Custom Heating Solutions for the Medical and Healthcare Industry
February 9, 2021
Within many industrial processes there are often multiple solutions for each challenge. Electric heating elements within medical and healthcare processes are no exception. Tempco has a history of supporting the medical and healthcare industry with the right custom solutions while accommodating customer requirements such as budget, material specifications or specific electrical requirements. We can meet these requirements because of our expertise across the many electric heating element product lines and the control and sensor product lines that we offer. Among the applications in the medical industry that utilize Tempco’s heaters are:
- Plastics Extrusion for plastic tubing: Cast-In Heaters, Band Heaters and Cartridge Heaters
- Injection Molding: Band Heaters
- Filter Manufacturing: Band Heaters, Cartridge Heaters and Coil Heaters
- Additive Manufacturing: Silicone Rubber Heaters, Mineral-Insulated (MI) Coil Heaters and Cartridge Heaters
- Health and Wellness Applications: Silicone Rubber Heaters and Temperature Control Products
One of the most widely used items in the medical industry is medical-grade plastic tubing. This tubing, produced by both large and small extrusion processes, is used across many applications - as stents during complex procedures, delivering oxygen to a patient, blood and fluid transfusions and suction during surgery to name a few. Our cast-in band heaters are often used along the extruder barrels of these machines to heat the plastic material to the specific temperatures that the extrusion process requires. Additionally, our band heaters and cartridge heaters are used on the dies and within other fixtures along the process.
Injection molding machines produce a variety of products for the healthcare industry. Some examples of those items are:
- Plastic tubing used in packaging lip balm
- Surgical instruments
- Medicine storage cups and containers
- Dental equipment/instruments
- Covid-19 testing tubes and caps used withing testing kits
These machines rely on high operating temperatures and components with long operating life to minimize costly machine downtime. Tempco’s Duraband® (Mica-Insulated) Band Heaters, with superior heat insulation and rust-resistant steel sheaths, are ideal for this process. They offer physical strength and good thermal conductivity for heated cylindrical machine parts. Tempco’s engineering expertise allows us to work around machine parts that require holes, slots or cut-outs within a heater.
Filter manufacturing utilizes our band heaters, cartridge heaters and coil heaters for a variety of applications within in the process. They are specifically used in the blowing of the fibers that become common fluid filters as well as face masks that are essential to combating the COVID-19 pandemic. The finishing processes of shaping and cutting masks also require heat in the form of our cartridge heaters and coil heaters.
Additive manufacturing is a modern industry that has been growing steadily. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated that growth. 3D printers have proved to be useful in creating and quickly producing provisions for front-line medical (and other) workers during this challenging time. Our customer, Nexa3D, produces face shields and fasteners with their 3D printing process that utilizes our silicone rubber heaters. Their capabilities allow them to produce numbers upwards of 800 shields per day at minimal cost. They are also supplying local medical facilities with additional products that are specifically needed – all produced with their 3D printers. The nature of the use of our silicone rubber heaters requires standard agency approvals and very even heat uniformity. Other customers in the additive manufacturing industry utilize our mineral-insulated coil heaters or cartridge heaters and are producing medical supplies such as reusable N95 masks and components used within COVID-19 test kits.
Two vastly different areas of the health and wellness industry that we have written about previously specify Tempco’s Silicone Rubber Heaters in their processes.
- Our article, Silicone Rubber Heater for Sauna Heating Pads, describes a distributor of massage/spa products who was in need of precise heating for salt stones used in massage.
- Our article, Tempco Products for Sensory Deprivation Float Tanks, illustrates the use of our Silicone Rubber Heaters in this relatively modern wellness practice. An additional service we provided to this customer was designing and manufacturing temperature control panels with very specific electrical requirements.
Tempco has a long-standing reputation of applying innovation and excellence to solve customer challenges. Because we offer a comprehensive list of electric heating elements, temperature sensors and temperature control products, we can engineer and manufacture the best solution for your medical or healthcare application.
This article was compiled with the help of several key individuals and companies:
- Jeff C. - Tempco Sales
- Mike G. - Tempco Sales
- Ryan M. - Tempco Engineering
- Kathie T. - Tempco Sales
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