Corrosion-Resistant Marking

Black, corrosion-resistant marking is now available from Amada Weld Tech, Monrovia, CA. This unique mark, frequently used for stainless steel implantable devices and surgical tools, survives multiple passivation and autoclaving cycles. The black mark is generated using a picosecond laser. The ultrashort pulse durations of the picosecond laser allow it to impart energy to a material surface with almost no thermal effect. Marks created by picosecond IR lasers are extremely high contrast periodic nanostructures with antireflective properties that make the marks appear deep black against their surroundings; they are restructured surface material rather than an oxide layer.

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Polymer

A new polymer from Kraton, Houston, TX, enables improved flow for higher manufacturing efficiency. Kraton G1646 polymer is a hydro-genated styrenic block copolymer (HSBC). The product has excellent compatibility with polypropylene and is produced as a dense pellet. It can be used in a variety of applications including medical tubing and films and face masks. Face masks employing the polymer are more stable at body temperature over a long-use period compared to masks employing polyolefin elastomers, enabling a more secure fit over time. The elastic material is softer than polyolefin elastomers, leading to enhanced comfort.

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Stroke Gripper

A long-stroke gripper from Schunk, Morrisville, NC enables human-robot collaboration. The EGL-C surpasses the typical force-limited 140 N, generating gripping forces to 450 N. An integrated, patent-pending safety algorithm protects employees working alongside their robotic coworkers, opening up the potential in human-robot collaboration for handling weights well beyond small parts assembly. Easy to install and fully programmable, the gripper makes it easy for companies to implement automation with a cobot.

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Robot Cell

Stäubli Tec-Systems Robotics, Bayreuth, Germany, collaborated with Ward Automation Sligo, which engineered and manufactured a compact and flexible robot cell for the end-of-line testing, labeling, and palletizing of 36,000 syringes per hour. Three Stäubli robots with hygienic design are responsible for the handling of their containers. The automation eliminates the risk of damaged syringes, missing syringes, and missing anti-tamper seals. For production safety and traceability, the robot cell was integrated into Ward’s SCADA system.

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High-Lubricity Polycarbonate

A wear-resistant, high-lubricity polycarbonate (PC) is available from Trinseo, Berwyn, PA. The material has been designed for drug-delivery devices and surgical tools. Part of the company’s CALIBRE™ polycarbonate resins series, the new material platform provides a solution for the low-friction movement of one material over another, extending product life and minimizing noise without external lubricants.

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Medical Freezers

Liebherr, Miami, FL, has debuted a line of ultra-low temperature freezers (ULTs) designed specifically for the scientific and medical industry. The new ULTs are an expansion of the company’s Medicine series and are available in two sizes with a temperature range from –40° to –86 °C. The freezers offer temperatures that go virtually unchanged for months and are environmentally sound and energy efficient. The freezers use green hydrocarbon refrigerants and a unique insulation system. Sizes include 500 and 700 liter in either 115 V/60 Hz or 208–240 V/60 Hz.

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AI Rackmount Server

Kontron, Augsburg, Germany, has been certified as a preferred partner under the NVIDIA partner program. The company uses the NVIDIA’s graphics performance units (GPUs) in its AI platforms, such as its rackmount server KISS V3 4U SKX, which was developed for AI and inference applications. In healthcare, AI can ease the time pressure in prevention, diagnosis, and therapy. The systems must analyze terabytes of data in a very short time. This work relies to some degree on high-performance CPUs, but the critical parallel processing work is done by GPUs, which provide the necessary processing power for deep learning, machine learning, and inferencing.

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Layer Extrusion Tooling

Guill Tool & Engineering, West Warwick, RI, has introduced the latest generation of its layer extrusion tooling designed to produce the highest quality, highest material-efficient ⅛ to 6 in. OD tubing. The redesigned Series 800 produces flawlessly smooth extrusion and layer definition of fluoropolymer and other materials for all multi-layer, multi-lumen medical tubing. The design further allows thin layer combinations of polymers and adhesives to 0.02 mm or less. All tooling is produced using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) programs.

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Graphite Heat Spreaders

A family of high-performance, thick, single-layer flexible graphite solutions is available from Neograf Solutions, Lakewood, OH. The NeoNxGen™ advanced flexible graphite heat spreaders have the high thermal conductivity of synthetic graphite yet are much thicker than traditional synthetic products. The flexible graphite has the thermal conductivity of synthetic graphite (900–1100 W/mK). It exhibits strong repeated flexibility characteristics, making it ideal for applications with foldable displays, or any other application where the product will be repeatedly flexed and bent.

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Leak Tester

A leak test instrument for simple pressure decay leak testing is available from Marposs, Auburn Hills, MI. Equipped with an easy-to-use 3.5 in. color touch LCD display and a compact footprint (6.25 × 7 × 5.25 in.), the Tecna T2 is available with manual precision regulator control and two different ranges — 0–30 and 0–90 psi. It is easy to adapt to applications, including medical devices, requiring 100 percent leak test inspection. The tester is ideal for manual bench applications with intuitive programming. It can also communicate through digital I/O, Ethernet, USB Host/Slave, and RS232/RS485.

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Filter Sets

Alluxa, Santa Rosa, CA, has launched an online catalog of fluorescence filters developed for use in COVID-19 testing devices. The Ultra Series – Fluorescence Filter Sets are specifically designed for real-time qPCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction) applications. Two featured products featured include the Cy®5 ULTRA Fluorescence Filter Set for LED Light Sources, designed as LED-optimized, single-band optical filter set providing bright, high-contrast images of CY ®5-stained samples, Quasar®670, and all associated fluorophores, and the FAM ULTRA Fluorescence Filter Set for LED Light Sources, also LED-optimized, single-band optical filter set for FAM, Fluorescein, and all associated fluorophores.

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3D Software

ANCA CNC Machines, Wixom, MI, has launched a new look for its simulation software with time-saving and user-friendly enhancements for offline productivity. CIM3D V9 CIMulator3D software has an upgraded interface with fresh colors and icons with intuitive functionality. The new software offers clearer visualization with the customizable timeline panel — effectively a central dashboard for quicker and easier tool analysis. New tool programs can be verified for size, shape, machine clearance, cycle time estimates, and more.

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Connectivity Framework

TT Electronics, Woking, UK, has launched a framework for smart IoT solutions. Speed-to-Connect is an end-to-end IoT framework that seamlessly delivers hardware, connectivity, infrastructure, and user-experience solutions. By streamlining the secure connection of products and systems, users achieve tangible results such as improving efficiencies, eliminating unnecessary maintenance, reducing carbon footprint, and enabling data-led business decisions. The first products include the S-2CONNECT Hub and S-2CONNECT Sense devices. The system can be deployed for asset tracking, smart home, mHealth, cold chain, and industrial IoT applications.

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Medical Design Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the October, 2020 issue of Medical Design Briefs Magazine.

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