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TECHNOLOGY NEWS: MANUFACTURING EQUIPMENT

 

TECHNOLOGY NEWS: MANUFACTURING EQUIPMENT

 

Extrusion System Produces Medical-Grade Tubing as Thin as 0.002 In. Diameter

 

The MediFlow system from Guill
Tool & Extrusion Company, Inc.,
extrudes tubing in extremely small
diameters for medical applications
such as minimally invasive surgery.
A medical-grade extrusion system is capable of producing tubing finer than a human hair. The head and inline dies of the MediFlow system are designed to extrude tubing with minimum tolerances of 0.002 in. for applications such as arthroscopy. The equipment was recently introduced by Guill Tool & Extrusion Company, Inc. (West Warwick, RI, USA; www.guill.com).

To achieve consistent and accurate tolerances on such a small scale, Guill has combined a number of technologies in the MediFlow system that it has perfected in other tooling. The technologies include a head deflector design that minimizes residence time and pressure, a proprietary face spiral design to thermally balance the melt as far upstream as possible and enable equal flow velocity for the maximum possible length, and a split- or single-flow feed.

A so-called feather-touch design allows easy adjustment of concentricity without affecting upstream flow. The feather-touch feature and the deflectors are aligned on a common shaft to eliminate tolerance stack-up and reduce setup time.

Other system advances include the ability to adjust gum space for optimal temperature control and the choice of optional cartridge or band heaters for the main die body.

The system is designed with two adjustable hypo-tube tips that can yield time and cost savings. If the tip is damaged or slightly bent, the operator only needs to replace an insert rather than the entire tip. The operation takes about 1 minute. A single-component tip design is also available.
 

 

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