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Supplier Stories for the Week of May 17

Here’s what was new in the world of medical device suppliers during the week of May 17.

  • Autocam Medical

    Autocam Medical, a global contract manufacturer of precision-machined surgical instruments and other device components, has been manufacturing a new ventilator splitter with individual pressure capability. The company has been collaborating with researchers at the University of Michigan to develop VentMI, moving from prototype to a part available for use in under a month, it reported in a news release.

    “We’re extremely grateful to have been asked to participate in the creation of this vital new product,” said John Kennedy, CEO of Autocam Medical, in a statement. “And we’re very proud of our team’s ability to go from prototype through manufacturing, engineering, to finished product in a matter of days to help meet this crucial need for the healthcare community.”

    Autocam Medical reports that the new splitter was "conceived only weeks ago" by Dr. Kyle VanKoevering of the Department of Otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Michigan Medicine and an associate faculty member in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. VentMI overcomes a previously critical limitation for shared use of these devices. The new splitter enables individual pressure capability, whereas previous splitters could deliver only one pre-set pressure to patients.

    The new splitter was designed, prototyped, tested, and received FDA Emergency Use Authorization; Autocam Medical, which was mobilized to implement Design for Manufacturing (DFM) processes, has been manufacturing the VentMI.

    A new company formed by U-M inventors, MakeMedical LLC, has licensed the technology from U-M and will provide VentMI at cost to other institutions, it was reported in the release. Autocam Medical is providing its manufacturing services at cost, as well. Said Owen Tien, CEO of 3-D printing company Thingsmiths, a co-developer of VentMI and co-founder of MakeMedical: “Autocam Medical’s professionalism, speed, and quality of work is world-class. Their ability to move our components beyond 3D-printed prototypes has resulted in a product we can stand behind, and we are proud to partner with them.”

    [Image courtesy of AUTOCAM MEDICAL]

    Autocam Medical
  • T.O. Plastics

    T.O. Plastics has designed a plastic shield that can be used in the production and assembly of protective face shields. While the initial research and development was begun to produce a face shield to provide protection for employees at T.O. Plastics as well as other companies within the Otter Tail Corp., the team realized that there was opportunity to offer this capability to organizations focused on mass production of personal protective equipment, the company reported in the release.

    “We’re using the capabilities we have to do what we can to fill a gap in a supply chain when PPE becomes scarce," said Don Jaeger, T.O. Plastics vice president of sales, in the release.

    T.O. Plastics cuts the plastic of the face shield to spec, which gets sent to a customer for final assembly. They can partner on the custom design and have opened production capacity to help the industry respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    [Image courtesy of T.O. PLASTICS, AN OTTER TAIL CORP.]


    T.O. Plastics
  • PI (Physik Instrumente) LP

    PI (Physik Instrumente) LP offers several piezo ceramic products that can be used in various testing methods, such as IVD, cytometry, cell isolation, cell-line engineering, printing of microarrays, and lab-on-a-chip systems.  Because the piezoelectric effect invovles the generation of charges through the application of force by a crystal and vice versa,  piezo ceramics react with an immediate displacement when applying an electric drive voltage, PI explained in a news release.

    Piezo components offer low power consumption and high durability and reliability, suiting them for battery-operated point-of-care applications as well as large lab automation devices.  For instance, the effect can be applied to plates and discs for shock-free moving and mixing of small amounts of fluid, to valves to control very low flow rates, and to ultrafast actuators or tubes for precise droplet generation. Piezo ceramics can achieve precision, speed, and force in a small package, the company explained.

    [Image courtesy of PI (PHYSIK INSTRUMENTE) LP

    PI (Physik Instrumente) LP
  • Beaumont Machine

    Beaumont Machine has updated its FH40 Fast-Hole EDM machine to achieve a faster response time and to add additional features.

    “Fast-Hole EDM has changed in the past five years from primarily producing cooling holes to the needs on shapes and diffusers," said Beaumont Machine president Ed Beaumont in a news release. "The additional need for a lower recast and virtually no microcracking has become the standard in aerospace. As a result, Beaumont Machine has been working on answers for our customers, focusing on the ability to work real time with our power supply to control interconnection and closed-loop features. Doing so aids in delivering a better overall quality for our process. Other features that improve with the real-time process such as micro-pulse technology, breakthrough hole-start technology and blind hole drilling all benefit from this better interconnection between the power supply and control.”

    Other machine features are described as:

    • Off-site diagnostics via analog or digital inputs
    • 16 axes capability
    • Rotary table accuracy 3 to 5 arc seconds
    • Axis accuracy and squareness 0.0004 in.
    • Repeatability 0.0002 in.
    • Electrode capability 24 in.
    • Electrode diameter 0.012 in. - 0.25 in.
    • Rapid speed 400 ipm X,Y,Z 200 ipm W
    • Drive resolution and absolute encoders
    • Spindle speed 3000 RPM
    • X, Y, Z axis travel in X up to 60 in.
    • Output amperage 65 amps continuous
    • Amperage settings 1 amp increments
    • Capacitance range 0 - 8.95
    • Filtration system 150 gallon DI System
    • Siemens Sinumerik 840D CNC
    • Fanuc 31i

    [Image courtesy of BEAUMONT MACHINE]

    Beaumont Machine
  • MW Industries Inc.

    MW Industries Inc., a manufacturer of precision metal components, has been playing a role in the supply chain for ventilators and other medical devices needed in the COVID-19 pandemic response. All of its locations have remained open to support the needs of its clients in every industry, including the following medical device industry support described below:

    • Tri-Star Industries, a manufacturer of precision threaded inserts for plastic applications, has stepped up production in its Berlin, CT, location to meet demand from the largest ventilator manufacturers in the world.
    • RAF Electronic Hardware, in Seymour, CT, a supplier of precision metal fasteners and components for medical equipment such as ventilators, air filtration and medical imaging systems, has been able to design, manufacture, and ship parts in a matter of days to keep production lines up and running.
    • Century Spring Corp. in Commerce, CA, a source of springs such as stainless-steel compression springs for both ventilator R&D and production volumes, has maintained inventories to ship same-day and supported medical OEM and contract manufacturers as they have scaled up production of ventilators.
    • Servometer, in Cedar Grove, NJ,  manufactures several bellows used in critical ventilator applications.
    • Economy Spring & Stamping, in Southington, CT, used additive manufacturing to address a shortage of PPE masks at a Connecticut hospital, delivering the first batch of 3-D printed masks in under a week.

    [Image courtesy of MW Industries]

    MW Industries Inc.
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