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New Approach Restores Efficiency in Pulmonary Device Manufacturing

Contract manufacturer reduces rejects, adds $100,000 to annual bottom line


The Challenge

A leading medical contract manufacturer faced an unacceptably high number of rejected parts for a pulmonary device housing.

The problems arose where two clear resins were being blended at the press. The materials exhibited warpage, causing an uneven surface in a substantial number of parts produced. 

Without a consistently flat surface, the manufacturer encountered a variety of issues involving both the form and function of the part, leading to the high number of rejected parts. It needed a fix and it needed it fast so it could fulfill its contract.

The Solution

The manufacturer was working with PolyOne on other projects, so it brought together experts from both companies to work on identifying a material that would reduce warpage and improve productivity.

The teams evaluated the existing materials and found that the required blending and drying processes had created inefficiencies. Working together, they identified an alternative material that met the performance requirements of the product but did not require blending.

The formulation provided toughness, clarity, strength and impact resistance. It also could be sterilized by ethylene oxide and gamma radiation, and it offered USP Class VI and RoHS compliance to accelerate approvals and time to market.

The manufacturer tested the proposed solution and validated its superior molding and processing performance before putting it into production.

The Impact

Switching from two blended resins to a single material delivered several key benefits to the manufacturer, including:

  • Increased productivity: The new material allowed the manufacturer to more than double output via tooling and cycle time improvements.
  • Improved yield rates: Changing from a blended solution to a single material reduced the manufacturer’s scrap rate by 50 percent.
  • Reduced drying time: The new material reduced drying time by 70 percent.

All told, these improvements contributed to more than $100,000 annually in savings to the manufacturer’s bottom line.

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