A range of visual inspection and non-contact measuring systems deliver precise visual inspection while reducing operator discomfort.
Swift PRO non-contact visual measuring systems combine optical and video measurement technologies for precision and quality control in manufacturing. Its high-definition (HD) video camera, with video edge detection (VED) and dimmable stage illumination, enables more accurate measurement of difficult-to-view samples, while the software’s one-click measurement setup allows instant profile and surface measurement.
The system requires minimal training since the easy-to-use interface allows all levels of operators to measure components and run reports.
Mantis low magnification stereo microscopes (up to 20x) features an eyepiece-less design that improves user comfort, providing freedom of head movement and peripheral vision. Operators can wear glasses, contact lenses, or safety goggles while viewing metal samples.
Lynx EVO stereo microscope – 240x max magnification – is an advanced stereo microscope for intricate tasks requiring high-resolution 3D stereo viewing. It has an eyepiece-less design, overcoming ergonomic challenges such as eye strain, neck fatigue, and back pain.
Vision Engineering Ltd.
My husband and I are huge “Survivor” show fans. We’ve been watching since our daughter was 3 weeks old; she graduates high school next month. Now in its 36th season, this reality show (really, it’s a social experiment) has contestants constantly in competition and collaboration to see who can “Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast” to be the sole survivor and win $1 million. And there’s always a twist. This season it’s Ghost Island, home to lost advantages from past seasons that could have helped a player get farther in the game, but one bad decision was game-ending for them. Players cast away to Ghost Island have a chance to acquire a lost advantage and, hopefully, make a good decision this time.
While there’s competition in medical device manufacturing, it also has, and needs, collaboration. Take, for example, Micropulse Inc. Founded in 1988 by Brian Emerick in his garage with one machine, by 2003 the company was manufacturing parts for a range of industries under the plan: buy a machine, get work, hire some people, and repeat. While perhaps not a bad decision – since it got the company up and running – as some segments began to slow Emerick made the tough, but good decision, to narrow the company’s focus and concentrate on orthopedic devices.
By 2010, tax cuts and matching funding had helped the company nearly double its size to 100,000ft2. In 2013 it was announced the company would invest $14.3 million to renovate its current facility, invest in new equipment, and add an additional 60,000ft2. Then in late 2017, company officials announced another $5.5 million to increase its machining and inspection capacity. Amid these continuing company expansions, Emerick started dabbling in incubation.
The result was the opening of the Micropulse OrthoVation Center in 2010. Emerick’s aim for this in-house incubator was to establish Whitley County, Indiana, as a center of excellence for product development, innovation, and commercialization for start-up orthopedic companies.
It’s working. One recent tenant, Restoration Medical Polymers (RMP), opened its new 36,000ft2 facility not far from Micropulse, and fabricates forms of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) used in long-term human implantable applications, especially orthopedics. (Read more in this month’s Motion Engineering + Design section.)
Today, Emerick attributes automation, earned trust, and integrity as what enables Micropulse to provide quality parts, delivered quickly and at competitive prices – this month’s cover story. But it was also that one good decision that changed the course of the company, opening up more possibilities, such as his incubation program.
It’s also a great lesson for any manufacturer looking to grow leaner or narrow their focus to become the expert in what they do.
What was that one
bad good decision that has changed the direction of your company?
Elizabeth Engler Modic, Editor
Medical materials portfolio
Qmonix Elastomer 912T, a USP Class VI certified material for bio-compatible applications, offers mechanical durability and tear resistance. The elastomer is low compression set, resistant to water and steam, exhibits high dielectric strength, and has been tested in accordance with ISO-10993-5.
Quniton, a portfolio of highly lubricious materials, has permanent, low coefficient of friction (CoF) surface properties that minimize friction, wear, and abrasion in medical valves, plungers, caps, and seals. Quniton’s base material is USP Class VI and ISO 10993-5 certified. Quniton maintains its original form and sealing force, retaining integrity throughout a product’s life cycle; resists severe chemical exposure to acids, bases, and solvents; and maintains good thermal stability at temperatures as high as 500°F (262°C). Quniton’s low CoF lets it resist bonding or sticking to a range of materials and itself.
Minnesota Rubber and Plastics
Modular CMM series
The GLOBAL S coordinate measuring machine (CMM) series, customizable for specific inspection work and changing manufacturing objectives, features four capability packages:
Throughput – Reduces measuring cycle times to increase production volume
Precision – Measures parts with tight tolerances, complex geometries
Multi-Purpose – Measures variety of materials with different features, surface characteristics
Shop Floor - Integrates measurement on the production floor, enabling process optimization; supports fully-automated shop floor measurement
Smart technologies and sensor configurations streamline the creation, execution, and analysis of measurement routines. Built on Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence’s enhanced productivity series (EPS) concept, software and probe choices are available, as well as machine options such as Compass, the vibration-reduction system that enhances machine scanning throughput and performance.
Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence
Thread turning solution
The CoroThread 266 thread turning tool offers precision over- and under-coolant to improve process security and maximize efficiency.
Over-coolant improves chip formation for more secure machining, while under-coolant controls temperature for longer tool life. Precision coolant improves surface finish, supporting high-quality thread generation.
CoroThread 266’s iLock interface serves the insert in the holder, eliminating micro-movements of the insert in the tip seat that can be caused by cutting forces. For applications where long overhangs are unavoidable, damped Silent Tools adapters can reduce vibration and maintain precision.
Insert thread profiles with dedicated grades and geometries are available for all materials for external and internal thread turning. Extended thread profiles are a custom option.
Quick-change toolholders with precision coolant include Coromant Capto C3, C4, C5, and C6 for use with 16mm inserts as well as QS shanks in 20mm × 20mm and 25mm × 25mm sizes with 16mm and 22mm inserts. Internal thread turning requires a minimum hole diameter of 20mm.
“This strategic acquisition builds upon our existing additive manufacturing capabilities and provides direct entry into the rapidly expanding part production segment of the additive manufacturing value chain,” says Tony Thene, Carpenter Tech’s president and CEO. “As additive manufacturing continues to evolve into more advanced components with increasing complexity, our customers are seeking partners who can not only produce parts, but also possess metallurgical expertise to help determine the best materials and processes to fit their needs in demanding applications.”
3D dental printing
The Stratasys Objet260 Dental 3D printer can produce parts in three materials on a single tray, offering the versatility to build surgical guides, models, and appliances for a variety of patient requirements. When operating in single-material mode, operators gain production efficiency with shorter changeover and reduced material waste.
For future-proofing current investments, the Stratasys Objet260 Dental 3D printer is upgradeable to Dental Selection, broadening adoption of next-generation digitally mixed materials.
Prepare, optimize designs for additive manufacturing
Users can prepare and optimize designs to additvely manufacture plastic and metal parts using Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS software, enhanced with tools from 3D System’s 3D Xpert. SOLIDWORKS users will now be able to produce complex geometry, lightweight parts without compromising strength, and apply surface texture to deliver functional or aesthetic benefits. Complex structures can be created with rapid product development, reduced time to market, and lower total cost of operation. 3DXpert for SOLIDWORKS provides an integrated solution that streamlines preparation and optimization stages from design to manufacturing.