Category Archive: Medical Device Industry

Laserage Acquired by AMETEK, Inc.

We are eager to announce the joining of Laserage and AMETEK, Inc., a global manufacturer of electronic equipment and electromechanical devices with headquarters in Pennsylvania and more than 200 manufacturing facilities worldwide. With its far-reaching influence in a range of industries and strong interest in the advancement of Medical Components, AMETEK is the perfect channel through which Laserage can contribute to the medical device industry in a tremendously positive way.

Laserage will continue to operate as an integral business unit under AMETEK’s Engineered Medical Components Division and will maintain its locations in Waukegan, IL and Milpitas, CA. Laserage will remain focused on providing high quality laser processing, component assembly, and catheter development to its customers, as it has since 1979.

The acquisition of Laserage by AMETEK will be highly beneficial to customers, suppliers, and employees. As part of AMETEK’s Engineered Medical Components Division, Laserage will have the opportunity to pursue more aggressive growth by expanding its capabilities and penetrating  new markets and technologies. AMETEK offers Laserage greater financial stability, capital availability, and opportunities for internal growth than Laserage previously had access to.

A Note to Our Readers:

We appreciate the excellent relationship we’ve established together over the years, and we are eager to nurture it as the newest unit of AMETEK’s Engineered Medical Components Division. The potential to evolve our already-successful commercial partnership into something greater excites us, and we are appreciative of your continued support as we navigate through this advancement.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact a member of our team.

Versatility in Lasers and How It’s Expanding the Technology Market

Laser technology, while groundbreaking, is becoming increasingly ubiquitous. Cutting-edge light detection technology has contributed to archaeologists’ discovery of lost cities and TSA checkpoint attendants’ identification of dangerous objects.  Therapeutic tools can now repair nerve damage and continue to enhance precision in surgery. Laser processing can truly be found everywhere.

The versatility of laser technology bodes well for industry forecasts. Lasers now appear in a variety of industries, including aerospace, microelectronics, industrial, and medical. In applications demanding extreme precision, laser welding, cutting, and drilling offer unparalleled capabilities for high strength materials.

With decades of proven success since their introduction in 1965, lasers have established themselves as a highly efficient, cost-effective method of material processing. As this technology continues to advance, lasers emerge as invaluable tools for diverse applications and industries.

Expanding the Technology Market

metal working. Laser cutting technology of flat sheet metal steel material processing with sparks. Authentic shooting in challenging conditions. Maybe little blurred.There are endless possibilities for laser technology applications, as well as new uses. In the travel industry, researchers have developed quantum cascade lasers to scan objects at airport security checkpoints in fractions of a second. In interstellar space travel, powerful laser beams stationed on Earth could help push spacecraft thousands of times faster than rockets during launch.

In the medical industry, laser technology helps ophthalmologists remove cataracts more precisely and effectively, and research is currently underway to determine the effectiveness of femtosecond laser technology in correcting astigmatism. Meanwhile, biotech companies are developing laser technology that targets and destroys cancer cells, acting as an alternative to chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery.

The industrial sector frequently uses lasers to cut plastic for automotive assemblies. The high efficiency and precision offered by laser cutting, drilling, and welding also helps to make cars lighter and more fuel-efficient. The microelectronics industry relies on this enhanced precision to cut ceramic substrates for hybrid circuits, chips, and microelectronic devices.

One of the most recent breakthroughs in laser technology even helped archaeologists discover a lost civilization in Cambodia. Lidar (light detection and ranging) is an airborne laser scanning technology that helped researchers “cut” through the jungle to map data points and pinpoint the exact remains of structures in great detail.

Want to Learn More?

These are just some of the many examples of how laser technology is expanding to meet the needs of every industry. For almost 40 years, Laserage Technology Corporation has been a leader in laser contract manufacturing across a variety of industries and applications. Our facilities are equipped with a team of 160 experienced employees operating over 60 laser systems, which are comprised of more than 90 lasers.

To learn more about the design integrity, advantages, and manufacturability of lasers, download our free eBook, “Design for Manufacturability: Maximizing the Advantages of Laser Cutting.”

download our design for laser cutting manufacturability ebook

MD&M East 2016 a Success!

