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Arburg medical technology experts at the Pharmapack Europe 2017

Arburg offers production-efficient solutions for medical and packaging technology Broad range: injection moulding machines, Freeformers for additive manufacturing and automation solutions Expert team on hand at industry event

Lossburg. On 1 and 2 February 2017, Arburg will be represented at the Pharmapack Europe 2017 in Paris (France) at Stand D81 in Hall 4. The experts will be available there for discussions with customers and prospects who want to find out more about the extensive range of machines and solutions for plastic part production in the medical technology and packaging sectors. These range from high-speed, high-performance machines and clean-room Allrounders in stainless steel versions to the Freeformer for additive manufacturing, as well as automation and complex turnkey solutions.

"At the Pharmapack Europe 2017, we will be informing trade visitors about our broad range of products for the pharmaceuticals industry and the medical technology sector - from efficient standard machines to customised solutions tailored to specific requirements," says Marc Schuh, Managing Director of Arburg France.

Sven Kitzlinger, Application Technology Consulting, Medical Technology at Arburg, adds: "We're aware of the increasing automation of manufacturing processes and ever greater integration of downstream processing steps. For example, we have already implemented applications that are precisely tailored to the production of medical implants or pre-filled COP syringe barrels." Other trends he mentions include high-speed, high-performance machines for pharmaceuticals packaging and the use of complex moulds, including cube mould technology. "There is evidence of increasing synergies with the packaging sector, where we also have a high level of expertise and special machine technology," says Sven Kitzlinger.

Efficient manufacturing of personal care products

Cost pressures are high in the personal care segment. For this reason, the focus here is on the production-efficient manufacturing of mass-produced items. The Packaging versions of hybrid Allrounder injection moulding machines are designed for this type of high-speed, high-quality and high-volume production and are therefore ideally suited to the production of thin-walled mass-produced items, closures, pipette tips or syringe barrels. They feature short cycle times, reproducibility, reduced energy requirements, as well as process stability and a long service life.

Micro production cell for tiny parts

Arburg offers a complete micro-production cell that can be flexibly used for the reproducible production of extremely small parts and micro implants, as required in minimally invasive interventions. This comprises a small electric Allrounder 270 A injection moulding machine equipped with a Euromap size 5 micro injection unit and a horizontal dual arm robot for the reliable separation of micro components and sprues. The micro injection unit combines an 18 or 15-millimetre screw for melting the material with an 8-millimetre screw for injection. This enables problem-free processing of normal granule sizes and therefore all common materials.

Additive manufacturing in medical technology

Arburg offers the Freeformer for additive manufacturing of one-off parts and multi-variant small-volume batches. The associated geometric freedom, combined with material freedom enables completely new applications to be achieved, including use within the human body. Arburg recently demonstrated that the Freeformer can in principle also process medical PLA, based on the example of facial and cranial bones, at the formnext 2016 trade fair. Further applications options include individually adapted implants and aids or orthotics. Another interesting option in this context is the possibility of combining injection moulding and additive manufacturing to individualise mass-produced parts as single-unit batches.

Complex turnkey systems

The modular product range from Arburg offers clear advantages to exactly meet the requirements of OEMs and users, as turnkey solutions are individually configurable and can therefore be precisely tailored to specific customer requirements. This is complemented by the various clean room concepts and extensive know-how of the Arburg expert team, as well as collaborations with expert cooperation partners.

One high-end medical technology application

is the manufacture of syringe barrels made from COP (Cyclic Olefin Polymer), an alternative to glass, using a GMP-compliant stainless steel version of the Allrounder 370 A. A clean-room module above the clamping unit ensures clean production conditions. The electric injection moulding machine produces two syringe barrels weighing 2.35 grams each in a cycle time of around nine seconds. This is achieved by lateral injection with a needle-type shut-off nozzle. In a downstream step, the syringe barrels can be pre-filled, assembled and packaged ready for use.

Plastic products that perform functions within the body in the form of medical implants also have huge potential. One example of this is the production of a vaginal ring for HIV prevention. In this case, Arburg acted as primary contractor for the entire production cell. An encapsulated stainless steel clamping unit was used to adapt the machine to the highest hygiene requirements in accordance with ISO 13485, as well as the specifications of the FDA and GMP directives.

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