Unveiling of a new automated surgical guidewire manufacturing machine – Med-Tech Innovation


Research shows unhealthy habits and sedentary lifestyles, heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic, will increase chronic medical conditions and associated surgeries. As a result, the surgical guidewire market is expected to be valued at $ 2.19 billion by 2027. To meet growing demand, manufacturers will need efficient processes that maintain high quality standards.

Glebar has been providing grinding solutions to guidewire manufacturers for over 50 years, and the company has devised a new solution. By integrating automation into his micro grinder, he enables single-cone guidewire manufacturers to reduce setup times, increase throughput and maintain tighter tolerances.

The solution revolves around its TF-9D automated centerless micro-mill and the Glebar, GFS, self-contained automatic feeding system. The TF-9D can be combined with the GFS which automatically picks up the wires from a bin, loads them into the micro-crusher and unloads the finished parts. The GFS can power any Glebar precision grinder or other OEM machines.

John Bannayan, CTO at Glebar, said: “During grinding, the TF-9D automatically prepares the next part and unloads the finished part. In testing, a single 5-inch taper wire ran at 10 seconds per part, which included loading, grinding, and unloading.

Glebar operates as a single supplier offering grinding solutions and automation integration. Due to reliable automation and mill performance, typical Glebar installations have one operator running three or more machines.

Its micro-grinder uses an 8-5 / 8 “wide work wheel, the largest on the market for this size of machine. The wider grinding wheel allows manufacturers to grind longer cones with each pass. -Comparable grinding machines for single-cone guidewires require multiple setups to generate similar taper. The variability of the manual setup procedure affects accuracy and potential output. Once in production, the TF-9D grinds shapes up to 7.8 “per cycle while maintaining quality and repeatability.

The intuitive touchscreen HMI makes setups and changes quick and easy. Operators can program multiple setups for quick recovery, reducing setup times. The upper and lower slides can be independently set to 0.1 micron resolution using the HMI. This provides greater consistency and predictability when positioning the regulator wheel and sizing the work rest blade. The automatic dressing sequence for the regulating and working wheel can also be programmed from the HMI, ensuring clean grinding throughout production.

The TF-9D also has an enclosure that meets CE requirements and maintains a clean working environment. Locking capability ensures operator safety.


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