FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Mack Molding has entered 14 parts into seven different market categories at the Alliance of Plastics Processors’ (APP) Plastic Parts Innovations Conference and New Product Design Competition, which is taking place this week from April 2-4 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus Hotel, Columbus, Ohio. Of the 14 entries, five are in the Medical & Scientific category, reflecting Mack’s continuing focus and growth in medical device manufacturing.
Medical & Scientific
The first entry is an orthopedic instrument handle for Stryker Orthopaedics’ Triathlon™ Knee System. It features an ergonomic soft-grip handle that is insert molded with a double overmold. The goal of the product is to provide a surgical operating instrument with a soft-touch surface that is lightweight yet strong, and ergonomically easy to use. The handle also has to be able to withstand repeated autoclaving.
The strength of the product is achieved through a steel core with wear resistant interface surfaces. The low weight and additional structure is attained by minimizing the steel cross section as much as possible, and molding 99 percent of the remaining contour out of a high heat polypropylene. The final one percent of the contour is molded of a custom blended thermoplastic elastomer for a soft-touch feel. All materials used in the application withstand autoclaving.
The handle design also introduces a quick attach-and-release mechanism that saves time in fixture assembly and minimizes the number of instruments required for each surgical procedure. Downsizing the number of instruments allows for consolidation of surgical cases & trays as well, which saves valuable space in the operating room and reduces costly cleaning procedures.
The second entry in the Medical & Scientific division is the MIHM-1 Monitor from Analogic Corporation, a leading designer and manufacturer of advanced health and security systems and subsystems. The MIHM-1 monitor represents a new minimally invasive approach to monitoring continuous cardiac output. Used in conjunction with other bedside monitors and clinical assessment, the MIHM-1 Monitor helps assess patient status and determine the need and adequacy of therapy in the management of critically ill patients.
The design reduces assembly steps by integrating mounting points that allow for a modular assembly technique. It also focuses on improving the patient’s environment by minimizing grooves, crevices and other areas where contamination can lodge. Finally, the monitor is designed for easy reconfiguration to meet future requirements of other medical devices. The MIHM-1 Monitor is molded of PC/ABS resin to meet flammability ratings and stringent cleanability requirements.
The third entry, the HI-Care Cart from Howard Medical, is a point-of-care product for health care professionals designed to efficiently deliver medications and care, and provide for proficient data entry into records via wireless technology. Its sleek, small footprint allows for easy navigation in the tightest of environments. And to further improve maneuverability, an injection molded handle feature encircles the work surface, serving as a grab rail.
Other key features include a 270 degree steering handle, zero degree turning radius, and a near-silent one-touch lift that raises and lowers the work surface for use while seated or standing. Tool-less entry provides easy access to the battery and other critical electronics.
Mack molds a dozen parts of glass-filled nylon for the cart, using both high-pressure structural foam and injection molding.
The fourth entry in the Medical & Scientific division is the E Series™ Defibrillator from Zoll Medical Corporation, a manufacturer of resuscitation devices and related software solutions. Designed to meet the specific demands and extreme conditions of the emergency medical services environment, the E-Series features a suitcase-style design with an innovative, protective roll cage, allowing emergency personnel to carry and store the device easily. Small, light and tough, it can be dropped off a building or run over by a truck without affecting operation.
The system is equipped with a simple operating system and an easy-to-read display screen for use in pitch dark or direct sunlight, providing complete views of critical patient information from virtually any angle. The built-in GPS clock allows customers to automatically synchronize dispatch, defibrillator and intervention call times, which helps improve overall data accuracy.
From a mechanical perspective, the E Series is innovative because of its lightweight, yet indestructible design. The part is protected on three sides with gas-assisted parts — two blue side rails and the front handle. The side rails are gas-assist injection molded to meet Zoll’s wall thickness requirements. The material is a modified ABS resin. Additionally, the gas-assisted handle is molded of polycarbonate resin and overmolded with thermoplastic polyurethane to provide both comfort and grip to the emergency medical technician handling the product.
Mack molds a total of 14 parts for the unit, using polyurethane, polycarbonate and modified ABS resins. All materials are high impact resins with high temperature resistance to assure performance in the harshest of conditions.
