Case Study: POLYFORM® Molded Foam Inserts Enhance Respiratory Device Performance

Assembly Time Reduced by Over 40% for Medical Device Manufacturer

A manufacturer of respiratory devices came to Polymer Technologies with a request for a solution. Their first requirement was to reduce the amount of noise produced by the machine during operation. They also requested that we reduce the amount of pieces needed to assemble the respirator and therefore the total manufacturing cost.

the Right Materials for Medical Manufacturing

Summary of Final Results

  • Reduced 37 different assembly items to a single molded foam part.
  • Reduced product noise level by 4 dBA.
  • Lowered the manufactured material cost of the medical device by 12%.
  • Decreased manufacturing assembly time by over 40%.

The Challenge: Finding the Right Materials for Medical Manufacturing

Working closely with the manufacturer’s engineering department, we took all of their requirements into consideration and examined their current solution. Initially, the respirator manufacturer used a flat foam solution that required about 37 different parts to assemble inside the device.

We determined that a molded foam solution from our Polymer Molded Products Division (PMP) was ideal to meet the manufacturer's needs. Custom molded foam is an open cell foam material that can be formed into nearly any 3D shape and is ideal for sound attenuation, insulation, and thermal control.

We went through several design iterations, including prototyping and testing in our in-house facility to ensure we met the manufacturer’s specifications.

Final Result: Increased Noise Reduction & Lower Assembly Costs with Molded Foam

The final product resolved all the manufacturer’s requests and more:

  • The POLYFORM® molded urethane foam part acted as a shock isolation platform for the blower motor assembly as well as an absorber for the airborne sound energy generated by the blower motor. As a result, noise produced by the respiratory device was reduced by 4 dBA.
  • The design of the POLYFORM® insert allowed for the elimination of various isolators, screws, nuts, washers, fixtures, clamps, molded plastic pieces, and several die-cut foam parts, reducing 37 different assembly items to a single molded foam part.
  • Eliminating the above mentioned parts helped to reduce manufacturing assembly time by over 40%. Ancillary benefits included reduced inventory, fewer part numbers, and supplier consolidation. The manufactured material cost of the medical device was lowered by 12%.

While end users benefitted from operating a quieter respiratory device, the manufacturer gained efficiencies in their manufacturing process that improved their margins. Trusting the experts at PMP to create a custom solution paid off, and the manufacturer was very satisfied with the results.

Think Forward with Molded Foam Solutions for Medical Devices

Molded solutions are more than just a way to solve problems with performance. They allow you to use innovative design to bring your products into the future and delight your customers. Looking for results such as better manufacturing efficiency for a medical device? Contact the experts at Polymer to get started in a bold new direction.

(Specifications subject to change without notice. Check with factory for latest revisions.) The Federal Trade Commission considers no existing test methods or standards regarding flammability as accurate indicators of the performance of cellular plastic materials under actual fire conditions. Results of existing test methods, such as UL-94, MVSS-302, SAE J-369, and FAR 25.853 are intended only as measurements of the performance of such materials under specific controlled test conditions. Any flammability ratings shown are not intended to reflect hazards presented by these materials under actual fire conditions.

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