Glebar's precision grinding solutions for the medical industry

Glebar's precision grinding solutions for the medical industry

February 2, 2018

Glebar Company

Anaheim, California – Glebar Co. will be sharing their latest technology in precision grinding at MD&M West 2018 in booth #3107, focusing on custom automated solutions designed and built for the medical device market. A wide range of applications are machined on Glebar’s systems, which include, medical guidewires, catheter bodies, asthma inhalers, arthroscopic shavers, and bone drills.

Automation, turnkey solutions
Addressing the demand to increase productivity while reducing costs, the company continues to reinvent its product offerings, designing and developing lights-out systems which are capable of more than just grinding. From pre-inspection to final inspection and packaging, the systems can be fitted with robots, setup reduction metrology and cleaning and drying stations providing a truly hands-off, turnkey solution for both high-production and low batch run grinding applications. Glebar’s goal is to make it easy for customers to fulfill their precision grinding requirements, with minimal operator intervention.

Innovation and expansion
Adam Cook, CEO of Glebar, describes the current value Glebar will add and gain from attending the show this year, “These are exciting times at Glebar. We are experiencing a period of rapid growth and expansion and are excited for the chance to demonstrate and discuss our latest innovations and solutions at the world’s largest medical design & manufacturing technology exhibition. We welcome the new precision grinding challenges the attendees and exhibitors of this show will bring. We look forward to meeting potential and existing customers at the show.”

John Bannayan, president of Glebar adds, “Glebar’s solutions are not about replacing old machines with new ones, it’s about developing systems that will help customers achieve their goals to improve quality and efficiency. Our company tagline “Innovation Manufactured” is more than just a motto, it’s our core philosophy. Manufacturing is facing a shortage of skilled workers, automation is key to filling that labor gap. In addition, OEM’s (original equipment manufacturers) are always looking to improve productivity and lower costs, while producing higher quality components. Glebar’s processes address both.”  

Glebar’s GT-610 CNC is designed for a wide range of metal working applications, including grinding components for the medical, aerospace, and other industries.

Adopting aerospace processes to arthroscopic shavers
Glebar innovated the process of centerless grinding and gauging of arthroscopic shavers used for orthopedic surgery on its GT-610 CNC – leveraging its innovations in grinding titanium aerospace fasteners. When challenged to provide a solution that would reduce setup time and scrap and automatically grind an arthroscopic shaver component in one operation, in lieu of utilizing multiple machines to perform a number of processes, Glebar responded by combining the GT-610 CNC with its P4K metrology system. Two Glebar patent-pending processes were put to work to deliver a turnkey shaver solution to the customer.

  • Glebar’s GT-610 CNC patent pending movable work rest blade (while grinding). Glebar’s GT-610 CNC’s movable work rest blade and CNC dressing system work in tandem to allow for grinding an arthroscopic shaver in one operation. Glebar’s GT-610 CNC also offers repeatability through its built-in CNC dresser which automates the dressing and setup process, minimizing down time between dressing cycles. Built-in software wizards configured for a part family, further reduce setup and programming times. The movable work rest blade also insures positioning of the workpiece to achieve tip and body dimensions with a superior surface finish, while eliminating any marking on the component when backing out the wheel at the end of the grind process. A six-axis robot is integrated to quickly infeed and remove the shaver component contributing to the extremely fast cycle time.
  • The Company’s P4K’s ability to scan the shaver to feedback component geometry to correct the wheel dress shape automatically, patent pending. Incorporation of the system drastically reduced setup time and improved the quality of the component. The P4K Gauging System is the market’s fastest and most accurate profile metrology system available for parts manufacturing. The system’s high-speed, high-accuracy optical micrometer technology scans and feeds back to the GT-610 CNC geometric profiles for all parts in a cycle to automatically correct wheel dress shape. This is done at up to three inches per second (75mm/sec) to produce a comprehensive dataset to line operators with diameter and length readings every 30 millionths of an inch, in real time.

CAM.2 micro grinding system
The CAM.2 micro-grinding machine is capable of manufacturing complex medical guidewires, dental parts, and many other small precision parts for the medical and other industries. Combining the latest in multi-axis servo motor control, submicron positioning, and an easy-to-use 15" touchscreen interface, the CAM.2 offers unmatched performance.

Starting in 2001 with the introduction of the CAM.2's predecessor, the CAM-SXE, Glebar has revolutionized the medical guide wire industry by offering complete control of all aspects of the wire. With a conventional centerless grinder, the part is pulled through the machine by the work and regulating wheels. To grind a profile, the part's position is detected by sensors, and the gap between the wheels is adjusted. The CAM.2 takes this philosophy and inverts it. Using a patented dual-carriage linear motor part feed system, rather than monitor and react, the position, speed, and rotation are under absolute control at all times. This allows the machine to control with a high degree of accuracy, not only the diameter, but also the length. The CAM.2 represents one of the most advanced technologies in guidewire grinding, capable of holding the tightest tolerances in the industry.

Related glebar machines
GT-9AC advanced guidewire system – designed to grind medical guidewires with multiple tapers, paddles, and even parabolic shapes, with the ability to update the position of the wire every 0.00025" (0.006mm).

TF-9DHD Centerless Infeed/Thrufeed Machine – grinds hard and soft materials from 1" and under in diameter. The TF-9DHD is used to grind guidewires, pins, bushings, Teflon, plastics, ceramics, and other engineered materials.