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Medical Multitasking Station

WEISS (Germany) and its subsidiary WEISS North America, Inc. recently completed three turn-key TR1100 ring-style chassis systems for a leading West Coast medical parts manufacturer.

The client's diverse medical product line provides patients and caregivers with safe, innovative life-enhancing medical devices that help improve patient outcomes by minimizing bacterial ingress that can cause bloodstream infections and preventing exposure to infectious diseases or hazardous drugs. The company's most recent manufacturing challenge was for a closed female luer valve, which would require a robust system featuring 24 install stations for a three to five piece assembly production process.

While the medical parts client had only a small build shop, the company sought out WEISS to provide a one-stop solution that would allow it to maximize efficiencies while granting it more time to focus on multiple projects. The client also desired a quiet, smooth running system for its clean room application.

The key to the WEISS solution involved a TR1100 ring style chassis featuring a ring indexer, stationary plates and riser. These were all housed in an octagon shaped frame design that is enclosed with a guarding system on the lower half for protective access to controls and mounting automation.

The comprehensive system was manufactured, tooled, mounted and machined complete by WEISS at its Willoughby, OH, facility, and delivered to the client as a one-source, preassembled medical parts assembly solution.

WEISS engineers faced the task of building a base machine chassis that can accommodate 24 install stations for a three to five piece multiple size medical valve assembly process that includes loading, pressing, ultrasonic welding, leak testing, inspection, ejecting, etc.

Ultimately, the combination of robust construction of the TR1100 Series System and octagon frame design provided more than enough scope for coupling with the multiple processing stations.

At the heart of the system, the TR1100 Series rotary indexing rings feature a large central opening (up to 1,750 mm possible), a flat design and a high level of parts accuracy. The ring shaped design allows extra free design space, and the rotating aluminum ring can be adjusted to client's specifications in terms of diameter and thickness.

WEISS's TR1100 modified chassis design was based on the client's request for the octagon shaped frame beneath the top plate. This fully enclosed guarding undercarriage system is comprised of a combination of aluminum extrusion and sheet metal fabrications that includes six bolt-on panels and two swinging door panels for access to controls. The entire frame was powder coated.

The frame extrusion also needed to be flush with both the top plate and the mount enclosure doors. The index table has a 2" thick aluminum riser; the octagon table top is 63" across flats and 1.25" thick. The 48" diameter aluminum dial plate is 1.00" thick and the 44" diameter stationary tool plate is 1.25" thick. All chassis system plates featured a hard coat anodized finish that is essential in providing durability.

Key TR1100 rotary indexing rings specifications:

  • High level of parts accuracy due to drive being positioned far toward the outside
  • Highly dynamic with smooth motion
  • Flat, compact design
  • Dial ring outside diameter: min. 1,100 mm
  • Dial ring inside diameter: max. 800 mm
  • Ring thickness: min. 25 mm
  • Overall height of assembly (from base to top of ring): 70 mm + ring thickness
  • Indexing precision (degree seconds): ± 18"
  • Indexing precision in radian measurement: ± 0.048 mm (at o1,100 mm).

For mounting automation inside the guarding frame, the medical parts client also requested WEISS to rigidly mount some of its HP70 pick & place direct-drive components designed for the application of multiple picks requiring speed and accuracy. The HP70s deliver 70 mm of vertical stroke with 225 mm of horizontal stroke.

The HP70 pick & place direct-drive component is thin at 60 mm wide, but provides over 100 cycles per minute with repeat accuracy of 0.01 mm.

Key to the HP70's design is a new drive concept that works with two linear motor axes that feature a unique knuckle design on the Y/Z-axis - virtually eliminating the need for another linear motor for the Z-axis.

"The collaboration with WEISS on the 24-station medical luer valve system provided the client with a turn-key solution that exceeded performance goals while freeing up time for ongoing multiple production project management," said a company spokesperson. "The WEISS engineering group provided a one-source medical parts assembly solution - delivering a 1.25 second index cycle time with an indexing table speed of .33 seconds - from station to station.

"The intricate TR1100 chassis system also leveraged WEISS' line of accessories, such as the high-speed HP70 pick & place components to optimize automation goals. Additionally, the TR1100 ring indexers provided a quieter shop experience for the client vs. previous system incarnations. They also delivered a smooth jerk- and impact-free system with a long service life."

According to WEISS' Director of Sales - Western Region Peter Fiouzi, "We have completed one chassis so far and have two more currently in production for the client. The two new ones are nearly identical to the first but just a bit larger in configuration scope."

For more information contact:

WEISS North America, Inc.

3860 Ben Hur Avenue, Suite 3

Willoughby, OH 44094

888-934-7762

info@weissna.com

www.weissna.com

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