Miniature cleaning, deburring brushes
Pferd M-Brad miniature brushes deliver repeatable results for cleaning, light deburring, and surface-conditioning. The lineup of wheel, cup, and end configurations includes stem-mounted miniature brushes suited for precision applications.Brush filament options includes:
- Carbon steel wire
- Stainless steel (INOX)
- Brass wire
- Aluminum oxide abrasive
- Soft, stiff natural bristles
M-Brad is a 6.12 nylon microfilament evenly encapsulating various abrasive grit particles on the surface and throughout the filament. Flexible strands enable deburring of complex parts, yielding gradual cutting action and control from surface preparation to edge blending. M-Brad brushes and are suitable for wet and dry surface conditioning. The brushs’ cleaning actions remove sharp cross-hole burrs, metal sliver residues, and sharp corners.
Micromar 40 EWRi digital micrometer enables faster, easier, and more reliable measurements. Data is transferred via an i-Stick while MarCom software simplifies data acquisition: take a measurement, transmit directly into Excel, or via a keyboard code into any Windows program or existing statistical process control (SPC) application. Micromar 40 EWRi features 10mm digits on a high-contrast digital display.
Cimclean cleaners and Cimguard corrosion preventatives protect part integrity and lower costs by increasing process flow and reducing rejected parts.
Cimclean adds high pressure spray, immersion, and maintenance products:
- Cimclean SP-787: High-pressure spray alkaline cleaner with foam, corrosion control; sump life, gaging friendly
- Cimclean IM-604: Immersion, vibratory, ultrasonic cleaner; can be applied by spray; sump life and corrosion control
- Cimclean MC-Multi Kleen: Maintenance, general shop cleaner
- Cimclean MC-30: Maintenance, disinfectant cleaner for machine tool cleanouts
For corrosion prevention, Cimguard adds products:
- Cimguard 625: Water based for ferrous metals; indoor protection up to 30 days
- Cimguard 10: Solvent-based for multi-metal; indoor protection 30 days to 180 days
- Cimguard 2405: Solvent-based for multi-metal; indoor protection 180 days to 18 months
- Cimguard 408: Solvent-based for multi-metal; indoor/outdoor protection up to 24 months
Tool presetter, integrated tool management
The EZset with ImageController3 tool presetter features an integrated tool management and graphics library that enables tool cutting edge visualization with autofocus and 28x magnification. With minimal training, EZset enables fast measurement, setting, and testing of tools – length, diameter, radius and two cutting edge angles. Precise measurement and storage of measuring programs for multi-stage tools simplifies measuring concentricity and face runout on the tool shaft. Software sets the tool contour while the EZnaviator compass needle allows positioning of the camera on the tool. Results can be output to a label, list, or to the CNC machine.
Liquid silicone rubber (LSR) injection molding has been around for years. Its use has significantly expanded recently, especially in medical devices and wearable technology. LSR cures faster and offers properties not obtainable with traditional rubber materials, especially heat-resistance, extreme low-temperature flexibility, chemical resistance, biological inertness, and an intrinsic capacity for reducing friction. The material’s expanded use has resulted in the development of new LSR process equipment, especially technology that optimizes LSR injection molding machines to provide the greatest value and ease of use.
The basic raw material for silicone rubber is sand, or silicon dioxide. The material is processed into pure silicon. It is then reacted with methyl chloride, after which a range of processing steps create a variety of silicone types, including liquid.
LSR is a two-component reactive chemical with a thick, almost paste-like consistency, which has been compared to peanut butter. The two components are usually shipped in separate containers. Some medical-grade silicones are shipped in small disposable plastic cartridges. The two components are mixed in a 1:1 ratio to produce a reaction. Accelerated by heat, the two liquids then change to a rubber.
LSR injection molding is an inherently clean production process, because the component chemicals are sealed within a closed system. No ambient air contacts the parts until they are removed from the mold, eliminating issues with dust and moisture. This also improves part quality, because contaminants can diminish the cured rubber’s physical properties.
Medical, wearable benefits
Use of LSR is growing in both traditional rubber applications and those where traditional rubber materials had not previously been used. Key examples include medical devices, wearables, automotive, industrial, and even home goods (see sidebar).
Medical devices – LSR cures completely and quickly. This is especially critical when medical devices are placed in a patient’s body, because it means the device will not leach chemicals and cause potential adverse reactions. By contrast, latex, a material long used in the medical industry, does not fully cure during production, and can lead to adverse patient reactions.
Due to LSR’s chemical makeup, it does not degrade until heated to very high temperatures – much higher than most other polymers could tolerate. So LSR can handle sterilization processes, contributing to its effectiveness for medical and baby care uses.