Laserage was proud to attend this year’s Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) East Conference, which took place in New York City last week. We joined more than 500 other suppliers and manufacturers from the medical industry to enhance our expertise in the design, engineering, and prototyping of medical components, as well as medical laser cutting.

MDM East Dan and Steve behind boothMD&M East provides a number of opportunities for attendees and exhibitors to acquire a greater understanding of issues and topics facing the medical industry today. Topics the conference covered this year include Market Value and Consumer Health, New Technologies, Big Data, and Mobile Product Risk. The conference also annually offers keynotes, training sessions, panels, forums, and workshops.

We would like to express our gratitude to the organizers of MD&M East for the opportunity to gain greater insight into our field by experiencing new technologies and products, and by networking with others in the industry. We would also like to thank everyone who attended the conference and visited our booth. We look forward to hearing from you about future projects.

For more information about the conference, you can visit MD&M East online. Please contact us with questions or requests.

Precision Laser Processing for Orthopedic Components

At Laserage, we maintain the experience and expertise required to manufacture components at the medical device industry’s highest levels of precision and quality. Through laser welding, laser cutting, shape setting, electropolishing, micro-abrasive blasting, annealing, and other high-tech processes, we can achieve the precision tolerances needed for medical components for the orthopedic industry.

Lasers Processes for Medical Components

Precision manufacturing technology has evolved over the years to adapt to the demands of the medical industry. The technology has grown to be more durable and efficient in producing a wider range of components that require tight tolerances. Laser processes can be employed to facilitate fabricating both implantable and non-implantable medical components such as bone screws, hip reamers, stents, vertebral spacers, and more. Certain processes provide a wealth of advantages, with options that include:

  • Laser Welding — A fast, effective, and reliable process, laser welding is essential in manufacturing products for the orthopedics industry. It can handle a complete range of geometries at higher levels of accuracy than many other competing techniques. Importantly, lasers allow for the welding of very small components, making it ideal for the manufacturing of small, often delicate, orthopedic implants.
  • Laser Cutting — The laser cutting process is instrumental in manufacturing components with the most precise dimensions, including a full array of implantable medical devices. The process is also essential for machining all types of medical tubes.

The Best Materials for Medical Products

Our years of experience with manufacturing medical devices allows us to properly utilize materials that are essential in medical device fabrication. Some of these include:

  • Nickel Titanium — Also known as Nitinol, this metal is commonly available in tube, rod, or sheet form. Because of its super elasticity and shape-memory, nitinol is used for a number of orthopedic components, including components used for bone remodeling, promoting bone ingrowth, reduction of stress shielding in bone, and more.
  • Titanium — A staple of the medical industry, titanium provides unparalleled corrosion resistance and a low modulus of elasticity. These properties make it particularly suited for orthopedic implants — joint replacements, fracture fixation plates, screws and intramedullary rods, and spinal fusion instruments are all commonly made of titanium.

Aside for Nitinol and titanium, we also work with a complete variety of other medical grade materials, including stainless steel, cobalt chrome and a wide variety of plastic polymers.

In addition to manufacturing orthopedic components, we also provide the finishing options needed to fulfill the orthopedic industry’s strict standards and tolerance requirements. Among the finishing options we provide are electro-polishing, microblasting, and more.

Laser Processing with Laserage

To best serve our customers nationally and globally, Laserage maintains two cutting-edge, ISO 13485 certified laser processing facilities in the US, one in the Midwest and another on the West Coast. Each of the facilities also perform value-added services such as laser marking management to support our precision laser processes.

To learn more about the advantages of working with laser processing for orthopedic components, download our ebook, Design for Manufacturability: Maximizing the Advantages of Laser Cutting, for free today.

download our design for laser cutting manufacturability ebook

The Current State of Medical Stent Manufacturing

Originally reserved for cardiovascular applications, medical stent manufacturing now increasingly applies to a wide variety of medical industry applications including birth control, kidney stone pain control, and esophageal and gastrointestinal uses.

StentV2-2x3-300-CMYKIntroduced in 1986 as laser cut stainless steel tubes, medical stents have changed the way that doctors treat coronary heart disease. Implanted in the coronary artery, the metal mesh tubes help to prevent artery collapse or closure. Industry demand has remained consistent over the past few decades through the continuous development of new stent materials.

