Reaction injection molding is an ideal production method for larger, more complex machines that are produced in low volumes, such as medical devices. A lot of medical devices, particularly the ones that are highly expensive, are sold in quantiles of just several hundred to several thousand a year. As such, the medical industry is a primary application for reaction injection molded products. RIM is the sweet spot for medical devices where the process is very efficient, productive, and enables a pleasing design for those in the market that also enhances the appeal of medical devices. Continue reading to learn more about reaction injection molding quality for medical devices and why RIM is ideal for large medical machinery.
RIM PROCESS IS COST-EFFICIENT FOR MEDICAL DEVICES
There are many different manufacturing processes that can theoretically be used to create large medical devices, such as injection molding or thermoforming. However, such methods often are not economical.
When it comes to producing expensive, complex medical devices in low volumes, reaction injection molding is the most cost-effective production method. The cost effectiveness of reaction injection molding for large, complex medical devices is largely due to the low tooling cost of RIM. If you are only making a few hundred or thousand devices a year that require large parts, then it is more beneficial to create a low-cost tool.
The cost of creating a tool large enough to mold sizable medical parts is exponentially higher for injection molding than for reaction injection molding. As such, even though the price to create each part may be higher with RIM than other molding processes such as injection molding, the low cost of the large tooling that is required significantly offsets the overall cost of production. As a result, medical devices can be created in a much more cost-efficient manner when using reaction injection molding as the production method. There are many considerations when choosing a molding process, including the aesthetics of the device.
RIM OFFERS A PLEASING DESIGN WHICH ENHANCES THE APPEAL OF MEDICAL DEVICES
Reaction injection molding is also advantageous for creating aesthetically pleasing medical machinery. Rather than just crafting boxy, metal machines that have a monotone appearance, reaction injection molding facilitates the creation of medical devices that appear as sophisticated as they are on the inside. In doing so, RIM helps enhance the appeal of the medical device which helps it perform better on the market than a machine with a simple box-like design would.
Unlike other manufacturing methods, reaction injection molding provides the opportunity to create attractive parts with curves, different wall thicknesses, and broader appearances. In addition, reaction injection molding can facilitate enhanced structural support for the internal components of the machine by effectively allowing you to build the part’s structure into the design. For example, if you needed to build a support structure for your part, you can build that in and build shapes that all look smooth and curvy as opposed to bulky box design.
The ability to integrate a structural support into the molded enclosure isn’t an option for many other part manufacturing processes. For this reason, many devices have a box-like structure with a metal frame inside of them to hold the components together. When using a RIM production method, however, you can design the exterior of the product to also hold the interior components, allowing the external parts to become the interior frame and structure of the product or medical device.
RIM CREATED DURABLE PARTS FOR MEDICAL DEVICES
Parts created through reaction injection molding are also highly durable. They are wear-resistant, physically strong, and dimensionally stable. Such durability is a necessity when creating medical devices that must undergo substantial use and are relied on heavily to provide medical assistance or necessary testing.
In addition to resisting wear and tear, reaction injection molded parts are also chemically resistant. Many of the coatings used in the production of reaction injection molded parts stand up to chemicals well without harming the part in any way. As such, a wide variety of cleaners and solvents can be used with reaction injection molded parts. Such a capacity is ideal for medical devices that must be cleaned and sanitized frequently with a wide variety of potentially harsh disinfectants.
RIM PARTS HAVE FEWER PARTING LINES WHERE DIRT AND DUST CAN ACCUMULATE
Medical devices are highly complex. As a result, they often consist of a multitude of different parts that must be attached together. When creating complex medical devices with other molding processes, there are often several parting lines in the product wherever the many different parts are attached together. When creating parts through reaction injection molding, however, you have the ability to mold parts together so that the device effectively consists of fewer parts.
Due to this ability, the medical device that is created will have fewer parting lines or seams. Not only is the lack of parting lines on reaction injection molded parts beneficial from an aesthetic perspective, but it can also benefit the medical devices that are created from a sanitary standpoint.
When there are fewer seams and parting lines in a part, there are fewer opportunities for dirt, dust, and other unwanted pollutants to collect in the small cracks. As such, not only are medical devices produced with RIM inherently more sanitary than devices made with other production methods without such molding capabilities, but they are also easier to clean. In an industry where high levels of sanitation must be maintained at all times, the absence of such seams and parting lines where dirt and dust can collect is highly advantageous.
If you are interested in implementing reaction injection molding as the manufacturing process for your medical device, Rimnetics can help. We are the premier reaction injection molding company for cosmetic housings, encapsulation, structural enclosures, and overmolding in North America. For over three decades, we have offered the highest quality reaction injection molding services for medical devices. Our extensive experience and expertise in the field of RIM molding contributes to what has allowed us to help make thousands of projects a success. To gain more insight on how Rimnetics can help you create large, expensive medical devices with a beautiful design at the lowest possible price, contact us today.