These injection molded filters made for the medical market have more than 1,000 76-micron (0.003 inches) squares with wall thicknesses of 0.006 inches. "The previous way to make a filer was to run a metal mesh through an injection mold and then mold a frame around it," comments Donna Bibber, vice president of sales at Miniature Tool & Die. The trend to minimally invasive surgery is triggering a boom for micro components that travel through blood vessels. "Everywhere we turn there is a challenge we have to overcome,"
comments Bibber, a plastics engineer. Example: MTD had to develop a 7-gram hopper for resin drying. Conventional dryer hoppers are in the 150- to 200-lb range. "Also, we don't always have the luxury of a surface we can eject on to," she adds. MTD often ejects from runners or gates. For more information, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/4922-503.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.