When it comes to manufacturing medical device enclosures, there are several processes to choose from. We know we’re a bit biased, but more often than not, pressure formed plastic really is the best option for medical device enclosures.
Here are 9 reasons why.
#1: Cost at Quantity
When you factor in both tooling and production costs, pressure forming quite often has the lowest total cost of any other process in volumes of the high-hundreds to mid-thousands. These are very common quantities in medical device enclosure manufacturing.
#2: Large Part Capability
Our pressure forming machines can create single pieces up to a full 10’x6’, with up to 40” of depth. That’s the type of size you need when you’re creating enclosures for things like MRI, CT and X-Ray machines, or ancillary equipment like beds and chairs.
#3: Huge Material Selection
When you’re pressure forming, you can choose from literally hundreds of materials. These materials can come with properties like excellent impact protection, V-0 flammability ratings and even built-in antimicrobial resistance. The same thermoplastic materials that are used for injection molding are commonly used in pressure forming.
#4: Complex Geometry Without High Costs
With pressure forming, it’s possible to create enclosures with complex geometry without steep tooling costs. Stop thinking about simple vacuum formed parts that require draft and have minimal detail and start thinking undercuts and zero draft. Parts that may have been designed originally for injection molding or RIM can be easily changed to pressure forming.
#5: Part-to-Part Repeatability
Pressure forming is a highly repeatable process, and we pride ourselves on precision. This means that we can deliver very high part-to-part repeatability, making for quick and concise assembly, every time.
#6: Molded-In Features for Easy Assembly
Assembly and fasteners can sometimes add significant costs to medical device enclosures. With pressure forming, we can mold-in features like undercuts, attachment points, tabs and slots that speed up assembly time, and reduce assembly costs.
#7: Beautiful & Flexible Finishing Options
Pressure forming gives you the option to choose a finishing option that’s right for your enclosure. Whether it’s molded-in-color (including high-gloss and metallic finishes) that reduces overall costs, or painting or silk-screening, you have options.
#8: Lower Cost Design Changes
Pressure forming not only has lower overall tooling costs than other processes, it can also allow some design changes with minimal costs. For example, relocating a boss, attachment point or moving a molded-in vent are all possible without creating an entirely new tool. In fact most of these changes do not even involve the tooling, and give you a design freedom that other processes do not.
#9: Flexible Textures
Whether it’s for functional or aesthetic reasons, medical devices can often benefit from textured enclosures. In addition to the wide range of material textures available, our machined aluminum pressure forming tools can be acid-etched to provide custom textures.
If you’re considering pressure forming for your next medical device, we’d be more than happy to help you decide which process is right for you.