From the growing use of plastics to ever-shrinking applications, the medical device industry is evolving at a fast pace. In production planning, design engineers must keep track of new technologies in device manufacturing and assembly that, in turn, keep stride without compromising product integrity, cost, and energy savings. LED light-curing technology is catching on throughout the medical device industry, enabling manufacturers to maintain the quality of their products while also reducing costs and energy consumption. Here are the top five reasons why LED is the "cure" for medical device manufacturing.
1.) Product Integrity - LED light-curing equipment requires lower temperatures to obtain a full cure compared with conventional arc lamps. Cooler curing temperatures enable better thermal management, thanks to the LED curing equipment's narrow wavelength spectrum emission. This generates less thermal rise, which is especially important for preserving the integrity of heat-sensitive substrates.
2.) Stable Intensity - Less fluctuation in temperature during the curing process helps LED curing equipment maintain a more stable intensity than conventional options. This helps manufacturers improve their process controls with consistent curing for more uniform, reliable results.
3.) Equipment Longevity - With no bulbs to change, LED curing equipment can offer up to 20,000 hours of reliable use. Not only does this eliminate the costs of bulb replacement, it also significantly reduces downtime. The equipment can run for much longer periods, never requiring costly time for maintenance.
4.) Space Reduction - Like many of the new medical devices being assembled with light-curable materials, LED light-curing equipment is getting smaller and more efficient. Compact equipment is helping manufacturers save valuable plant space.
5.) Green Manufacturing - Both LED light-curing equipment and materials help medical device manufacturers achieve more "green" production. LED light-curable adhesives cure faster than their conventional counterparts and are largely solvent free and RoHS compliant. LED light-curing equipment also eliminates mercury and ozone safety risks, as well as the associated costs of handling these components. Unlike conventional arc lamps, LED curing equipment does not need to warm up prior to use, saving manufacturers both time and energy.
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Keeping up with the fast-paced medical device industry requires manufacturing technology that's as innovative as the products themselves. LED light-curing technology is helping to solve many critical issues of medical device assembly, from preserving the product's material integrity to reducing environmental impact. As LED light-curing technology continues to advance, it will make even larger impacts on medical device manufacturing and take the industry well into the future.
To see how LED light-curing technology is making an impact in the medical device making industry, Dymax is at MD&M East, co-located with the Design News event Atlantic Design & Manufacturing, June 9-11, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Tony Ieraci is Global Communications Manager for Dymax Corp., which offers oligomers, adhesives, coatings, and cure and dispense equipment.