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The Benefits of Strategically Managing a Medical Component Supply Chain

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Tight Tolerance Molding Can Be a Loose Term

Customers count on their injection molders for expert advice. “Tight tolerance” is a term that is often tossed around loosely in the industry—however, if it’s not done right, parts and products will underperform or possibly fail, resulting in a tooling and/or process overhaul. Therefore tight tolerance is serious business, especially for complex, mission-critical parts.

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Designing for Medical Device Assembly

There is no room for error when designing critical-use medical devices and equipment. Taking a holistic view of the part/component during the design phase—including assembly implications—allows for a thorough understanding of how all of the factors involved impact the end product. It also helps injection molders identify and correct injection molding defects in engineered plastic components during early project phases, which ultimately saves money and reduces time to market. 

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How to Conduct a Quality Audit on Your Injection Molder

The quality of plastic components is, in part, determined by the injection molding partner you choose. Properly vetting new, different or specialized vendors involves qualifying a pool of potential molders based on your project needs — i.e. ISO and other certifications, design capabilities, clean room specifications, and value-added services like assembly and overmolding. However, taking the vetting process one step further by conducting on-site quality audits will reveal which has the right level of expertise, facilities, and quality procedures in place to deliver to specific project requirements.

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Antimicrobial Resins—Not Just for Medical Implants

Many industries can take advantage of antimicrobial resins. Examples where these resins are most commonly used include water-treatment systems, food packaging, plumbing and HVAC, medical/diagnostic equiptment, dental implants and personal care products. They are also utilized in clean room sensitive electronics testing and assembly, sterile packaging, conveyers, public transportation, and office equiptment.

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How Molders Maintain Clean Room Standards

Critical use medical applications require devices and equipment that are protected from dust, chemical vapors, aerosol particles, airborne microbes and other contaminants that could compromise product quality, integrity and safety.

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How to Control Your Surface Finish

Surface finish on plastic composites can vary a great deal, depending on the physical and chemical properties of the polymer blend, as well as the parameters of the injection molding process.

The first objective is working with the client to determine how important the surface finish is for the appearance and/or performance of the final product. For example, does the product need to be eye-catching or simply functional? Depending on the answer, the material selected and the desired finish will determine the settings for the injection molding process, as well as any secondary finishing operations that might be required.

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Injection Molding Process Optimization for Medical Manufacturing

Medical OEMs make device reliability a top priority, working with complex injection molders that are experienced in scientific molding to ensure accuracy in processes and production. The higher level of precision helps minimize overall costs by allowing for identification and correction of problems prior to production. 

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GD&T: A Practical Approach to Dimension and Tolerance

Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) is a symbolic language that is used on engineering drawings and computer-generated models to communicate geometric dimensions and allowable tolerance for various parts. Not only is this a useful exercise for product design, it’s also helpful on the manufacturing floor because engineers and operators can quickly see the degree of tolerance that is required for each part.

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Importance of Design for Manufacturability in Metal to Plastic Conversion

Converting metal parts to plastic is becoming an increasingly standard practice in a number of industries from automotive to defense and public safety. The decision to use plastic instead of metal seems like a no brainer given the many advantages like lighter weight, lower material costs, quicker manufacturing times and extended tooling life.

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