And the winner of the MD&M West Supplier Innovation Challenge is . . .

Interface Catheter Solutions (Laguna Niguel, CA) took top honors at the MD&M West Supplier Innovation Challenge for its automated inspection system of medical balloons. Honorable mentions were awarded to RTP Co. (Winona, MN), which was recognized for its innovative test that accurately predicts friction behavior of materials in single-use medical devices and generates valuable data in the process, and Coto Technology (North Kingston, RI) for a magnetic reed sensor measuring a scant 1.35 X 0.84 mm that can be integrated in a range of medical devices. The companies were chosen from a list of 10 finalists by UBM Canon editors. The challenge was open to all exhibitors at the MD&M West event that ends today in Anaheim, CA.

Interface Catheter SolutionsInterface Catheter Solutions was recognized for automating a process that is still performed manually at great cost and with some potential risk stemming from human error. It can take just as long to inspect a balloon as it takes to blow mold a balloon, so it's a huge cost, David Yanes, Director of Interface's catheter and advanced technology, explained to PlasticsToday sister publication MD+DI. "It has always been a manual process, and it is pretty much a manual process industrywide," he adds. It can take up to three minutes to manually inspect a balloon. The company's Auto-I does that in 30 seconds.

PlasticsToday reported on runner-up RTP's innovative friction test and the data it has compiled that allow medical device designers and engineers to eliminate trial-and-error testing when sourcing polymers for single-use medical devices. The company also will showcase this technology at NPE2015 in Orlando, FL, in March. For a primer on this technology, read "New friction test data eliminate guesswork in sourcing polymers for medical devices."

The nation's largest medical manufacturing exhibition and conference, MD&M West, co-located with PLASTEC West, ends its three-day run today at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA.


— Norbert Sparrow

Norbert Sparrow is Senior Editor at PlasticsToday. Follow him on twitter @norbertcsparrow and Google+.

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