Micro milling inner diameter of soft polymer tubing could not be automated.
Precision micro machining solution for polymers rigidly fixtures the flexible material for milling, measures to confirm placement and mills finished part.
Production systems now making new medical devices possible faster and at a lower cost per part.
A Fortune 100 medical device corporation was looking for a solution to enable the production of a new shape of polymer catheter tubing. The critical challenge was machining the inner diameter at the end of the catheter tubes to properly mate the catheter to the drug delivery tip. It was critical to make the inner edge of the tube end exactly concentric, and the softness of the material made accurate machining extremely difficult. There was no machining technology available that could automate the machining the material to specification.
The company turned to Microlution and its polymer micro tube machining solution. Based on the 363-S micro milling platform, this precision micro machining solution for polymers incorporates a compressed air delivery system that keeps the tube rigid, and camera metrology equipment to ensure accuracy as the product is being machined. The solution also provides the software needed to control the process. In addition, features were added to meet the unique needs of the medical device industry-barcode readers for raw material and pallet tracking, and environmental features for clean room compatibility.
The result is a turnkey solution that automates the production of the catheter tube end, with the required speed and quality to make the product design achievable and affordable. The solution has been so successful that the customer now has 15 units in production.