Automatic System Demonstrated at MD&M West Yields a Stronger Fit between TPE Tubing and Connectors than Is Achieved with Solvent Bonding of PVC Tubing
ANAHEIM, CA, U.S.A - An automatic fitting inserter developed by Clean Room Devices, LLC enables medical product manufacturers to obtain the advantages of Medalist® elastomers over PVC while increasing productivity in the assembly of tubing and connectors, it was announced at MD&M West by Teknor Apex Company (Booth 2526).
Clean Room Devices is demonstrating its CRD 600 Automatic Fitting Inserter at Booth 2072 during MD&M West, carrying out high-speed assembly of tapered-barb connectors and tubing produced from Medalist MD-500 Series thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs).
"Tapered-barb connectors fit into the Medalist TPE tubing with a retention strength that exceeds the 35.6 N [8.0 lbf] level specified by most global OEMs for infusion systems and is greater than levels achieved with either adhesive or solvent bonding," said Richard Faulkner, medical market manager for the Thermoplastic Elastomer Division of Teknor Apex. "The automatic fitting inserter developed by Clean Room Devices enables medical product manufacturers to obtain strong, secure connections even at very high assembly speeds."
The CRD 600 unit cycles at a rate of 2,300 per hour and, with the addition of a feeder bowl, enables an operator to make 1,800 insertions per hour, including time for handling the tubing and inspecting the results, according to Ronald Del Valle, president of Clean Room Devices.
"Because the CRD 600 allows for insertion of over-sized barbs into tubing with a smaller internal diameter, it ensures a stronger fit than solvent bonding," Mr. Del Valle said. "A big advantage of our system is that it eliminates the presence of solvent chemicals and odors in the clean room."
Solvent bonding is the standard assembly technique for PVC tubing. Several assembly options are now available for tubing based on Medalist MD-500 TPEs. In addition to the insertion of barbed fittings, these include patent-pending, TPE-specific technologies developed by Teknor Apex for solvent bonding and for room-temperature and light-cured adhesive bonding.
Medalist MD-500 elastomers are in commercial use as alternatives to PVC in tubing applications. Compared with PVC, Medalist MD-500 compounds exhibit comparable crystal clarity and mechanical properties; provide similar clamp resilience and resistance to kinking and necking; have a similar "feel"; and are substantially more flexible and significantly less dense than PVC. At the same time they undergo minimal color shift upon heat aging after exposure to gamma irradiation, the most severe type of sterilization. A typical compound in the series, Medalist MD-575, actually exhibits 70% less heat-aged color shift than a gamma-stabilized PVC compound of comparable hardness.
CLEAN ROOM DEVICES, LLC, based in Westminster, CO, U.S.A., specializes in equipment for the handling and assembly of medical tubing with inserted fittings. Its automated systems for cutting and expanding tubing and inserting connectors are designed to increase output and prevent musculoskeletal disorders caused by repetitive motions. Visit the company on the web at www.cleanroomdevices.com.
MEDALIST® THERMOPLASTIC MEDICAL ELASTOMERS make up a broad array of high-purity styrenic, olefinic, vulcanizate, and alloy compounds produced in ISO-13485 facilities. Hardness offerings range from ultra soft gels at 25 Shore OO to hard yet ductile compounds at 85 Shore D. Teknor Apex can further broaden customer options by customizing the surface aesthetics, haptics, clarity, and color. An expandable registered binder on Medalist products provides a comprehensive body of test data and resources for designers and processors and is available to qualified professionals in the medical device and healthcare product industries. It can be requested from the Medalist website at www.medalistmd.com or by emailing Teknor Apex at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Thermoplastic Elastomer Division of TEKNOR APEX COMPANY is the most diversified manufacturer of TPEs, offering broad product families based on six generically distinct chemistries. Headquartered in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, U.S.A., the division compounds TPEs at eight locations in the U.S., Europe, and Asia and is an international supplier to the appliance, automotive, construction, medical-device, wire and cable, and other consumer and industrial product industries. Other plastics businesses of Teknor Apex include the Bioplastics, Nylon, Specialty Compounding, and Vinyl Divisions and Teknor Color Company. Visit www.teknorapex.com.