Published On: Tue, Jul 26th, 2016

Technology optimizes automated, high-speed leak detection of critical medical parts

Non-destructive method simultaneously tests 32 molded parts in fractions of a second

Developer of injection molding automation systems DB-Automation (Broughton Astley, UK) recently was tasked with building a 32-cavity injection mold tool for a medical device manufacturer. A key requirement from the OEM was that the tooling contain no holes or faults that would undermine the integrity of the sterile plastic component that was being molded. The company turned to leak detection specialist Dyne Technology Ltd., based in Lichfield, UK, to source a solution.

Injection Moulding Machine

Technology optimizes automated, high-speed leak detection of critical medical parts

This was a challenging task, notes DB-Automation, as 32 injection molded parts had to be thoroughly and simultaneously checked across a single plate. The cycle times and quantity of components undergoing simultaneous testing ruled out the use of conventional flow and pressure decay tests. DB-Automation’s Operations Director Nick Parker recalled seeing a technology that might work.

“During visits to clients over the years, I have seen many state-of-the-art technologies with very interesting applications. Some time ago, I came across a company using an electric current to perform a leakage test and, with this in mind, I set out to find the perfect solution,” said Parker.

Parker contacted surface treatment specialist Dyne Technology Ltd. (Lichfield, UK), which recommended the LeakTEC system, a nondestructive leak-detection method developed by Tantec (Lunderskov, Denmark). The Dyne Technology team worked with Tantec, experts in industry-leading surface modification, surface cleaning and leak detection solutions. Its LeakTEC technology for inspecting plastic components proved to be the perfect solution for us, said Parker.

Thorough trials were conducted at Dyne Technology’s laboratory facilities in Lichfield and from this, LeakTEC was proven as the best method for the customer. LeakTEC has the ability to detect micron-sized holes within plastic components in fractions of a second and can do this across multiple products simultaneously, said DB-Automation.