With the new VascuLathe, Aerotech presents an innovative cutting system for demanding stent production. Its fully integrated movement system combines automated material handling functions with a direct drive for both linear and rotary motions. According to the manufacturer, this integrated linear-rotation design enables a two- to five-fold increase in throughput compared with conventional drive principles based on ball screws or other technologies. It furthermore allows for manufacturing tolerances in the sub-micrometre range.
Based on his practical experience, Norbert Ludwig, managing director of Aerotech GmbH, notes: "The increased throughput of the VascuLathe system means that medical technology manufacturers need fewer machines to produce the same amount of stents when compared to conventional production methods." He further explains that another good reason to use the VascuLathe is its flexibility to cover an increased and varied production demand at the existing production area.
VascuLathe is a complete motion and material handling subsystem. It consists of an automated, pneumatically activated ER collet unit and an optional socket/tube feed mechanism, which allows for fully automated sequential production of various stents from raw materials of any length. Furthermore, a wet cutting configuration is available for applications that require coolant to be applied during the cutting process.
The VascuLathe platform comes with a powerful, yet simple and intuitive, Aerotech control system. Without having to do a lot of programming work, users can optimise current, speed and position servo loops for maximum performance. Additional functions such as 'Multiblock-Look Ahead' can generate paths to minimise geometrical errors that may occur if the radius is small by 'proactively' controlling the cutting speed. The function 'Position Synchronised Output' (PSO) lets users control laser pulses with position synch to maintain an optimal laser output link when cutting speeds vary.
Mr Ludwig sums up: "This new stent manufacturing solution continues our successful line of high-performance motion systems and components for medical technology and life science applications." Aside from stent cutting, other examples from the company's range of medical technology products include laser welding systems for cardiac pacemakers and catheters, intraocular lens (IOL) and contact lens manufacturing, DNA and blood sequencing, haptic mills and drills, X-ray equipment, magnetic resonance imaging and CAT scanners. Mr Ludwig emphasises: "With our motion systems and components, we offer medical technology manufacturers a competitive advantage in a cutthroat market."
Summary of design features:
- Linear/rotary motion platform with a high level of integration
- ER collet system for automated material fixation
- Optional claw unit for tube feed mechanism
- Cutting-edge control architecture
- Single or double ball screw configuration
- Optional wet cutting process
- Optional high-speed rotary shaft for up to 2000rpm
Follow the link for more information about the new VascuLathe from Aerotech.