Materials ranging from new alloys to bioabsorbable polymers allow for more intricate stent designs and advanced capabilities. Common intravascular stent materials now include:

  • Nitinol – Also known as nickel titanium, a super elastic shape memory metal used to create self-expanding stents, which are typically implanted in peripheral arteries.
  • Stainless steel – The component’s original design material, which is known for its corrosion resistance.
  • Cobalt-chromium alloys (CoCr) – Provide increased strength to allow for thinner struts.
  • Magnesium alloys (Mg) – New biodegradable materials that come at a hefty cost.
  • Bioabsorbable polymers – Capable of temporarily treating or remodeling vessels to make them healthy before the stent material are fully absorbed, these have the potential to improve clinical outcomes.

Any tubular or flat stent material can undergo laser cutting for high precision fabrication. The laser cutting process is conducted using nanosecond-long pulsed infrared lasers; though effective, the process often results in suboptimal surface conditions. To enhance cut quality and meet accuracy requirements, engineers have developed post-processing techniques such as cleaning, etching, deburring, and final polishing.

Medical device manufacturers can also perform secondary processes including coating and surface finishing on stents. In addition, Nitinol components can now be manipulated through a shape-setting process that leverages the material’s elasticity as well. Medical devices with Nitinol have a growing competitive advantage in the medical world, as the metal is quickly becoming the material of choice in stent manufacturing.

Laserage Technology Corporation is an ISO 13485 certified leader in laser processing, with a special focus on stents and other medical components. Through the use of our custom-designed CO2, Nd:YAG, fiber, disk and Femto laser systems, our Midwest and West Coast facilities offer a wide variety of laser processing services from prototyping to both low or high volume stent production.

At Laserage, we help medical manufacturers reach the highest levels of performance within a short turnaround time by continuously adapting to the changes and demands of the medical industry. For more information about Laserage’s capabilities and to learn about the advancements made in the stent manufacturing industry,  download our new eBook, The Evolution of Medical Stents today.

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Wearable Technology and the Medical Industry

Innovative technologies have led to gradual improvements in healthcare over the recent years. Many people are living longer and healthier lives thanks to the increased screening capabilities of unique medical devices. In the past two years, the wearable medical device market has soared; consumers are embracing wearable products, such as fitness trackers, and healthcare practitioners are seeking to use the technology in medical offices and operating rooms.

girl running wearing a wearable device

Health information technology (HIT) began marketing wearable devices to consumers to measure steps and workout information. This was regarded as an interesting experiment, but these devices had little use in healthcare applications. To provide wellness benefits and to become valuable tools of physicians, wearables had to meet the criteria of validated accuracy and metrics.

Enhanced wearable technologies are something many physicians are now in favor of. The amount of accurately recorded data from wearables gives doctors additional information to make diagnoses, identify diseases, and create useful data sets. Data gathering is vital part of health and patient care; this fact that encourages other physicians to consider using wearables in their practices.

Moving beyond merely data gathering, wearable technologies are finding their way into operating rooms to support treatment decisions. Doctors are experimenting with Google Glass and other augmented reality (AR) devices to add information resources and to enhance their surgical skills. With such technology, patient records and treatment information is readily available to the doctor without leaving the rooms, and even without breaking eye contact with the patient.

AR projects include Google Glass apps that enable holographic images of test results to be overlaid onto a patient. For example: the results of a MRI can be sent to the wearable, providing the doctor with an accurate representation of the patient’s condition. Utilizing this type of technology can increase precision and may reduce time spent in surgical operations.

Wearable medical devices are being developed to treat chronic pain in conditions such as fibromyalgia, sciatica, and neuropathy; to diagnose early stages of Parkinson’s disease; and to measure force of impact of physical injuries. Even phlebotomy can be improved with wearables—specially designed glasses create vibrant images of a patient’s vasculature system, alleviating common issues with drawing blood.

Embracing wearable technology is the future of the medical industry. With continuous improvements in functionality and accuracy, the information gathered and made available by these devices will one day become standard practice.

At Laserage, we support the medical industry with our custom precision laser processing capabilities. Browse our Resource Library for free and downloadable materials related to the medical industry and our laser processing services. For more information, contact us to speak with a representative today.

