Plastics News reporter Steve Toloken wrote the following briefs from the Medical Design & Manufacturing West show, held Feb. 5-7 in Anaheim, Calif.
Premold's process molds hinge in 1 step
Reaction injection molder Premold Corp. is seeking a patent for a process that can mold a pivoting joint or hinge in one cycle, instead of a two-step process needed in conventional injection molding.
``We were looking for ways of demonstrating something that RIM could do that other processes couldn't do so easily,'' said Ken Schweitz, president of Premold of Oconomowoc, Wis.
The process involves putting a bushing into a mold and then molding the hinge around that. The company can mold pivots in different directions in the same mold, he said.
Polyzen blow molding PU medical devices
Polyzen Inc. has developed a way to blow mold polyurethane, for applications like balloons for tracheotomy equipment.
Polyzen, in Cary, N.C., sees a market for higher-volume applications that currently have to use the expensive dip molding process, including latex gloves and condoms, said President Tilak Shah.
``We designed the machine,'' he said. ``A conventional blow molding machine won't handle it.''
The company believes PU could replace latex in some of those applications. One of the company's customers is submitting the blow molded PU application to the Food and Drug Administration, but is looking for other applications for the technology, Shah said.
Polyzen is also working on a way to thermoform polyurethane, he said.
The company focuses on developing urethanes and silicones that can match the properties of latex.
Polyzen has between $5 million and $10 million in annual sales and employs 37, Shah said.
* New Berlin, Wis.-based Tekra Corp., in conjunction with DuPont Teijin Films U.S. LP of Wilmington, Del., introduced a coated polyester film for urinalysis and other medical testing.