We hope you and your families are holding up well at this time. CATHTIP continues to provide needed equipment and services to our valued customers. Some of you are turning on a dime to provide for the medical front lines and we’re pleased to be nimble enough to support you with extra quick equipment and development turnarounds.
One of the things our teams can assist with is processes, which we’ll discuss in this issue. Please note, as states and countries open up, our larger shipments have started to move more rapidly and we recommend getting your orders into the queue. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 435-628-1775 if you have any questions or concerns.
Rapid Characterization Process
The key to controlling a process is to understand which factors affect it and to be able to control them.
By applying the unparalleled capability of our machines and our proprietary tool design features, along with our deep experience and application knowledge we are typically able to be producing quality parts within a few hours of beginning process development. This is something that we have heard can take some teams several days or even weeks to accomplish, so we will share with you how we do it.
To ensure that we are on the right track we reference the application drawings and customer requirements as we develop the process. We take a Cause and Effect approach utilizing a microscope and precision measurement devices for inspection and measurement of critical dimensions.
We start by identifying the optimal die and heating coil relationship to give us a quality tip. Then we add automated motion and force control to eliminate operator error. We also verify your material’s OD/ID are within tolerance and establish optimal material cut lengths to lock down the material factor.
Then we continue to test temperature, feed rate and time factors to identify critical inputs to the process and their working windows. Thanks to our temperature control loop system and flexible grid style recipe editing software we can eliminate heat sinks and environmental temperature changes by setting temperature limits. Finally, we optimize the process parameters and run multiple parts back-to-back to ensure consistency.
Once we have the process parameters and the tooling setup dialed in, we lock it all down onto one of our Black Box Modular Tooling Platforms which enables quick 2-minute change over to a different application. Changing back is equally quick and the tooling setup is exactly as it was left the last time it ran, thus minimizing setup time and variability.