Browse Resource Library

Quality Medical Devices: from Prototype to Production

The medical device industry is constantly changing due to new technologies and shifting market demands. Often, the industry changes at such a fast rate that several medical device manufacturers have difficulty keeping up. By the time a company gets a device approved and into production, one of their competitors has already seized the moment and built a similar product.

medical-device-ebook-coverIdeally, your company’s goal should be to get their product to market in the shortest time possible—it’s also important to consider other vital factors, such as materials, industry standards, and manufacturing processes.

Among medical device designers and engineers, one of the biggest questions is “what does it take to turn an idea into a profitable and valuable product?” At Laserage, our team has over 35 years of experience providing laser processing services to various manufacturers; we invite you to learn more with our latest eBook titled Developing Quality Medical Devices with Precision Laser Processing.

Getting Started

Let’s say you have an interesting idea for a medical device—a product that might be able to fulfill diverse customer needs in the marketplace. In order to see your idea through to production, there are many steps that need to be followed.

For example, companies frequently conduct market research and concept testing prior to investing in prototyping; these steps provide medical device designers and engineers with critical data, such as recognizing potential customers and understanding if the product is actually achievable.

Finalizing a Design

Once a workable design is agreed upon, a prototype is made for testing and marketing purposes. Thanks to stunning advancements in laser technology, prototypes are no longer as cost-prohibitive. In fact, many companies manufacture a variety of prototypes to showcase their capabilities. Prototypes also enable designers to move forward with trials and testing sooner than in previous years.

From initial design, to proper material selection, and obtaining FDA certification, designers have a lot to consider throughout the entire development process. However, the rewards can be worthwhile if you can make the leap from approved design to market production as soon as possible.

With Laserage’s assistance, you’ll be able to streamline the product development process and create a truly remarkable product.

Download our new eBook, Developing Quality Medical Devices with Precision Laser Processing, for more information on taking your product to the next level. You can also contact us with any questions.

Download our eBook: Developing Quality Medical Devices with Precision Laser Processsing

Choosing a Contract Manufacturer for Medical Devices

Medical practitioners and their patients greatly rely on technology each day. To accommodate increasingly demanding applications, modern medical devices and equipment are held to the highest possible standards. Compliance with industry standards are a necessity for any manufacturer, as their products play a vital role in patient care.

QualityStandardsCOVERIn an effort to create higher-quality medical devices, contract manufacturers have adopted the use of laser technology. Methods such as laser cutting, welding, drilling, and marking meet the all requirements of medical industry standards.

Deciding on an ideal contract manufacturer can be a difficult process, as there are many considerations to bear in mind. Many companies simply don’t know what to expect from their contractors.

At Laserage Technology Corporation, our team is well-versed in the product requirements of the medical industry. When the time comes to choose a contract manufacturer, we want you to make the best decision possible—we’ve created a Quality Standards Checklist to help.

This free-to-download checklist outlines important questions every potential customer should be asking. These questions include information regarding:

  • Quality Manuals that outline manufacturers’ quality management goals and procedures
  • Certification with vital industry standards, such as ISO 13485
  • Conducting of both internal and external audits
  • Process validation services, such as Design of Experiment (DOE) and Validation Plan
  • Product inspection capabilities and equipment
  • Compliance with RoHS and export control policies
  • Practice of global codes of conduct
  • Compliance with REACH regulations
  • Full-time quality assurance personnel

Today’s medical applications demand higher-performance solutions and manufacturers capable of providing these solutions. At Laserage Technology Corporation, we have over three decades of experience supporting medical OEMs with our contract manufacturing services. We are more than capable of exceeding the most stringent industry standards.

Download our free Quality Standards Checklist to learn what you should expect from exceptional contract manufacturers. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any additional questions.

Quality Standards Checklist Download

The Medical Device Tax and its Impact on Medical Manufacturing

In January 2013, the Medical Device Tax was passed into law under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This is a 2.3% excise tax on certain medical devices; the manufacturers of these products are responsible for paying the tax, not the consumers. Since the tax was enacted two years ago, it has been a continual topic of discussion among industrial and governmental leaders.