Last year, Mack Molding and Zoll Medical won both the Medical & Scientific category and Overall Conference Award with the ZOLL AED Pro™.
The final Medical & Scientific entry is the Orion Star Series Meters from Thermo Electron Corporation, the world leader in analytical instruments. The bench top and handheld meters were designed to offer rapid, accurate measurement of pH, ISE, dissolved oxygen and conductivity for environmental (water) analysis in the laboratory or the field.
The bench top version is rated IP67 splash proof and IP54 dust-proof and takes up very little bench space due to its small footprint. The lightweight design of the handheld model, coupled with the new waterproof and secure electrode connectors, makes it ideal for fieldwork. Both housings are injection molded of polycarbonate resin for impact strength and chemical resistance.
The Chadwick suspension chair is an office chair designed by Don Chadwick for Knoll, an international company that specializes in workplace furnishings. Chadwick’s principle components are light injection molded forms that make up the frame, arm and base. Mack uses nine tools to mold 14 parts out of 40 percent glass-filled nylon to meet cosmetic and structural requirements. Gas-assisted injection molding is used on several parts to reduce cycle times and part weight, and maximize the structural integrity of the resin.
Made of only plastics, fabric, links and springs, the chair is designed to be simple, comfortable and affordable, yet aesthetically pleasing. A resilient suspension seat and back fabric chemically bonds with the plastic during the fabric encapsulation process and handles all recommended load requirements to meet Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association (BIFMA) standards.
In addition to the suspension seat, the Chadwick offers several other support and comfort features, including synchronized recline with tilt tension, forward-tilt, variable seat depth, generous lumbar curvature, flexing arm pads and 360-degree swivel. The fabric is available in seven colors.
Entered separately into the Single Part category is the seat encapsulation for the Chadwick chair described above. The seat support must transfer the load of an individual’s weight to the seat frame without any fabric tearing issues. To accomplish that, Mack uses fabric that is produced in two types of copolyester resin.
First, the fabric is manually hung in the press and overmolded around its perimeter with a 20 percent glass-filled copolyester resin to form a frame that holds the fabric and provides initial structure for the seat. The copolyesters in both the fabric and seat frame chemically bond during that process. The excess fabric is then trimmed away from the outside of the molded frame. Second, the trimmed seat encapsulation is loaded into another tool, where it is overmolded with a 40 percent glass-filled nylon to match the chair. The mushroom-shaped design of the seat frame overmold wraps around the copolyester frame to hold it in place.
This two-step molding process is innovative because it allows one resin, the copolyester used to mold the initial seat frame, to chemically bond with the fabric, while the second step bonds the overmold to the seat frame via a cosmetically enhancing mechanical design.
Pitney Bowes provides the world’s most comprehensive suite of mailstream software, hardware, services and solutions to help companies manage their flow of mail, documents and packages to improve communication. Their Weigh-On-The-Way™ (WOW) unit employs patented technology to process mixed weight material up to 16 oz. automatically and in a single operation. Each piece is weighed, the proper rate is calculated, and the postage is imprinted at speeds up to 70 or 90 letters per minute, based on configuration.
The design is particularly unique because it is built with a modular construction that allows the unit to be integrated into an existing mailing machine to increase both functionality and productivity. The highly cosmetic covers are injection molded of PC/ABS resin, and the lightweight, functional platform is low pressure structural foam molded of PPO/PPE resin. Mack molds a total of nine parts for the unit, and fully assembles it before shipping to the customer.
The second entry in this division is the front fascia for the new 8000 Series ATM from Triton, the leading provider of off-premise ATMs. The part requires strength to handle direct impact and normal field abuse, as well as good aesthetics to match the other front panels on the unit.
This is the first U.S. program originally designed for external gas to make production shipments under license from Cinpres Gas Injection (CGI), Inc. In the past, Triton used the structural foam process to obtain the impact and stiffness their ATM panels typically require. Working with Mack Molding, a collective decision was made to use external gas assist molding on this application.
