Breathing life into heart-attack victims is not the ordinary tool of the trade for an injection molder.
But molder and toolmaker Dynamic Engineering Inc. (Booth N6123) has turned a new medical device that could save lives into a business opportunity. The company has developed a CPR unit that allows more air to flow into the heart muscle during resuscitation.
The Minneapolis-based company now is injection molding the polycarbonate mask and selling it through a large medical supplier doing business in Europe. Dynamic is awaiting Food & Drug Administration approval before the cardiovascular unit hits the U.S. market, said Dynamic President Peter McGillivray at NPE 2003.
The company has launched its first Class 10,000 clean room at Dynamic's Dyna-Plast molding and product development facility in Ramsey, Minn. The 1,500-square-foot clean room is molding and assembling the parts and shipping them to the medical supplier, Zoll Medical Corp. of Burlington, Mass.
During the past three years, Dynamic has quietly built its molding operation. The company, known as a toolmaker, moved to a larger, 25,000-square-foot facility. In that time, the number of presses has grown from six to 18, and the company has moved to a stronger medical-products base, McGillivray said.
The CPR unit is one result of that shift. The plastic mask fits over the mouth of a person needing resuscitation during emergency medical treatment. The mask contains a check valve to keep air from escaping during CPR administration and has a screen to prevent vomiting.
When an emergency crew pounds on a person's chest, the mask acts as a gate device to keep air in the chest so it does not escape through the mouth, McGillivray said.
At the NPE booth, he illustrated that point by showing three plastic-enclosed balloons, two blue ones representing lungs and red one symbolizing the heart. As McGillivray pushed on the plastic enclosure, the lungs filled with air but the heart did little more than mildly inflate.
After attaching the CPR mask to an air hole attached to the cardboard model, he pushed on the enclosure again. The heart inflated fully, presumably beating with blood.
``You can't be revived very easily if only the lungs inflate,'' he said.
On a more technical note, the CPR device condenses 17 molded parts into one unit, he said. It includes a rubber seal that protects against leaking.
The company has developed other medical products for differing markets. Another new product is a prototype of a device that measures blood glucose levels for diabetes sufferers. Currently, pharmacists cannot demonstrate the protected device in-store. The new unit features a plastic shell that allows customers to try out the piece before purchasing it but does not actually take a measurement.
``It's just a prototype,'' he said. ``But it lets customers use it before having to buy one.''
The company also has been a leader in the development of metal injection molding, a process now used on such products as Motorola cell phones sold worldwide.
Dynamic ships about 20 percent of its products globally to such places as Singapore, Israel and Mexico, McGIllivray said.