A final (and critical) advantage is the ability to use LSRs to manufacture drug-eluting devices (DEDs). For example, hormones used in the NuvaRing contraceptive product are injected as an additive in the LSR dosing process. LSR DEDs can also be placed in pacemaker heart catheter leads, enabling the leads to introduce anti-inflammatory medication directly into heart tissue for improved results.
Wearable technology – Wearable fitness trackers, such as FitBit and Jawbone, are largely responsible for the expansion of the flexible wearables category. With its ability to handle both high and low temperatures, ultraviolet (UV), and ozone without degrading, LSR is a better fit than traditional materials for wearable technology used under constant sun exposure. Unlike other rubber, products manufactured with LSR are unlikely to cause adverse skin reactions when worn by users, even for extended periods of time.
Optimized production process
To achieve LSR’s benefits, injection molding machines must be optimized for value and ease of use.
While LSR equipment is similar in many ways to that used in the plastics industry, manufacturing LSR tools in the same manner as a plastic tool can lead to production failures. It is essential to use tool makers with a history of making LSR tooling. Also critical is working with an injection molding machine company that can assist with processing challenges, since successful LSR manufacturing requires that all components work properly together.
The most common pain points in LSR manufacturing are managing waste and controlling color changes and additives. Excess material is wasted because it is difficult to reclaim due to air bubbles, loss of certification, and a lack of lot tracking. Color changes can pose production down time, because extensive cleaning processes between colors can take as long as 4 to 6 hours. In addition, control of color or additives is a concern, especially controlling functional additives in the medical device industry.
Waste and increased additive control can be addressed through closed-loop control system technology. For example, Graco Fluid Automation F4 series systems use a dosing valve and a high-resolution flow meter to provide a closed-loop control for third- and fourth-stream additives, such as color and medications. The system monitors and adjusts to ensure the additive is being dispensed in the appropriate amount. If there is an out-of-tolerance condition, the system stops production.
Controlling the flow of the two primary material components in a closed-loop system allows the machine to react to changes in the material viscosity and the presence of air bubbles. Operators can vary the ratio to ensure the correct amount of material is used.
Closed-loop-control of two-component LSR dispense ratio is achieved by monitoring the material flow using high-resolution, helical gear-style flow meters. The helical gear uses multiple gear teeth to measure the flow in small increments. Flow meter data is fed back to the controller, which operates the valve to alter the flow of material to the flow meter, forming the closed loop.
The increased number of measurements provides more assurance that the machine is running on-ratio, and significantly reduces waste and rework caused by off-ratio dispensing.
The system offers a calibration routine that can be performed by the end user as necessary for a particular process, which also has a significant impact on product quality. The sample is collected and weighed, and resulting data is entered into the display module, calculating the current actual dispense ratio and calibrating the control system.
Other controls monitor processes to reliably manage the LSR system for its entire life cycle. The Graco Control Architecture (GCA), for example, provides longer life cycles than standard PLC products, and has a faster response time than other control architecture types.Overall, this helps manufacturers reduce waste, ensure proper additive introduction, and control the operation of LSR dispense systems for hassle-free production.
LSR at the leading edge
In a state of rapid expansion, LSR continues to offer new and improved materials to replace older technologies with longer-lasting, more effective solutions. Improvements to LSR physical properties for individual applications mean LSR will likely continue replacing traditional rubber materials in existing industries and possibly others. With the advanced dispense and production technology currently on the market, manufacturing of LSR products can be managed to minimize problems and take full advantage of this material’s wide-ranging potential.
About the author: Mike Pelletier, business development manager at Graco Inc., can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 248.635.8817.
Aktina Medical’s SRS Cone Adapter and Elekta Instruments’ LINAC Radiotherapy system are now integrated and automated for use within the Philips Medical Systems’ Pinnacle3 Treatment Planning System (TPS).
“Pinnacle’s TPS will now be capable of connecting directly to Elekta’s LINAC system with the full integration of Aktina’s Interlocked SRS cones,” says Nicholas G. Zacharopoulos, COO, Aktina Medical. “No manual intervention will be required to ensure that the correct cones size and jaw sizes are implemented at the time of treatment.”
Aktina’s adapter snaps onto the Elekta LINAC head without collimator faceplate modifications. Aktina’s interchangeable cones are lightweight and accurate, available from 5mm through 40mm field sizes in increments of 1mm. Each cone is recognized by the Elekta LINAC through the system’s bar code scanner, and the cones are electronically interlocked through the Elekta Record and verify system by a series of micro switches embedded in the cone applicator.
