Graham Engineering Corp. and Conair Group have agreed to exchange equipment that will be used in each company's extrusion laboratory for developments in technology for medical tubing.
Graham Engineering will provide a 1-inch American Kuhne ULTRA CR extruder with an AKcess touchscreen to Conair's laboratory in Pinconning, Mich. Conair will supply a MedVac vacuum sizing/cooling tank, a Medline puller-cutter and a MedLine takeaway conveyor that will be installed in a new, dedicated medical laboratory in Graham's 150,000-square-foot headquarters plant in York, Pa.
Steve Maxson, Graham's director of global business development for medical, said Conair has been a leader in solving complex medical extrusion challenges such as non-contact and contact vacuum-sizing techniques for small-bore medical tubing, and cutter blade and bushing designs to cut low-durometer, difficult-to-feed small-bore tubing.
Maxson said the new medical lab will work on developments such as next-generation bioresorbable tubing for stent scaffolds, multi-layer structures for minimally invasive devices for drug delivery, gradient tubing and the ongoing development of Graham's proprietary automatic die-centering technology.
Bob Bessemer, Conair's sales manager for medical downstream extrusion, said the new American Kuhne will expand the production-scale extrusion equipment installed.
“This new extruder will expand our capabilities,” Bessemer said. “It is specially equipped to allow us to process FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene), which is increasingly being used in tubing for critical medical applications.”
The American Kuhne extruder also can handle high-temperature materials like PEEK (polyether ether ketone) and other medical grade thermoplastics, including nylons and polyurethane.
Conair is based in Cranberry Township, Pa.