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Keywords of this article:  injection molding 
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packaging 
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injection mold 
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The electric Allrounder 520 A with a stainless steel clamping unit meets the stringent quality requirements that apply to the production of medical technology parts.
The electric Allrounder 520 A with a stainless steel clamping unit meets the stringent quality requirements that apply to the production of medical technology parts.
Photo: 12

At Pharmapack Europe 2018 on February 7-8 in Paris, France, Arburg will present information of machines and solutions for plastic part production in medical technology.

The machines range from high speed models and clean-room Allrounders in stainless steel versions to Freeformer for additive manufacturing, as well as automation solutions and turnkey systems.

"The current trend towards local product manufacturing in the pharmaceutical and medical industries will increasingly lead to investments in highly automated manufacturing facilities in Europe. Our team of experts pools years of experience in medical technology and pharmaceutical packaging, which we offer our customers in the form of tailor-made solutions," said Martin Manka, Senior Sales Manager Medical at Arburg.

He noted that the company's Allrounder machines, whether they are hydraulic, hybrid or all-electric, meet the stringent clean room requirements of the ISO and GMP classes. Traceability in quality management according to the new Medical Device Regulation (MDR) of the European Union is also supported via the Arburg host computer system (ALS).

Further trends include high speed, high performance machines for pharmaceutical packaging and the use of complex molds, including cube-mold technology.

Arburg's "Packaging" versions of hybrid and electric Allrounder injection molding machines are designed for efficient high-volume production and are therefore ideally suited to the manufacture of thin-walled mass-produced items, closures, pipette tips or syringe barrels.

A variety of clean room concepts are available for the pharmaceutical and medical sectors. The spectrum ranges from machines that are docked to a clean room, through to complex production cells directly in the clean room itself.

Arburg will highlight one example of automated medical high-end application – the production of pre-filled COP syringe barrels with a stainless steel electric Allrounder that meets the stringent GMP requirements. A laminar-flow box above the clamping unit ensures clean production conditions and prevents electrostatic discharge.

Plastic products that perform preventive or therapeutic functions within the body in the form of drug implants have enormous potential. One example of this is the production of a vaginal ring for HIV prevention. In this case, Arburg acted as primary contractor, developing and implementing a complete production cell. This complied with validation of the guidelines for medical devices in Europe (MDR) and the US (FDA).

Arburg offers a complete micro-production cell that can be flexibly used for the reproducible production of extremely small parts and micro implants, as required in minimally invasive interventions.

This comprises a small electric Allrounder 270 A injection molding machine equipped with a Euromap size 5 micro injection unit and a horizontal dual arm robot for the reliable separation of micro components and sprues. The micro injection unit combines an 18mm or 15mm screw for melting the material with an 8mm screw for injection. This enables problem-free processing of normal granulate sizes and therefore all common materials.

As for additive manufacturing, Arburg offers the Freeformer that could be used in a clean room setting. It can in principle process medical PLLA, based on the example of facial, cranial and hand bones. Other applications include personally customized surgical aids, such as positioning templates for prosthetic implantations.

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