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PlasticsToday Staff

July 12, 2016

2 Min Read
Cable supplier Leoni upgrades medical injection molding capabilities

A global supplier of cables and related systems to the automotive sector, Leoni AG (Nuremberg, Germany) also caters to the medical technology industry. It recently expanded its capabilities to better serve medical device OEMs sourcing over-molded connectors.

The company’s healthcare business unit is specialized in over molding thermoplastics and elastomers and providing two-component molding of liquid silicone rubber (LSR). The recent investment in its automated systems is designed to meet growing demand for ready-to-connect, thermally and mechanically stable components as well as pressure-sealed solutions for medical technology applications. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.

In addition to leveraging semi-automated injection and over molding technologies, Leoni’s healthcare business unit can access a range of hot-melt devices to produce parts and devices to customer specifications.

For instance, the company processes LSR to produce connectors, grommets and v-splitters for flexible, sealed endoscopy systems that withstand autoclaving.

“We aim to offer our customers more over-molded components in our ready-to-install system solutions,” said Siemen-Jannes Meinders, Head of Leoni’s Business Unit Healthcare, in a prepared statement explaining the rationale for the investment. “As a systems supplier, we focus on customized solutions for specific requirements, and do so starting from small lot sizes. That calls for a broad range of technologies and know how.”

Leoni is specialized in the development of application-optimized component geometries along with the necessary tooling. The processes and materials deployed depend on the application, explained the company, and require materials expertise to achieve the best possible outcome. In addition to silicone, Leoni processes FEP, ETFE, TPU and other biocompatible materials for near-patient applications. For mechanically demanding applications related to device wiring, Leoni over molds internal and external cables with technical plastics or thermal fusion adhesives. Leoni can also over mold up to 30% glass-fiber-reinforced plastics in a high-pressure process.

In addition to endoscopy systems designed to prevent the formation of biofilms, Leoni has developed parts for surgical navigation and imaging devices. The company can also provide over-molded components with an antimicrobial surface. 

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