Elasto Proxy is ready to help medical manufacturers meet the surge in demand for their products because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Busy medical manufacturers can outsource fabrication, assembly, and logistics to Elasto Proxy, an ISO 9001:2015 company with facilities near Montreal and Toronto, Canada; Simpsonville, South Carolina (USA); and in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. Manufacturers in other industries that are preparing to make medical devices or equipment for the first time can also benefit from our value-added services. Because we’re a distributor, too, we can supply the rubber and plastic materials you need.
The following sections provide an overview of our capabilities. If you’d like additional information, contact us.
Design Assistance and Compound Selection
Elasto Proxy can share computer-aided design (CAD) files of standard rubber and plastic products from our extensive catalog. Medical manufacturers can then add these files to their product designs or ask our technical team to review their part drawings. Elasto Proxy uses SolidWorks, a 3D CAD application, to validate designs and optimize them for cost and weight. We also provide advice about part tolerances for rubber, which are different from metal. Importantly, we can help you to select the right compound. If you need a specialty material like FDA silicone sponge rubber, we can source it from our supplier network.
Water jet cutting uses a stream of highly pressurized water to cut sheets or extrusions of rubber or plastic materials, including thermal and acoustical foams. Elasto Proxy’s CNC water jet cutter works directly from your CAD files and creates fast, cost-efficient cuts without tooling charges or long lead times. Our CNC water jet machine can make cuts as small as 0.5 in. x 0.5 in. (1.27 cm x 1.27 cm). If you need custom rubber gaskets for medical equipment, we can cut holes with diameters as small as 0.01 in. (0.0254 cm). For larger rubber or plastic medical parts, our cutting table has a large 5 ft. x 10 ft. (1.524 m x 3.048 m) surface.
Abrasive Water Jet Cutting
Abrasive water jet cutting mixes a stream of highly pressurized water with an abrasive for cutting thicker rubber and plastic, and for cutting harder materials like metal, composites, and glass. Like CNC water jet cutting, abrasive water jet cutting works directly from your CAD files. Moreover, Elasto Proxy’s abrasive water jet cutter leverages the power of a six-axis industrial robot for greater fabrication freedom. The working environment is 40 ft. x 60 ft. (12.192 m x 18.288). Depending on the workpiece, accuracies measured in tenths of a millimeter are achievable.
Elasto Proxy uses hot splicing, vulcanization, cold bonding, and molding to join the cut ends of profiles into finished medical gaskets. Hot splicing uses a conventional heating source or infrared light along with pressure and a thin PE film splice. Vulcanization uses heat, pressure, and uncured rubber that’s made of the same elastomer as the profile. Cold bonding is a manual process that’s performed with a brush and an adhesive or glue. Molding is the only bonding technique that can create rounded corners for rubber gaskets. It’s also recommended for medical gaskets with corners that will be stretched or pulled.
Taping with a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) or heat-activated taping system (HATS) keeps medical parts in place for temporary or permanent fastening. Tapes that use a high-bond adhesive provide the strength of metal fasteners, but without the need for drilling individual holes and installing screws or bolts. With HATS tapes, forced air heats the surface of the tape as it passes through our taping machine. A PE release liner allows medical manufacturers to attach taped parts quickly and easily. PSA tapes adhere to a variety of surfaces with light pressure and can support repositioning.
UV Parts Marking
Elasto Proxy uses inkjet printing and ultraviolet curing to mark medical parts with letters and numbers that are easy-to-read for inventory and assembly efficiency. Clearly-marked parts can also reduce labor costs because employees won’t need to compare unknown parts to engineering drawings. Marking isn’t limited to part numbers, however. UV parts marking supports the inclusion of product information such as the manufacturing date. Importantly, this technology supports traceability – an important consideration for medical manufacturers.
Molded Rubber and Plastic Components
Because Elasto Proxy is also a distributor, we can source molded parts for durable medical equipment and patient transfer assist devices. Examples include plastic end caps, rubber rollers, and color-coded pedal pads for hospital beds. We can also fabricate foam grips for bed grab handles, mattress overlays to prevent patient roll-out, and rubber seals for ceiling-mounted patient lifts. Our capabilities include molded diaphragms for hospital air regulators, sourcing and fabricating USP Class VI silicones for medical gaskets, supplying EMI shielding gaskets for sensitive medical electronics, and pour-in-place gaskets.
Kitting and Custom Packaging
Elasto Proxy can also group your parts into kits that reduce the number of SKUs for simpler ordering and receiving, reduced freight costs, and faster picking times. Custom packaging complements kitting and improves assembly efficiency. For example, a medical manufacturer may need a kit that contains 15 rubber and plastic parts for durable medical equipment. Elasto Proxy can package these parts in order of assembly. In other words, the top-most part is the one that’s installed first and the part at the bottom of the box is the one that’s installed last.
Elasto Proxy’s laminating services create composite structures with multiple layers of sheet materials that impart application-specific properties. Examples of these sandwich-style structures include thermal, acoustic, and thermal-acoustic insulation. Acoustic insulation can block or absorb sounds and dampen vibrations. Thermal insulation deflects heat away from sensitive components. Thermal-acoustic insulation provides a complete solution for high heat and loud sounds. Moreover, it can be cut into application-specific shapes and packaged with the other medical components that you need.
Acoustic Laboratory and Metrology
Elasto Proxy’s acoustic laboratory and metrology equipment also adds value to medical manufacturing. In our acoustic laboratory, we use sophisticated software that can predict the effectiveness of different sound absorbing, sound blocking, or vibration damping materials. Elasto Proxy also has a testing bench for the measurement and characterization of multi-layer acoustic insulation. Our metrology equipment lets us perform pull testing and determine tensile strength, key considerations for medical gaskets that need to withstand demanding conditions.
Elasto Proxy operates warehouses near major transportation corridors and can store both your stock materials and your finished goods. For both types of items, we can ship these products according to your sales forecasts or on-demand. Elasto Proxy’s North American warehouses are located in Boisbriand, Quebec near Montreal; Newmarket, Ontario near Toronto; and in Simpsonville, South Carolina (USA), which is near Greenville and not far from Atlanta, Georgia. For our European customers, Elasto Proxy maintains a warehouse in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium and serves the entire continent.
The Capabilities Medical Manufacturers Need
Elasto Proxy is ready to help medical manufacturers meet the surge in demand for their products because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We can also help manufacturers in other industries who are entering the medical market and making products such as ventilators for the first time. To learn more about how Elasto Proxy’s can help you, please contact us.