When a medical instrument company approached David Funnell, president of Funnell Instruments, Ltd. (Uxbridge, MA), about designing a less expensive method for manufacturing biopsy-sampling jaws, he knew what he needed to do. "One of the major weaknesses of the typical bowel-biopsy forceps is the narrowness of the hinge portion of the jaw," Funnell says. So Funnell broadened the hinge base. In minimally invasive abdominal surgeries, it is often necessary to grasp tissue—to pinch, but not to pinch too hard. Long-jawed instruments typically develop crosswise looseness at the tips that can potentially create a perforation hazard. To eliminate this problem, Funnell designed the Haploid™ Jaw, his stamped biopsy-sampling instrument, with an alternate-overlapping cutting pattern. He made the device from stamped corrosion resistant 300-series stainless steel. "Other instruments use 400-series material that frequently develops porosities," says Funnell. He knew from the outset that he would use metal forming to help lower the costs. "I've been fascinated by the materials-savings by the automotive industry by moving from a combination of forging and metal-removal to that of metal forming," he says. "I believe the Haploid Jaw will outperform all other designs on a dollars-per-specimen comparison." For more information, contact Funnell at (800) 809-9833.
As manufacturers add new technologies to their products, designing for compliance becomes more difficult. Prepare for the certification testing process. Otherwise, you increase the risk of discovering a safety issue after a product leaves the assembly line. That will cause significant time-to-market delays, be much costlier to fix, and damage your brand in the eyes of customers.
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