A leading medical company was keen to find a technical solution to particular problems caused to patients by urinary catheters.The general manufacturing process of cutting the eyes / holes in urinary catheters is mechanical pressure, which produces eyes with surfaces / edges that are less than perfectly smooth. The upper surface of the eye can lead to tissue damage to the patient's urinary tract when the catheter is inserted or removed and the site of damage can then become a site of infection. Similarly the lower surface of the eye can become encrusted by particles, bacteria etc. and also become a site for infection. Combined, these factors show urinary catheters to be one of the highest causes of “hospital acquired infection” and the cause of many patient deaths.
By developing highly specialised tooling and cutting the eyes ultrasonically, Alan Profit has provided a solution that is a measurable step forward in smoothness. In parallel his solution also solved another problem inherent in the general manufacturing process i.e. the chad / slug, which is the waste material produced when the hole is cut. In the general manufacturing process the chad can either be left partially attached to the edge if the cut if not made completely (hanging) or it can be pressed into the hole (lost). In either situation, unless the error is detected, currently by inspection, the chad can still be in-situ when the catheter is inserted into the patient, following which it can dislodge and cause blockages or other serious problems. Alan's solution also included cutting the eyes in a vacuum which draws the chad through an electronic counter. Should the count not tally the manufacturing process is automatically stopped and can only be re-started when the faulty catheter is physically inserted into a disposal point in the machine, ensuring 100% elimination of the hanging or lost chad problem.
Rainbow-Ultrasonics was established in 1984 and is owned and run by Alan Profit. With over 32 years of experience in ultrasonics plastics welding, Alan’s skill, knowledge and inventiveness are known and respected world-wide.
Shaftsbury Industrial Centre
Letchworth Garden City
Herts SG6 1RR
Telephone: +44 (0) 1462 480442
Fax: +44 (0) 1462 480449