MRI machineIntended as a source of revenue to support new insurance coverage under the ACA, the tax affects FDA approved medical devices sold in the U.S. “Devices” is a broad category and includes various products: MRI and LASIK machines; cardiac defibrillators; pacemakers; heart valves; surgical gloves; bandages; and tongue depressors.

The consumer of the product plays a role in determining if the item is taxable or not. In the case of products such as bandages or surgical gloves, the manufacturer is required to pay the tax when they sell directly to medical providers (doctors, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.). The tax does not apply to products sold directly to consumers in retail or drug stores; however, when those same products are sold in bulk to a hospital, they are taxed.

In some instances, the final products are exempt from the tax but the components used in the manufacturing of the final product are taxable. For example, dentures are exempt from the tax, but their components are not. On the other hand, contact lenses and eyeglasses are not taxed at all, and neither are their component parts.

This controversial tax has greatly influenced the medical manufacturing industry. As a global leader in medical device innovation, the U.S. faced a tax burden that could prevent future growth in the industry. It was feared that the ACA (and this tax) would force manufacturers to reduce production, lay off employees, stifle advances in medical devices, and reduce U.S. economic growth.

In Congress, the debate on the medical device tax continues to this day. Repealing of the tax will provide companies the resources they need to further healthcare innovation. Additionally, the repeal would improve economic growth with new jobs in the medical device manufacturing industry.

Modern manufacturers encounter many challenges and pressures in planning their business funding. Innovation and advancing new product development are dependent on the strength of their companies. The U.S. invests heavily into new medical technologies, and these benefits are felt throughout the entire country. Medical devices can improve the quality of life for American citizens, which is why the tax debate rages on. If you’re interested in learning more about our laser cutting capabilities for the medical device industry, contact us today or download our Quality Standards Checklist.

Quality Standards Checklist Download

Venta Medical Acquires Formed Polymer Solutions

Over its nearly 40-year tenure, Laserage Technology Corporation has become one of the country’s foremost providers of laser contract manufacturing services, including laser cutting, laser drilling and laser welding. There are several qualities that separate us from other manufacturers—most notably, our team is dedicated to delivering the highest quality products and services.

In our quest to be recognized as the world’s premier laser processing company, Laserage has greatly expanded its offerings through acquisitions. By acquiring companies that share our unique commitment to quality, we gain new capabilities to better serve consumers.

In December 2013, Laserage was proud to acquire Venta MedicalSM, a well-known medical device contract manufacturer. The synergy between the two companies was extraordinary, and we seek to duplicate those results with our acquisition of Formed Polymer Solutions, Inc.

A California-based company, Formed Polymer Solutions (FPS) is a developer and manufacturer of custom-made plastic products that serve the medical device industry. FPS specializes in precision processes that include catheter tipping, micro-molding, flanging, and flaring of various thermoplastic materials.

The FPS team manufactures products using nearly any thermoplastic material; examples include polyurethane, PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene), PEBAX (polyether block amide), nylon, and polyethylene.

Additionally, Formed Polymer Solutions has extensive in-house mold and tool making capabilities. With these capabilities, FPS brings rapid prototyping for development and quick scale manufacturing to Venta MedicalSM, Laserage’s subsidiary company.

The distinctive thermal forming abilities of Formed Polymer Solutions will help Venta MedicalSM  expand its product offerings. In time, Venta MedicalSM  will be able to provide new and existing consumers with custom componentry and formed polymer sub-assemblies.

“The acquisition of FPS gives us the ability to manufacture a wider range of thermoplastic components with micro precision requirements,” said Venta MedicalSM  President Karl Im. “With the integration of FPS’s capability, Venta can serve a wider base of customers seeking to outsource their projects to a one-stop-shop operation,”

FPS President and founder Peter Swenson is also looking forward to joining the Laserage family. “[It] will give us the platform to serve more clients outside of our immediate area, while better serving our current clients with full turn-key manufacturing capability as part of Venta Medical’s team,” Swenson said. “We envision a successful future for the clients we serve and our combined companies.”

At Laserage, we also envision much success emerging from this collaboration. More importantly, our customers in the medical device industry will receive even higher quality products and services.

For more information, please contact Laserage Technology Corporation today.

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