Canon Virginia collaborates on CVR Medical’s CSS
ISO 13485-certified medical device contract manufacturer Canon Virginia Inc. (CVI) will collaborate with CVR Global Inc. to bring CVR Medical’s Carotid Stenotic Scan (CSS) to market. CSS is a device under development to provide early detection of carotid arterial health, a leading stroke indicator.
“Our collaboration with CVR Medical reaffirms Canon’s commitment to expanding our leading manufacturing services into the medical device industry,” says Toru Nishizawa, president and CEO of CVI.
CVI’s medical manufacturing division includes an ISO Class 7 clean room and 30,000ft2 of dedicated floor space to support Class I and Class II medical device manufacturing. The facility offers a streamlined supply chain and customized manufacturing solution for CVR Medical’s CSS device.
Lubrizol LifeSciences’ $10 million silicone operations expansion
Officials from The Lubrizol Corp.’s LifeSciences business announced a $10 million capacity expansion at its silicone contract manufacturing site in Franklin, Wisconsin, with the addition of 71,000ft2 of space complementing the existing 126,000ft2 operation.
The new space features product development, cellular manufacturing, and high-efficiency production lines, as well as separate Class 7 and 8 clean room space for implant and drug-eluting device production.
ConforMIS acquires Broad Peak machining, polishing assets
ConforMIS Inc. acquired the machining and polishing assets of Broad Peak Manufacturing LLC, a high-precision surface preparation and finishing facility. ConforMIS will integrate most of Broad Peak’s employees, acquire supplies and equipment, and lease a manufacturing facility and office space in Wallingford, Connecticut.
Broad Peak has provided polishing services for ConforMIS’ femoral implant component including iTotal CR, iTotal PS, iUni, and iDuo since 2014.
Starting in 2018, ConforMIS estimates that the integration of the Broad Peak polishing operations will reduce polishing cost up to 50% with a potential 200 basis point improvement in overall gross margin.
“This acquisition represents an important step in enhancing the manufacturing of our customized knee implants,” says Mark Augusti, CEO and president of ConforMIS. “Our goal is to continuously invest in specific areas of our business that will improve overall operational efficiencies while maintaining our commitment to quality product for our patients.”
Happy Manufacturing Month 2017!
I have an affinity for manufacturing. Just ask my kids and their teenage friends – it’s possible that I may be known to talk enthusiastically to anyone willing to listen and learn about manufacturing’s contribution to everything. So, now that October is here, everyone involved in the industry has a full month to promote all the positives manufacturing brings to the economy – regionally and nationally – spurring the next generation to consider this for a career.
The first Friday in October is officially MFG DAY and this year it’s Oct. 6, 2017. Participants are encouraged to hold events that day and throughout the month. Produced annually by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) with key contributions and support from the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and the Manufacturing Institute (MI), MFG DAY started in 2012 with 240 scheduled events. In 2014, President Obama recognized Manufacturing Day with a proclamation declaring Oct. 2, 2014, National Manufacturing Day, repeating that in 2016 along with 147 local and state lawmakers.
Last year, more than 2,800 official MGF DAY events were planned. At the writing of this editorial, with just less than a month to go, nearly 2,100 events have been confirmed. For this celebration of manufacturing, companies invest time and people to spark the next machinist from a student who may visit that day.
NYMAT Machine Tool is one of the companies. Jim McGaffin, sales manager at the company, told me that NYMAT will be opening their Haas Factory Outlet to high school juniors and seniors on MFG DAY for what they have titled Career Paths in Manufacturing. NYMAT Machine Tools employees will present students with examples of career opportunities based on precision machining that include:
- Skilled machinist and apprentice training
- Design & programming with CAD/CAM
- Service technician training in mechatronics
- Part & logistics with opportunities in supply chain management
- Sales & management opportunities with machine tool and tooling builders, distributors, finished parts suppliers, robotics, and automation
Adding to the day-long event for students – in addition to lunch – will be demonstrations of 5-axis machining and an emphasis on the breadth of opportunities available in precision machining, showing students the variety of career paths available.
While this is just one example of plans for MFG DAY, NYMAT, like many other companies, works to promote manufacturing even when it’s not proclaimed a national day. Charlie Phillips, sales and marketing manager at Penn United, wrote me recently to let me know how founder and CEO Carl Jones started an apprentice program in 1973, developing it throughout the years into the current training program. At the L.I.G.H.T. – Learning Institute for Growth of Higher Technology facility it built in 1999, the company provides training for employees, customers, and the community while also working with local vocational programs and colleges to offer hands-on learning with a focus on creating long-term job opportunities.
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