A leading medical contract manufacturer was experiencing processing issues with a pulmonary device housing. The specifications called for two clear resins to be blended at the press. During manufacturing, the blended resins exhibited warpage, causing an uneven surface in a number of the parts. Without a consistently flat surface, the manufacturer encountered a number of issues involving both the form and function of the part, which increased the number of rejected parts.
A team of engineers at PolyOne Distribution evaluated the existing materials and found that the required blending and drying processes created inefficiencies. Working together with the manufacturer, the team identified an alternative material that did not require blending but combined toughness, clarity, strength and impact resistance to meet the performance requirements. The formulation could also be sterilized by EtO (ethylene oxide) and gamma radiation, and offered USP Class VI and RoHS compliance to accelerate approvals and time to market.
PolyOne’s team helped the manufacturer test the proposed solution and validate its molding and processing performance. Testing showed the new material offered significant improvements, reducing warpage (and scrap), as well as a 70% reduction in drying time. In addition, switching from two blended resins to a single material enabled the manufacturer to more than double its output through tooling and cycle time improvements.
Together, improved productivity, reduced scrap rates and shorter drying time contributed over $100,000 annually in savings to the manufacturer.