This client was a global leader in medical device technology in need of automation equipment to increase throughput of an existing manufacturing process. The R&D team required a streamlined design solution with sufficient functionality to adapt to a rapidly evolving manufacturing process.
The goal of this project was to develop a bench-top machine to bond layers of a stent graft at a controlled temperature. This machine was to accommodate multiple sizes of stent grafts by means of configuration- specific components while simultaneously providing features to prevent component mismatch. The client required extensive recipe functionality, high machine throughput, and the robustness of commercial production line machinery.
CKC Automation developed a turn-key custom heating system to apply heat evenly over the circumference of the client’s product. To accommodate the client’s continuing product development, regular design review meetings with the client ensured the final machine matched their needs. The heater is comprised of a pneumatic clamp with embedded cartridge heaters and RTDs for closed loop temperature control. A pneumatic slide allows the operator to safely load the stent graft into the heaters operating at temperatures as high as 400⁰ C with a push of a button. The heater is contained within a locking enclosure to protect the operator and prevent premature removal of the work part. A HMI touchscreen allows operators to select pre-defined heating recipes depending on the product to be bonded. Engineers can also use the touchscreen to develop and program heating recipes with a password protected login. Sensors were used to distinguish between different sets of change parts and different product sizes, to verify that the installed components match the selected recipe.
The resulting machine improved cycle time by 6X and is capable of bonding parts at temperatures as high as 400⁰ C. The machine is configurable to accommodate different sizes of parts and is equipped with alarms to detect component mismatch. CKC’s design met all client requirements and is scheduled for deployment in a GMP manufacturing environment.