The project was divided into several tasks. For the manufacture of surgical brush the materials PE Foam and must be processed. The difficulty was to implement a feasible combination of multiple technologies in an efficient and economical production system, which ensures a high quality and cost efficiency and eliminates manual labor. The contract includes not only the problem formulation, the development of adequate injection molding tools and the development of an automated system for the production and packaging with a continuous quality control
. Initially agreed Embalnor, Leiria, Portugal, the project with the customer and from put all the steps laid.
The 1188 Brush hair with a thickness of 0.8 to 0.1 mm must be bonded with foam foam, assembled and packaged in a blister. The main body is made on an 8-fold injection mold with hot runner system. The automated production process, consisting of a robot using an adapted for handling gripper, take the brush out of the mold and glued the brush hairs and positions it on the conveyor belt for packaging.
In the context of product development were evaluated using a Moldflow simulations different types of low density polyethylene studied in order for a sufficiently soft to interpret the brush hairs for skin contact, as well as robust so that a cleanliness of the hands and arms is ensured. Then, a prototype mold for the tests of the different geometries in conjunction with the different types of polyethylene was built. The tool, an 8-cavity mold is equipped with a quick-change core and a vacuum system. The quick-change core is screwed from the front and makes it possible to replace all inserts in one step or to switch to clean. The vacuum system reduces air resistance, thus favoring the flow behavior of the plastic. A releasing member system reduces the pressure on the plastic component during the extraction. At the same time the handling robot has been developed, which transports the components from the tool to the bonding machine and to the conveyor belt. The challenge was to process the light and soft materials within the target cycle time.
Thanks to the know-how of Embalnor in balancing the production lines with the right tools and automation components could develop a system for the surgical brushes be, whose structure is very flexible. The design of the brush reduced unit costs. So the cost to the customer could be reduced and added value in the market to be created.