Pelham creates fix to medical marker problem

Pelham Plastics Inc.’s Ray Pellerin shows an elastomeric catheter shaft with a radio-frequency-embedded marker band of platinum iridium.

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Plastics News Anaheim, Calif. — Custom injection molder and assembler Pelham Plastics Inc. resolved a customer’s production problem in 2015, using a proprietary fix to satisfy the original issue and also add three more customers.

The need was to prevent marker bands from moving on a medical catheter shaft.

Pelham’s Randy Prior developed the solution within a couple of months. Prior is a project engineer with particular expertise in radio-frequency-welding technology.

Prior’s repeatable solution guarantees the exact location of the band — or bands, as needed — and fully encapsulates it within the wall thickness of the catheter shaft or sheath.

Pelham uses an RF welding system from Vante Biopharm of Tucson, Ariz., to embed, for example, a marker band of platinum iridium in a 0.184-inch outer-diameter shaft of Pebax-brand thermoplastic elastomer. That example was shown during the Feb. 6-9 UBM Advanced Manufacturing Expo in Anaheim.

Embedding the marker means nothing sharp can interfere with passing a device through or over the marker.

The Pelham, N.H..-based contract manufacturer occupies 34,000 square feet and operates seven injection molding machines: six Arburg hydraulics and one Nigata electric. Clamping forces range from 28-200 tons.

Ray Pellerin, sales manager, projected the manufacturer will increase sales during 2018 by 10-12 percent vs. last year’s performance.

Pelham Plastics employs 60-65 including two senior level tool makers.