Fakuma exhibitors display their medical molding mettle

  • Fakuma

    Although medical manufacturing typically does not represent a massive customer base for injection molding machine companies, many of them go out of their way to demo medical molding applications at broad-based plastics trade shows such as Fakuma. There is a simple reason for this: The technical demands and regulatory requirements of medical device OEMs are exceedingly stringent. Tight tolerances, miniaturization, cleanliness, unerring quality assurance are the coins of this realm. If you can make it in medical molding, one might say, you can make it anywhere.

    At Fakuma, Engel, Wittmann Battenfeld and Milacron showed their prowess at meeting the draconian demands of medical device manufacturers. To find out how, click through this brief slide show.

  • Engel

    Engel (Schwertberg, Austria) highlighted an integrated production cell producing needle holders for 1-ml safety syringes in a 16-cavity mold developed by Fostag Formenbau (Stein am Rhein, Switzerland). The parts were molded on an e-victory 170/80 machine and transferred by a viper 12 robot.

    A parts drawer enables quality inspections without interruption of the production cycle.

    To ensure batch traceability down to the level of individual cavities, the parts are packed in 16 cavity-specific bags. Individual shots can be removed for quality control purposes. The system is suitable for automated cleanroom operation thanks to the CC300 control unit, which can precisely coordinate the movements of the machine and robot. The system achieves a six-second cycle time.

  • Wittmann Battenfeld at Fakuma

    On its stand, Wittmann Battenfeld (Kottingbrun, Austria) showcased a thermoplastic medical part over-molded with silicone. A 4+4-cavity mold supplied by Italian company Silital (Adro) and produced by Linea Stampi Srl (Coccaglio, Italy) ran on a SmartPower 120/525H/130L machine. A W931 robot from Wittmann Battenfeld moved the part onto a conveyor belt (pictured). The robot is equipped with the company’s R9 control system, which was introduced at K 2016.

    The R9 system offers an enlarged 10.1-inch display screen and capacitive touch technology. The screen also supports gesture commands (wiping to change pages and zooming in with two fingers), which makes operation intuitive. The R9 is also equipped with several multi-core processors for improved performance through optimal division of tasks. Time- and safety-relevant processes can now be completely isolated from visualization to ensure optimal operational safety and a rapid response to critical incidents.

  • Milacron at Fakuma

    Milacron (Cincinnati, OH) showcased its all-electric Electron EVO machine insert molding a medical syringe using a four-cavity Zahoransky mold. A Staubli robot transferred the device to a Max Petek-designed cleanroom area. The cycle time is 14 seconds.

    The molding machine features exceptional repeatability in stroke precision and, because it is all electric, no oil disposal, leaks or slipping hazards, making it compatible with cleanroom environments.

    The Electron EVO uses 60% less energy and 90% less water than hydraulic injection molding machines, reducing operating costs substantially, according to Milacron.

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