The Top 6 Benefits of Die Casting Medical Equipment
Die casting is an ideal manufacturing process for various tools and components, especially for medical equipment, which must be clean, precise, and durable. Medical gear is mass-produced but that doesn’t detract from the point that every piece needs to be nearly impeccable. The smooth surface finish and high resistance afforded by die casting are absolutely essential for working in or around the human body. It also nets a high degree of reliability for extended periods, meaning the gear can be used safely for years to come.
Simply put, die casting medical equipment is necessary and introduces a wide variety of benefits for medical practitioners, patients, and service technicians. Considering medical manufacturing is one of the most profitable industries in the field, understanding the best ways to mass-produce gear is highly advisable.
Here are some of the top reasons why die casting is such a smart move.
1. Strong and Lightweight
Perhaps the greatest benefit of die casting stems from the fact that parts are created as one, seamless shape. This is in direct contrast to parts that are welded or fastened together. Die cast components are much stronger, and the strength is determined by the type of material used rather than the design itself.
At the same time, die cast components are relatively lightweight compared to alternatives and can even be produced with extremely thin dimensions without compromising strength. It means the walls can be incredibly thin and manageable, which makes using them easier when working in confined spaces or when tasked with molding unique shapes and designs.
2. Mass Production at Speed
Because die casting requires minimal post-machining, if any, the resulting equipment can be mass-produced quickly and effectively. Thousands to hundreds of thousands of castings can be done reliably before any additional work or tooling is required. It lends itself well to automated machining and production operations for this reason, as well.
With comparable solutions, including plastic injection molding, screw machining, or sand casting, the development rates are quite slow. This is because those processes take longer to complete, but also there’s additional work needed before the resulting products are ready for primetime.
Sand castings, for example, need significantly more post-machining, especially to smooth out edges and achieve more precise dimensions. Ultimately, die casting medical equipment means more tools and supplies can be created faster, without sacrificing quality, durability, or reliability.
3. Dimensional Precision
It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about large machines, like an X-ray, or surgical tools like scalpels or forceps. Every edge, corner, and space must be precise, smooth, and free of defects. Pacemakers and patient monitoring systems must work correctly to keep patients safe. Moreover, many medical devices and tools have strict dimensional tolerances and require precision measurements, which is difficult to achieve with other manufacturing and finishing techniques.
Again, die casting affords exactly the kind of durability and strength medical equipment calls for while allowing for remarkably precise designs, even with complex shapes or configurations. You’d be hard-pressed to achieve the same with plastic injection molding or traditional forging. So, you benefit from the precision and reliability but also from collaborating with teams that have been doing this kind of work for a long, long time.
4. Extreme Resistance
Small tools need to be heat-treated and cleaned to kill potential contaminants and sanitize their surfaces. Large equipment must be cleaned frequently as well, sometimes with the aid of harsh chemicals. It means all equipment requires a high level of resistance to heat, chemicals, and usage. Scalpels, for instance, need to hold their shape and sharpness even after hundreds of hours of use.
Die casting medical equipment and parts helps prepare the related items for long-term use and exposure. They won’t break down, or lose their shape or durability even under extreme conditions. They can also be serviced between uses, like sharpening a blade, without altering the composition of the equipment.
5. Customizable Finishing
Die casted parts can be treated with a variety of finishes, including textured surfaces. Even so, they come out incredibly smooth, free of burrs, dents, and other surface defects, meaning they require almost no added work unless it’s deemed necessary.
They can also be plated or repurposed to create exactly the type and texture of finish needed. This is of particular importance with small medical tools, where grips and other textured surfaces need to be embedded into the device.
Not only is it possible, it’s also cost-effective and has virtually no bearing on the conditions of the components. It doesn’t make them weaker or compromise precision, which is valuable for medical equipment.
6. Production Costs
Die casting medical equipment is cost-effective, even at scale. For operations with high-volume production levels, it’s possible to create a vast quantity of identical items at a relatively low cost, with high precision, and with very little waste. That is because consistency is way more achievable through die casting than with comparable manufacturing and machining methods.
Moreover, the waste reduction is considerable simply because there are no post-machining requirements for die cast equipment and parts. There are several methods available to choose from, as well—between aluminum die casting and investment casting, which uses three-dimensional wax molds to form parts out of molten metal. Regardless of the method chosen, the benefits are largely the same with minimal waste incurred.
Compliance Is Still Necessary
Benefits aside, when die casting medical equipment, you’re still required to adhere to both industry-related and regulatory standards, such as ISO 9000 and ISO 13485 certifications. It’s important to work within the related boundaries, whether collaborating with manufacturers or you are a manufacturer.
Even after development, many medical devices must be analyzed and graded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. or comparable agencies in other countries.
High quality and precision may be paramount, but that doesn’t excuse the products from a proper and proven vetting process. This protects all companies involved, but also the patients and professionals that will be interacting with the equipment the most.
Article source: Medical Product Sourcing