micro parts to market... faster


8/27/12:  Throw caution to the wind on your old machining cost models when it comes to micro machining PEEK polymers.  PEEK machined parts require careful planning of material waste from rod or sheet stock and utilizing every square millimeter of material.   Raw material implant grade PEEK costs range from $70–$400/lb (much higher if processed with a drug component) and therefore it’s important to get the process dialed in and running with the best process/least scrap possible as quickly as possible in the development phase of a program.

These micro machined PEEK components are literally dust speck sized but were machined from rod stock. Some implant grades require the medical OEM to purchase them directly and the rod stock size is critical to the economies of scale for implantable devices scaled to hundreds of thousands of parts.

Value-driven, PEEK machined parts can benefit from micro molding even with thousands of parts required annually.  This is due to the rod stock scrap compared to smaller runner and sprue scrap in micro molding PEEK implants.  These implants nearly always return on their initial investment to transfer to a micro molding process and return even faster with a runnerless mold.  It is not uncommon for the return on investment to take just one molding run to pay for the capital of runnerless tooling/molding machine.  This is a Controller’s dream and what is commonly referred to in the industry as a “no-brainer”.


8/20/12: Drug Delivery Devices are getting smaller and smaller and micro molding and micro machining are useful processes to produce state of the art disposable point of care and wearable devices.  These products include transdermal patches, infusion pumps, powder inhalers, intraocular implants, and bio-resorbable polymer devices; slow or quick release.

These devices, most microfluidic in nature, have commonalities in micro features such as micro aspirators, microfluidic channels and ultra-precision small orifices.  Partnering with a supplier that has gone beyond the feature sizes you need results in a successful point of care devices versus a science experiment.

This article describes several case studies and benefits to collaborating with creative-minded with development and manufacturing facilities equipped for highly iterative designs and testing facilities for Fast-to-Clinical drug delivery and point of care device programs.


8/13/12:   Micro Molding in bio-resorbable PLA and PGA materials creates challenges with small gate sizes for these highly shear sensitive and highly moisture sensitive materials.  Donna Bibber wrote an article which dives into some of these challenges such as shear stress through small gates, humidity control for extremely small shot sizes, and integrating macro to micro technologies to produce near micron level geometry in precision, micro molded bio-resorbable components.   As implantable and bio-resorbable molded parts approach micro or nano in size, even a toothpick-sized runner is still too large and too costly.  Bio-resorbable raw material costs are between $3,000-$22,000/lb.  In the article is a case study for micro molding with bio-resorbable polymers creating an instant return on investment for molding with net zero material losses in runner and sprue scrap.  You can read this article in full by clicking here:  Micro Molding Using Bio-Resorbable Polymers.


8/6/12: In today’s world smaller is better, in the medical world small (or better yet – micro) is cutting edge technology that is less intrusive and more accurate and precise. Micro Engineering Solutions plays a vital role in aiding the medical field with its micro machining and micro molding expertise. The UK is also using micro technology to advance medical research. Here is an interesting article on what the University of Nottingham is doing with micro technology.