Application engineers are a funny breed. They get their kicks from solving real-life manufacturing challenges – and the thornier the better! They like to get up close and personal with an application and help those having trouble to find the right way to weld, mark, cut, bond or machine a part. They also get a great deal of satisfaction from fixing a process that is taking too much time and affecting output (and the bottom line), one that results in unnecessary scrap or one that is out of limits. If the solution doesn’t work out the first time, they stick with it until they develop a one that works.
Fading or disappearing laser marks on medical devices? You're not alone. It's a daily battle for many contract manufacturers and end users, and it’s a topic I am often asked about. People especially want to know what they can do to make passivation resistant marks on their medical device parts and surgical tools in order to meet unique device identification (UDI) requirements.
By now, most of you are at least vaguely familiar with the landmark law that gradually phases in the requirement for manufacturers of medical devices to place unique device identification (UDI) marks on all of their parts. Are you on track for meeting the deadlines for the direct marks that are required?
Production floors can be hectic places with high demands and a need for 100 percent accuracy. One common way of systemizing process flow is to use production routers or travelers with barcodes. This technique ensures that the proper steps are followed to produce the part. It can also be used to insert quality checks at key points and to identify bottlenecks.
Topics: laser marking
Laser technology in manufacturing is everywhere, touching our lives in many, invisible ways. For example, lasers are used to cut the material that the airbags in our cars are made of, the glass for our smart phone and tablet screens and the tiny, delicate medical stents used to improve our health and enhance our longevity. Lasers are used to weld airbag detonators, and the batteries in our handheld mobile devices; to drill engine components for planes; and to mark or engrave all of the above.
Once the commercial justification for bringing laser technology in house is complete, new to laser manufacturers may still have some technical concerns. We’ve recently worked on several very successful collaborations with first-time to laser manufacturers to turn their mountains into mole hills. Now each system is on the floor in production and everyone is wondering what all the fuss was about.
2D Data Matrix TM codes are made up of two parts: the finder pattern that tells the reader the code orientation and array size, and the actual encoded data. If you’re getting no read or a marginal read, you may have an issue with one these read factors. It’s also worth noting that the quality (and price) of the reader can have a significant effect – particularly on small codes, and codes marked on shiny surfaces.
Most industrial laser marking applications are small and precise. But every now and then, an application comes along requiring a large area mark – with fill - and that generally means long process times, which no manufacturer likes to hear. Fortunately, there are several tricks of the trade that can greatly reduce process time, and, in some cases, the optimized process time can be significantly improved.
The Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West exposition and conference is the place to be this week if you want to see the latest innovations in equipment and systems for medical device manufacturing. Despite all the doom and gloom you hear about the manufacturing sector, the medical device industry has been on fire for the last decade, and shows no signs of let up. Innovations in technology are on the rise as everyone is looking to do things smaller, faster, and more reliably. I like to stroll the aisles looking for what’s 'just out.' If you do too, drop by Miyachi Unitek’s booth - #3051.