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News

Cost-effective production of medical equipment

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 15 June, 2004  (Company News)
Trips to the dentist aren
This is particularly true for the dental unit, comprising the adjustable chair, the machinery containing the motors and controls for the drills, and the cuspidor, which provides rinsing water for the patient and drains waste fluid.

The U 5000, the latest dental unit from Ultradent, a Munich-based manufacturer of dental equipment, combines a high degree of comfort with visual appeal. The unit is also ergonomically optimized for the dentist. These benefits are due in no small measure to the outstanding properties of the polyurethane materials Baydur® 60 and Baydur® 110 from Bayer MaterialScience AG. Together with the polyurethane specialists of Teninger Thieme GmbH + Co. KG, Ultradent was able to produce a visually appealing housing for the cuspidor, the attached holder for the saliva ejector equipment and the dental equipment the dentist uses to power and control the drilling equipment. Polyurethane offers important technical and economic advantages compared with the materials traditionally used for this type of medical equipment, such as sheet metal or injection molded thermoplastics.

Visually appealing curved surfaces can be quickly and easily realized using the 3D CAD/CAM method common in contemporary design. Thanks to the low foaming pressure, inexpensive, easily-manufactured aluminum forms can be used, enabling cost-effective production, particularly with midsize production runs. Integral components ready for installation or assembly can be produced in a matter of minutes. Thanks to their dimensional stability and accuracy, different assemblies and components can be fitted together easily and precisely. This helps to significantly shorten assembly times for medical equipment.

Polyurethane foam provides numerous other benefits when used for supports and housings for medical equipment. It is resistant to almost all commonly-used cleaning agents and disinfectants. The use of monolithic, integrated foamed components eliminates voids, rabbets and undercuts, enabling reliable, hygienic cleaning of supporting components and housings. There are no inaccessible folds or undercuts where residues can collect.

Polyurethane molded parts also ensure good thermal and sound insulation without complex installation procedures. Precisely adjustable wall thicknesses give design engineers the freedom to vary these properties of molded parts according to their requirements.

Foaming in polyurethane is a particularly cost-effective way to manufacture medical equipment. Using sophisticated foam molds, Teninger’s plastic specialists can integrate narrow sections, thin walls, narrow grooves, terminal strips, snap-type closures and screw domes directly into the molded parts.

Materials specialists, designers, design engineers and mold makers work in close partnership to shorten development times from the original idea to the production-ready product. Data on materials, design and construction is exchanged directly using telecommunications equipment (ISDN). Simultaneous engineering techniques allow everyone involved to quickly optimize the design of molded parts and foam molds, enabling equipment manufacturers to bring inexpensive, technically and economically optimized components to market in no time. Teninger produces several thousand polyurethane housing and support components for medical equipment each year.
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