ANAHEIM, Calif.—Custom injection molder and assembler Pelham Plastics Inc. resolved a customer's production problem in 2015, using a proprietary fix to satisfy the original issue and also add three more customers.
The need was to prevent marker bands from moving on a medical catheter shaft.
Pelham's Randy Prior developed the solution within a couple of months. Prior is a project engineer with particular expertise in radio-frequency-welding technology.
Prior's repeatable solution guarantees the exact location of the band—or bands, as needed—and fully encapsulates it within the wall thickness of the catheter shaft or sheath.
Pelham uses an RF welding system from Vante Biopharm of Tucson, Ariz., to embed, for example, a marker band of platinum iridium in a 0.184-inch outer-diameter shaft of Pebax-brand thermoplastic elastomer. That example was shown during the Feb. 6-9 UBM Advanced Manufacturing Expo in Anaheim.
Embedding the marker means nothing sharp can interfere with passing a device through or over the marker.
The Pelham, Vt.-based contract manufacturer occupies 34,000 square feet and operates seven injection molding machines: six Arburg hydraulics and one Nigata electric. Clamping forces range from 28-200 tons.
Ray Pellerin, sales manager, projected the manufacturer will increase sales during 2018 by 10-12 percent vs. last year's performance.
Pelham Plastics employs 60-65 including six senior level tool makers.