Metal separation system boosts medtech molding quality and productivity

A leading global medical technology company that uses virgin resins as well as regrind was experiencing downtime during the injection molding process because of metal particles contaminating the polymers. The particles clogged tooling cavities, which then would have to be cleaned, halting production. In addition to affecting output, the contaminants also would cause defects in the plastic molded parts. The company, which was not named in the press release, turned to Sesotec (Schönberg, Germany), which develops systems for detecting contaminants and sorting materials. Together, they determined that a metal separation system would be the most effective way to remove metallic particles, protecting the injection molding machines and ensuring the integrity of the plastic parts.

Sesotec metal separator
The compact aluminum-block design of the Protector system allows installation of heavy conveying, mixing and dosing units directly on the metal separator.

The medtech company, which Sesotec’s press release characterized as an innovator in the field of injection and infusion technology, is firmly committed to continuous improvement in quality systems and is diligent in performing analyses to determine where and how process efficiency can be improved. Following extensive tests, the medical device OEM chose Sesotec’s Protector series of metal separators for the inspection and cleaning of the granulate. 

The metal separators are installed directly above the material inlet of the injection molding machines, where they reliably remove metal contaminants from the slowly descending material column. A key feature of the compact Protector system is a "quick-valve" reject unit.

When a metal particle is detected, a pneumatically controlled piston in the unit moves into the reject position, and the unwanted material is deposited in a collection container by means of a Venturi nozzle. The piston then reverts to its pass-through position. The loss of good material is minimized, and clogging is eliminated, according to Sesotec.

The medical technology company reports a “significant” reduction in downtime and improved productivity since it installed the metal separation system.

Sesotec develops metal separation systems for the food, plastics, chemical, pharmaceutical and recycling industries. The company has subsidiaries in the United States, China, Singapore, Italy, India, Canada and Thailand, and works with more than 60 partners worldwide.

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