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SPE Conference Maps Intersection of Medical Plastics and Sustainability

Image: Elena Cherkasova/Adobe Stock medical plastic waste
The daylong MiniTec 2021 conference, Saving the World Through Medical Plastics and Sustainable Solutions, will be held as a live, in-person event alongside the Design. Engineer. Build. conference in Anaheim, CA, next month.

The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Medical Plastics Division has announced the program of its daylong MiniTec 2021 conference, Saving the World Through Medical Plastics and Sustainable Solutions. It will be held as a live, in-person event alongside the Design. Engineer. Build. conference and co-located Medical Design and Manufacturing (MD&M) West and Plastec West trade show in Anaheim, CA, on Aug. 10 to 12, 2021.

In addition to a dozen sessions exploring such topics as the role of plastics in the development of implantable and wearable devices and next-gen processing technologies, SPE will host a lunchtime panel discussion on sustainability in the medical manufacturing space.

Polyurethane in medical applications.

Ajay Padsalgikar
Ajay Padsalgikar, DSM.

Proceedings get underway bright and early on Aug. 10, at 8 a.m. with a keynote presentation from Victoria Carr-Brendel, President of Advanced Bionics. That is followed by two technical conferences devoted to polyurethane (PU) in medical applications. At 9 a.m., Anthony Walder of Lubrizol Inc. will discuss the the use of PUs in drug-delivery applications. Notably, he will explain how PU chemistry can be adjusted to accommodate a range of active pharmaceutical ingredients and to control their rate of release. He is followed by Ajay Padsalgikar, a senior scientist at DSM, who will dive into applying chemistry and processing techniques to modify the surface performance of polyurethanes. His session begins at 9:30 a.m.

Wearable medical devices, including for transdermal drug delivery and patient monitoring, are surging, and many of them use skin adhesive patches. JoAnne Moody of Zeta Scientific LLC will explain the importance of initiating adhesive selection early in the design process and the key factors that should be considered. That session runs from 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Sustainability-related issues take center stage the rest of the morning.

Establishing a circular economy.

Andrew Green
Andrew Green, Eastman Chemical.

The first medical package designed for the circular economy will be presented by Eastman Chemical’s Andrew Green at 10:40 a.m. He will pass the baton to Rob Haley of Celanese at 11:10 a.m., who will discuss a sustainable medical-grade POM co-polymer his company has developed that can be swapped into production pipelines without affecting material properties or requiring product re-qualification. Michelle Irvine of Trinseo takes over at 11:40 a.m. to lead a broader discussion on sustainability in the healthcare sector.

Then, it’s time for lunch, but not without some food for thought. A lunchtime panel discussion with industry leaders will explore ways in which companies can begin to work toward the establishment of a circular economy that benefits everyone. Panel participants include Allison Lin, VP Procurement & Sustainability, Westfall Technik; Peylina Chu, Executive Director, Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council, and VP, Antea Group; and Koen Janssen, VP Innovation, R&D and Sustainability, DSM Biomedica.

Extrusion, injection molding on the docket.

Plastics processing related matters come to the fore in several afternoon sessions.

Charlie_Martin.jpg
Charlie Martin, 
Leistritz Extrusion.

Leistritz Extrusion’s Charlie Martin starts things off at 1:50 p.m. explaining how maintaining an appropriate melt temperature in a twin-screw compounding system will minimize polymer degradation. He will provide actionable advice related to operating conditions, screw design, and pressure generation.

Injection molding is up next.

Addifab US CEO Carsten Jarfelt will explain the concept behind Freeform Injection Molding, a 3D-printed tooling technology that allows the manufacture of injection-molded parts without hard-tooling investments. He takes the podium at 2:20 p.m. A proprietary micro-molding process that eliminates the use of cold runners will be showcased at 2:50 p.m. by Vijay Kudchadkar of Westfall Technik. The benefits reportedly include reductions in part costs, material usage, and energy consumption.

Vijay_Kudchadkar.jpg
Vijay Kudchadkar, Westfall Technik.

Sessions devoted to the reverse engineering of a COVID-19 test swab, regulatory and risk management requirements for medical plastics, and the transition to single-use systems in bio-pharmaceuticals manufacturing round out this intensive full-day program.

A poster exhibition illustrating topics and technologies that did not find a home in the live program will be on display during the MiniTec 2021 conference, and indeed the day after, in the upper level hallway of the Anaheim Convention Center between the escalators and conference rooms. 

MD&M West and Plastec West, co-located with Automation Technology Expo (ATX) West, Design & Manufacturing (D&M) West, and WestPack, along with the Design. Engineer. Build. conference, formerly the Medical Design & Manufacturing conference, will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA, on Aug. 10 to 12, 2021. Medical Plastics MiniTec 2021 runs on day one of the event. Click here for more information about Medical Plastics MiniTec, and click here to register to attend.

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