Utilizing APTIV® films German company S+P Samson GmbH has been able to produce extremely durable labels for medical equipment. In particular, these labels are able to withstand cleaning and sterilization processes – be they chemical, autoclave or radiation-based – in hospitals (APTIV film is produced from VICTREX® PEEK polymer manufactured by Victrex Polymer Solutions (VPS), the world leader in high performance polyaryletherketones).
There is an urgent need in the medical field for durable labelling that will last for the lifetime of the equipment. The permanent identification of medical instruments such as endoscopes and forceps is normally a difficult undertaking.
As a result of sterilization or upstream washing processes, conventional labels, such as those produced by laser engraving, are degraded over time. The equipment itself can still be used, and disposal is not necessary, but without a means of identification, tracking and monitoring of the equipment is difficult or impossible. In the event of an emergency, a site of contamination, for example, could be discovered when it is too late – when other instruments are already contaminated.
The new, APTIV film-based labels from S+P Samson GmbH, a specialist in industrial marking, are long lasting and enable the tracking and control of medical instruments and equipment throughout their lifetime, in order to meet the stringent, legal requirements of clinical hygiene.
Labels made from VICTREX PEEK-based APTIV films are able to withstand hundreds of cleaning and sterilization processes. The labels also provide various options like a QR code. A QR code allows a scan bar to be applied on a piece of equipment with links to webpages or computer programs with the tracking information of the instruments.
One benefit is the ease of tracking. The other benefit of the label system of S+P Samson for hospitals is the option of a retrospective labelling of purchased equipment. The combination of material and a special technique is new and offers many solutions for the quality management.
APTIV films are the most versatile high performance films on the market, possessing all of the outstanding material properties of VICTREX PEEK polymer, and are available in sheet thicknesses of 6 microns to 750 microns.
APTIV films are FDA compliant and, thanks to the thermoplastic structure, they provide a simple and cost effective processing option and thus great flexibility in component design. APTIV films are a solid basis for innovation and new product development, such as the permanent labels now developed by S+P Samson.
The APTIV films retain their properties even after multiple cycles of steam sterilization. Of particular significance for medical environments, APTIV films are also able to tolerate high doses of radiation and provide a labelling solution for sterilization processes that involve Ɣ–radiation.
VICTREX PEEK is a high performance polymer characterized by its mechanical strength and rigidity, and excellent resistance to wear and abrasion. The thermoplastic tolerates a continuous operating temperature of 260°C, absorbs only minimal moisture, is electrically non-conductive and is resistant to aggressive chemicals such as those used in ethylene oxide (ETO) sterilization.
For more information visit www.victrex.com