Medical and pharmaceutical facilities face a variety of cleaning, surface preparation, and part finishing challenges.
Medical device manufacturers are very familiar with the micro-molding of precision, high-tolerance parts and all the problems associated with it. From the production of catheter tips to surgical device handles and stents, maintaining product quality and clean manufacturing equipment is paramount. Keeping micro-cavities clean, as well as cleaning the small, deep, and complex geometry of micro-tools, is a critical concern when manufacturing very high tolerance medical device parts.
In addition, cleaning the clamping devices used during the fabrication process and removing parting line flash (deflashing) or material burrs (deburring) from final products are equally significant manufacturing issues.
Pharmaceutical facilities have an equal amount of difficulty keeping pill presses and turrets free of contaminants, such as pill powder.
Dry ice blasting enables medical and pharmaceutical facilities to cut cleaning and part finishing time, as well as significantly reduce replacement tooling costs and product scrap rates while increasing quality output.
Below are just a few of the examples of how dry ice blasting is being used in these industries to produce measured results.
Liquid Silicone Rubber Molding
A manufacturer of silicone rubber respirators increased production capacity, profitability, and part quality by utilizing dry ice blasting to clean fouled tooling. Dry ice blasting reduced in-press tool cleaning time by 75% - turning downtime into run time.
Plastic Injection Molding
An industry leading designer and manufacturer of injectable pharmaceutical packaging and delivery systems confirmed that using dry ice blasting to clean tooling in the press increased part quality, reducing scrap rate of blemished parts by 4%, and allowed the molder to extend the length of production runs between full PMs by an average of 10%.
A leading spinal implant manufacturer deburrs plastic parts without altering the dimensional tolerances or marring the surfaces of the parts. The company reduced part finishing time by 80% and increased deburring department throughput. Utilizing dry ice blasting to deburr parts eliminates variability by mistake proofing the deburring process. It also ensures that all operators have the same consistent results and no risk of damaging parts.
A worldwide leader of medical device outsourcing services removes micro-burrs from titanium drill bits that are used in oral surgery and burrs from needle tips, which are used to take tissue biopsies. The facility previously used traditional micro-blast media, but this was changing dimensions and effecting strict tolerances. Dry ice blasting significantly improved production yields by eliminating the quality issues that resulted from using traditional methods.
A specialty glass manufacturer producing vials used by pharmaceutical, defense, medical, and diagnostic companies uses dry ice blasting to remove carbon buildup and lubricant from tooling fixtures, which reduces the amount of blemished parts and also reduces maintenance downtime.
Tooling dipped into liquid plastic resin and pulled out to form the part
A manufacturer of medical diagnostic devices and patient monitoring systems uses dry ice blasting to remove plastic resin buildup from the tooling used to produce single-use thermometer sheaths. Dry ice blasting was four times faster than manually cleaning with a wire brush and was also non-abrasive on the tooling.
Vitamins and Nutritional Supplements
A vitamin and nutritional supplement manufacturer reduced product change over downtime by 40% when using dry ice blasting to remove product soiling from their turret pill press. Dry ice blasting resulted in a deep clean in less time because it is able to remove soiling from areas where the manual wipe down cleaning process cannot reach.