This licensed hybrid molding process allows the designer to selectively locate large ribs on the core side of highly cosmetic surfaces, with minimal to no sink and zero read-through. In addition, because of the selective rib location and the luxury of designing section on these ribs, Triton was able to develop a part that met all mechanical critical-to-quality requirements at a much reduced cubic volume, translating into lower part weight.
Normal gas-assist would require connecting all these heavy ribs with a gas-channel circuit or multiple circuits to allow the gas to internally flow and pack-out these heavy sections. Because this was not required, the design is much simpler, and tool construction was easier and faster.
In addition, because of the external gas process, Mack is able to mold this large panel with a projected area of 195.5 sq. in. in a 300-ton press. Conventional molding would have required a 600- to 700-ton press. All these factors helped reduce cost, and in the end, improve Triton’s 8000 Series ATM.
Mack Molding licensed this process from CGI, and worked closely with them during the design and tool development phase.
The 4DX flooded stationary battery from EnerSys, the largest industrial battery manufacturer in the world, is used for a back-up power source in the event of a power interruption. The back-up power system is made up of several batteries/cells that kick in when normal power is interrupted, providing electrical power to vital networks within companies, organizations and businesses.
Due to space constraints, the battery container is designed within a specific allowable footprint, which drives the design of this very large, deep draw, plastic injection molded part toward thinner wall sections and minimal draft. The application also demands a highly cosmetic finish, which is achieved through a well designed mold that ensures proper filling and a clear finish, and virtually eliminates the visual defects commonly associated with large clear injection molded parts.
The battery container is injection molded of flame retardant polycarbonate resin for its V-O flammability rating, clarity, overall strength, and other critical properties required for a lead-acid battery application.
Mack has entered three applications into the Material Handling category.
The first, the Wildcat ER Cover, protects the motor and other electronic and hydraulic components on the new 8000 Series of pallet trucks manufactured by the Raymond Corporation, the leading North American provider of materials handling solutions.
Billed as “the toughest pallet truck you can buy,” the 8000 Series features a rugged polymer cover that won’t bend, dent, fade or rust like metal covers. It snaps conveniently on and off for easy maintenance, and there are no catch points that can cause the cover to become damaged. Low pressure structural foam molded of thermoplastic elastomer, the large cover meets both cosmetic and extremely high impact requirements. The combination of material, process and paint allows the part to “flex” without surface damage.
The second entry, a 25 Caliber Cover for a BT Prime-Mover walkie fork jack, is similar to the part described above in that is a very large cover that requires high cosmetics and impact resistance. Again, Mack combines low pressure structural foam with thermoplastic elastomer and adhesion, primer and color paint coats to produce a cover that flexes without surface damage.
The final entry in the Material Handling division is the Secretariat Handle, a control handle for a Raymond Corporation forklift that controls all truck functions except steering. Designed with the “joystick” generation of video players in mind who have since moved into the work force, the reminiscent design meets all requirements for location restriction, cosmetics and strength. Injected molded of 10 percent glass-filled polycarbonate resin for structural load, the handle is produced in a two-cavity family mold.
Entered in the Transportation category is an upper side air deflector for a Volvo Class 8 truck. This application was designed to withstand highway speed airflow without deflection or vibration in an easy-to-install, easy-to-paint, Class A finish part. Gas-assist injection molded of PC/ABS resin, the application incorporates a large gas channel and a double rib design to achieve superior trailing edge stiffness by using geometry, not added weight. This eliminates adding stiffening brackets on this large Class A part.
The product innovation of both double ribbing and a large gas channel at the product’s edge achieved sufficient part stiffening so the added reinforcements required on earlier RIM designs could be eliminated. Plus the material choice has dramatically improved finishing issues in the OEM paint facility. The result? A more economical part price, fewer installation components, and lower assembly labor in a fully recyclable thermoplastic material.
About Mack Molding
Mack Molding – a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mack Group corporation – is a leading custom plastics molder and supplier of contract manufacturing services. Mack specializes in plastics design, prototyping, molding, sheet metal fabrication and medical device manufacturing. The company operates seven facilities throughout the eastern United States. Founded in 1920, Mack is a privately owned business that has earned a 5A1 D&B rating, the highest available. For further information, visit Mack on the web at www.mack.com.