Davis-Standard Lab Line Supports Medical Tubing Developments

(Pawcatuck, Conn.)-A sophisticated lab line at Davis-Standard’s Technical Center in Pawcatuck, Connecticut, is engineered to support new applications in medical tubing technology including higher rates for commodity products and catheters with tighter tolerances. The line, installed in September 2007, is equipped for research and development processes ranging from screw design to the extrusion capability of specific polymers, materials such as FPVC, PEEK, PEBAX, fluoropolymers and other medical grade resins.

“There is a lot of growth potential in the medical tubing industry. We wanted to provide a means of demonstrating these capabilities while enabling our customers to run trials,” said Wendell Whipple, Vice President of Davis-Standard’s Pipe, Profile and Tubing Systems. “We held a seminar last September with almost 60 customers and all comments about the line were very positive. We are currently working with two of those customers on similar lines for their medical tubing applications.”

The line features ¾-inch (19mm) and 1-inch (25mm) Davis-Standard HPE extruders, two melt pumps, a high-tech vacuum tank, servo puller/cutter, conveyor/blow-off table and an OD/ID/Wall gauge system, all controlled via the Davis-Standard EPIC III Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System. The EPIC III control system also has FDA 21.11 technology. The extruders are ported with pressure transducers for screw design development on smaller extruders. To date, the line has been used for applications such as single-lumen micro tubes, multi-lumen tubes, micro-catheter trials, new material development and coextrusion die development. Typically the line is running one week per month for development for screw design, process controls and other technology. Currently there are 1-2 customer trials scheduled per month. The line is also being used for development of tooling for new system orders. This includes tuning of die and tooling packages while equipment is being built in order to streamline the wet test approval process.

Customers interested in scheduling lab time can contact the following people: Bill Lee at [email protected] in the Technical Center; Kevin Dipollino at [email protected]; or Wendell Whipple at [email protected]

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