Minneapolis 2015 Design & Manufacturing Show Update…
Minneapolis Convention Center
November 4-5, 2015
I just recently attended the 2015 Design &Manufacturing show featuring over five hundred exhibitors offering equipment, suppliers, and/or services for manufacturing medical devices. Items displayed were comprised of single stage processing equipment, custom automated machines, molding/extruders, balloon making equipment, cleaning equipment, packaging materials, sterilization services, inspection equipment/methods, and prototyping services for both metals and/or plastics and more.
From all the exhibits and products to choose from, I focused in on two that particularly caught my eye. The first exhibitor was demonstrating a new method to clean molds for silicone or plastic molding without ever removing them from the machine, and loosing significant downtime or inventory build delays. They use a block of dry ice to ‘blast’ the surface at -109 °F which quickly cools the particles and blows them off, but does not damage the mold surface. The equipment is portable and can be moved from machine to machine to easily clean the molding surfaces with minimal stopping time. The name of the company is Cold Jet and their website is www.coldjet.com if you would like further information.
The second company was exhibiting many types of ways to measure parts or tooling. The one that I found most interesting was a material that can be used with negative or positive surfaces, which will duplicate the surface so it can be inspected. Whether it is a series of first article parts, cavities in molds, or gauging that is difficult to inspect/qualify, this series of three durometers (hardness levels) using Reprorubber touting a zero percent shrinkage factor may meet your needs. It is a metrology casting material made exclusively for inspection purposes. It is self-curing in minutes, non-toxic, and does not require any release agent. For the hard to measure geometries in medical devices and accompanying instrumentation this may be your best answer. Their website is www.reprorubber.com to see the available kits and additional information they have demonstrating the variety of uses for their products to save you time and accuracy with your inspection needs.