Professional Checking Fixture Maker


Wittmann Battenfeld targets medical sector


EcoPower machine in a clean room set-up

Wittmann Battenfeld has installed a clean room at its plant in Kottingbrunn, Austria, as part of a concerted move to target its all-electric injection moulding machines at the medical technology market. The company has set up a dedicated product group for the medical market, said Georg Tinschert, managing director of Wittmann Battenfeld, at Fakuma 2015.

The company decided to roll out a medical version of the all-electric EcoPower machine first, and then qualify it in a clean room. A Class 6 clean room from Max Petek Reinraumtechnik, Germany, was installed at the Kottingbrunn facility, and the machine was thoroughly examined there.

Tinschert said Wittmann Battenfeld had compiled GMP (good manufacturing practice) standard machine documentation for EcoPower medical machines, which is a prerequisite of meeting market demands in respect of machine capability documentation and software.

Wittmann Battenfeld said: “The clean room measurements are carried out under both dry running and production conditions, to obtain as clear and accurate results as possible concerning the equipment’s emissions. The installation of the clean room now gives the company’s customers an opportunity to carry out production tests for tooling acceptance at the Kottingbrunn facility under real conditions.”

At Fakuma, a medical EcoPower 110/350 machine was shown moulding a contact lens tray made of PP, with an encapsulated clean room conveyor belt from Max Petek mounted below the clamping unit. Good and bad parts are separated and fall freely onto the conveyor belt which transports them to a laminar flow workstation.

The medical package developed by Wittmann Battenfeld for the all-electric EcoPower clean room model has a number of features. Special attention was paid to optimising the interior mould space, which has smooth surfaces, stainless steel covers and covered guide rails. The exhaust air conduits of the pneumatic valves are bundled and guided out of the clean room.

Other features of the machine required for medical applications include a water cooling system with a closed cooling circuit, special alcohol- and solvent-resistant paint, nickel-coated clamping plates with covered threaded drillings and a laminar flow box, which supplies air with low particle content to the interior mould space.

Wittmann Battenfeld said all openings in the mould area and the threading of the clamping plates are covered. The barrel insulation also minimises emissions into the environment. Only food-grade lubricants are used in the machine.

At Fakuma, Wittmann Battenfeld showed another machine for the medical market. A MicroPower 15/10, in the medical technology version, demonstrated micro-moulding in a clean room set-up.

A connector part for a micro catheter, which is used for taking samples from peripheral tissue, was moulded in its own clean room production cell. This was equipped with a rotary disk, parts removal handling device, integrated quality inspection by image processing, as well as a cleanroom module, which produces Class 6 clean air according to the ISO 14644-1 standard. The parts are all injected, quality-inspected and deposited inside the clean room.

The micro catheter part is made of PEEK, weighs about 20 mg and measures 3 x 3 x 2 mm. It was produced with a single-cavity mould supplied by Ernst Wittner, based in Austria.

The micro catheter is manufactured by Biegler Medizin Elektronik in Austria for research organisation Joanneum Research to take measurements for drug development.

Wittmann Battenfeld also demonstrated its EcoPower and MicroPower medical moulding machines at the Compamed medical technology fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, in November.