Keeping clean with aqueous medical parts washers

Features - Cleaning

MecWash ensures medical components meet the most stringent standards.

Advanex Europe, which makes medical coil springs and metal pressings used in metered dose inhalers, auto injection systems, and nasal sprays, installed a MecWash AVD aqueous cleaning machine.

With the global medical devices market expected to reach $398 billion in 2017, innovation and growth continues. Medical devices – such as implants, instruments, and aids – need to be sterile and free of contamination from production processes. Ensuring cleanliness in medical manufacturing are aqueous cleaning systems from MecWash.

Having worked with a major manufacturer of surgical implants for many years, MecWash has since installed several machines that meet increasingly stringent requirements. Today, the company serves medical customers throughout the world, both original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and tier suppliers that use washing systems to ensure they have industry leading parts cleanliness.

Answering market demand

“The medical devices market is showing continuous growth, driven by factors such as an aging population, innovations in medical devices, changing lifestyles, and increasing awareness about medical conditions and available treatments,” says John Pattison, managing director at MecWash. “As many of the devices being manufactured for use in the medical sector are going to be used inside someone’s body, stringent cleanliness standards are in place to protect a patient’s health.”

For medical component manufacturers, MecWash aqueous cleaning systems deliver effectiveness, minimal surface residue, and easier validation of cleaning methods. This also brings peace of mind that companies are meeting high standards with their own cleaning regimen.

“Our systems ensure the necessary cleanliness can be achieved reliably, consistently, and cost-effectively regardless of whether it is implants, surgical instruments, or other parts. If any contaminated products are released, this exposes the manufacturer to liabilities, so cleaning in this sector is among the most critical of processes,” Pattison says. “Our systems offer faster cleaning and reduced human labor as they can be pre-programmed to work with the press of a button. And, our systems take up less space and use less water than other methods, so they offer real efficiency savings as well.”

Using a system that guarantees parts are cleaned in a consistent, repetitive process is something manual cleaning can’t do. Beyond consistent results, MecWash chemists develop custom formulations of wash fluid to best meet the customers’ detailed surface chemistry needs.

“MecWash understands that all of our customers have their own specific requirements, issues, and objectives – we work closely with them to ensure we achieve the best results possible, rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach,” Pattison says. “Careful consideration of the size and configuration of the processing equipment and suitable cleaning techniques are required in medical part production. Manual cleaning may be adequate for bench-scale production but large-scale manufacturers will be better served by a high-quality system, where built-in process controls provide consistent quality.”

Medically clean users

A-Dec, Newberg, Oregon

– One of the world’s leading manufacturers of dental instruments, chairs, delivery systems, and dental lights, purchased two MecWash aqueous parts washing systems to meet optimum part cleanliness and become a zero-discharge industrial wastewater manufacturer. The equipment, which includes Midi and Duo aqueous parts washers coupled with an Aqua-Save Junior water recycling unit for each system, meets environmental regulations and attains demanding parts cleanliness.

“Clean components are integral to ensuring that quality,” explains A-Dec Manufacturing Engineer Chas Stark. “At the same time, we are committed to environmental quality. These MecWash parts washing systems allow us to meet the highest component cleanliness standards and help A-Dec conduct its manufacturing operations in a manner that is environmentally responsible and consistent with that of a good corporate citizen and neighbor.”

Advanex Europe, Southwell, United Kingdom – Manufactures medical coil springs and metal pressings used in metered dose inhalers, auto injection systems, and nasal sprays.

The company’s AVD aqueous cleaning machine has even exceeded Advanex Europe’s cleanliness requirements.

Head of coil thread Rob Newham says, “MecWash not only delivered the most suitable equipment, it also provided the correct chemical formulated to our requirements, achieving results beyond our expectations.”

Sorin Group, Arvada, Colorado – A global company in cardiovascular disease treatment. During cardiac surgeries, surgeons use protective caps to cover tubing and connectors in medical operating rooms. A key step in the manufacture of these protective caps is to ensure cleanliness.

To streamline manufacturing, ensure high cleanliness standards, and maximize resources, Sorin selected MecWash Systems’ Duo aqueous cleaning system when the decision was made to bring the cleaning process in house. Not only did it meet the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) requirement for cleaning agents used in operating rooms, it also met Sorin’s rigorous in-house standards.

With the success of the MecWash Duo installed in Sorin Group’s Arvada, Colorado facility, return on investment for bringing the cap cleaning process in-house was made within the first year of operation.

WTI, Leicestershire, United Kingdom – Established in 1989, the company manufactures wire thread inserts for medical equipment. “We were looking for a new cleaning system to provide us with a higher degree of product cleanliness and to help increase production capacity. Seeing the Duo demonstration convinced us without a doubt that it was the best system for our particular requirements,” says Andy Mason, WTI’s managing director.