August 11, 2014
How can micro parts be produced by a small footprint machine that is designed to use as little energy as possible, optimise the properties of melted plastic, reduce material wastage, and reduce contingent tooling costs? Enric Sirera reveals innovation in micro moulding for medical OEMs
Over the course of the last few decades, the technology of plastic injection moulding, and its more recent development into the area of ‘micro’ injection moulding has seen little in the way of radical re-interpretation and evolution. Recently, a new and innovative approach to micro moulding has been introduced and commercialised that reinvents the entire process. This opens up significant advantages for medical device OEMs in terms of the costs of manufacture and the possibilities that now exist in terms of product design due to the characteristics of the process. With an ability to reduce melted polymer to the viscosity of water, ultrasonic micro moulding heralds a new dawn for the design and manufacture of micro plastic parts.
Across industry in general, but in the medical industry in particular, the drive in terms of product and component design is towards miniaturisation. In the medical sector, beyond the usual industrial desire for use of less material and weight savings, miniaturisation is driven by the desire on behalf of medical product manufacturers to produce products that allow for ease of implantation or that facilitate surgical procedures with minimal invasiveness.
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