To ensure that your medical device manufacturing projects are accomplished as efficiently and quickly as possible, it’s important to find the right laser processing partner.
Choosing the right partner for your specific needs will save time, reduce costs, conserve resources, and give you confidence that your project will be completed smoothly through a reliable partnership.
The Efficiency of Laser Manufacturing
Medical laser cutting creates extremely precise cuts at tight tolerances. Because laser cutting systems produce low heat levels, they reduce the risk of material warping and require less energy input compared to standard machinery. There is also no contact between the workpiece and the cutting apparatus, which eliminates the risk of material contamination when working with plastic, metal, or wood.
Precision laser drilling services are especially ideal for applications that require small holes with large depth-to-diameter ratios. The drilling process is repeatable and very fast, making it well-suited to the high-production volumes associated with fully automated or semi-automated tooling applications, and can be used with both hard and soft materials.
Laser welding, meanwhile, allows for the fabrication of the intricate and thin-walled components often required in medical devices. The welding process needs little joint preparation — sometimes none at all —saving time and money, especially with high production volumes. Because metal is fused within a very small area at high speeds and consistent welds, laser welding causes less workpiece distortion.
How to Find a Versatile Laser Shop
In order to get your projects completed efficiently, safely, and on-time, it’s essential that you find a laser shop that can handle your unique needs.
Before selecting a laser processing partner, get a clear overview of the technologies a company utilizes. Far-infrared (CO2), near-infrared (Nd:YAG, fiber, and disk), ultra-short pulse (femto), and UV equipment are common options, each of which is suited to different applications. CO2 lasers, for instance, are ideal for working non-metallic materials, while fiber lasers are best for metal engraving and metal marking through annealing.
Many materials can be laser processed, including stainless and steel alloys, titanium and nitinol, plastics, wood, ceramics, coated metals, acrylic, and bioabsorbable materials. Getting a clear view of your potential laser partner’s capabilities before moving forward will ensure a smooth, successful, and long-lasting working relationship.
Is Your Laser Processing Partner Reliable?
When choosing a laser partner, it’s important to consider their reliability. Look through portfolios of their previous work to get a better idea of their capabilities and ideals. If you’re not finding what you need on their website, request portfolios and additional case studies to get the information you need to make an informed decision.
Looking through their list of clients — or even asking to speak to some of them as a reference — will give you a clearer picture of their past projects and areas of expertise, their typical customers, and the materials with which they can work.
Learning about a laser shop’s commitment to quality and any certifications they may hold will also help you during this critical decision-making process.
Certifications to Look for When Choosing a Laser Shop
When choosing a laser shop to partner with, quality is of utmost importance. A potential partner should have a robust quality manual containing all of their certification information, their goals and ideals, and an outline of their business ethics.
For medical device laser processing, ISO 13845 is particularly important. This certification ensures that the design, production, installation, and servicing of medical devices is done in accordance with established safety and quality regulations. Laser shops committed to quality will also conduct regular external and internal audits to ensure ISO 13845 compliance.
RoHS compliance, which regulates the use of hazardous materials, and REACH, which protects people and the environment from harmful chemicals, should also be considered in your search for a laser processing partner.
To be sure of your partner’s commitment to quality, team up with a shop that has its own inspection capabilities and global code of conduct.
Consider Laserage for All of Your Laser Needs
For over 35 years, Laserage Technology Corporation has been at the forefront of laser manufacturing.
To meet our customers’ specific needs, we make use of several custom-designed laser systems, including far-infrared (CO2), near-infrared (Nd:YAG, fiber, and disk), UV, and ultra-short pulse (femto) equipment. We can handle a wide range of materials — titanium and nitinol, stainless steel and steel alloys, brass, plastics, and ceramics, to name a few — in the manufacture of medical device components such as stents, bone saws, delivery systems, and hones.
Laserage’s full-time quality personnel ensure that every job is completed in a safe, efficient, and timely manner. We’re not only registered to ISO 13485:2003 for medical device components, but also to ISO 9001:2008 for all other products and components. Our company is also in full compliance with REACH and RoHS.
To learn more about how we can help you accomplish your next project, download our eBook, “Design for Manufacturability: Maximizing the Advantages of Laser Cutting.”