market on time and on budget.”

    [Image courtesy of CLARIANT]

  • Bosch Rexroth will showcase its step-by-step approach to building the "Factory of the Future" in Booth #4400 during ATX West, MD&M West's co-located show. The company will highlight a full range of integrated mechatronics concepts and transport systems.

    Bosch Rexroth seeks to help manufacturers create an effective roadmap to make the best use of Industry 4.0 technology, improving operations and competitive capabilities. The exhibits and demonstrations will be organized according to key points on the journey to the "Factory of the Future" — whether potential users are seeking digital assistant capabilities for manual production solutions, looking to add modular technology that incorporates new sensors to capture production data, or are ready for full i4.0 connectivity across their operations, the company explained in a news release. Highlighted will be:

    • Lean Implementation with Aluminum Framing.
    • Technology Integration in Workstations.
    • Data Collection with [email protected]
    • Data Analysis and Visualization with IoT Gateway.
    • Monitoring Machine Health with ActiveMover.
    • Factory-wide Intelligence with Smart Assembly 4.0 Conveyors.

    Bosch Rexroth will also display two recently new products during ATX West, Smart Function Kit and GoSelect. The new, modular mechatronics package called Smart Function Kit consists of mechanical components, electrical components, and software and is immediately ready for use across a wide range of standardized pressing and joining applications. GoSelect, a new online ordering tool, is designed to streamline product selection and cost quotation. Users can  download CAD drawings available in a variey of formats, including PDF3D, STEP, IGES, and DXF.

    [Image courtesy of BOSCH REXROTH]

  • Tekni-Plex Medical, a Tekni-Plex business, will showcase products from its three brands Colorite (compounds), Natvar (tubing), and Dunn (tubing) at MD&M West Booth #3019. The company recently formed its Tekni-Plex Medical business unit to provide supplies to medical device manufacturers worldwide.

    “Our products will be shown together for the first time under the Tekni-Plex Medical banner at MD&M West. We are excited to show medical device companies how our globally-integrated operations will enable us to provide better and faster compound and tubing solutions for their unique applications,” explained Steve Penn, senior vice president, sales and marketing, and interim head of Tekni-Plex Medical, in a news release.

    The Colorite product line features PVC and TPE medical-grade compounds engineered to meet specific product objectives. Colorite also formulates custom compounds to meet specific medical application requirements.

    Natvar medical-grade tubing is used for a wide range of medical device applications including intravenous therapy, respiratory, renal/dialysis, anesthesia, diagnostic, and surgical equipment. Options include multilayer and multi-lumen tubing as well as tapered, striped, thermally coiled, and special profile products.

    Offering tight tolerances and the smallest walls, Dunn tubing can be used for minimally invasive delivery systems for the cardiovascular, electrophysiology, neurovascular, gastrointestinal/endoscopy, structural heart, and interventional radiology medical markets. Products include single and multi-lumen, coextruded, striped, or braided tubing. The company also produces acetal mandrels for manufacturing minimally invasive catheter shafts.

    [Image courtesy of TEKNI-PLEX MEDICAL]

  • 6-D Laser LLC will be showcase its approach to laser micro processing at the SPIE Photonics West event, Booth #2149, February 4-6. The company offers Hybrid Hexapod-based laser micromachining systems for wide-range taper angle control, 5-axis laser gimbal-based systems for laser processing 3D substrates, and unlimited field-of-view scanning solutions for laser processing large-format substrates. An affiliate of nanometer-level motion control specialist ALIO Industries, the company integrates ultra-fast laser material processing with the 6-D nanometer-level precision motion control solutions in which ALIO Industries specializes.

    For instance, ALIO Industries’s Hybrid Hexapod combines a precision XY monolithic stage, tripod, and continuous rotation theta-Z axis to provide superior overall performance instead of 6 independent legs (and 12 connection joints).

    “Introducing an integrated ultrafast laser micromachining system that combines the positioning capabilities of the Hybrid Hexapod, with high-speed optical scanning leads to a system that can process hard, transparent materials with wide-range taper angle control for the creation of high aspect ratio features in thick substrates, without limitations on the feature or field size," explained Dr. Stephen R. Uhlhorn, CTO at 6-D Laser, in a news statement.

    Ultrafast laser ablative processes, which remove material in a layer-by-layer process, result in machined features that have a significant side wall taper. Explained Uhlhorn: “6-D Laser’s micromachining system controls the AOI and resulting wall taper angle through the Hybrid Hexapod motion system, and the programmable tool center point allows for the control of the AOI over the entire galvo scan field, enabling the processing of large features.”

    At Photonics West, 6-D Laser will be demonstrating a large format, 2D unlimited field of view (UFOV) scanning solution and a high-throughput polygon scanning system.

    [Image courtesy of 6-D LASER LLC]

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