Ultrasonic Welding Helps Ramp Up COVID Test Production

by , , | Jan 27, 2022 | Life Sciences & Medical, Welding, Assembly & Cleaning

Jim Cahill

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Social Marketing Leader

Demand for COVID test kits remain high and challenge manufacturers to maximize their production levels. In a Plastic News article (registration required), Automation suppliers help meet demand for COVID-19 testing kits, Emerson’s Vernon Murray, president of Branson assembly and welding technologies, highlighted the importance of welding technology in driving production efficiency.

COVID at-home testsThe article opens noting the production levels for in-home COVID diagnostic tests:

…Lanco Integrated conservatively estimates its seven medical diagnostics manufacturer customers are assembling about 700 million COVID diagnostics tests annually…

Assembly labor is a challenge in meeting these production supply demands.

The customers, facing labor shortages, also needed automated processes so their operators wouldn’t have to manually process kits at an impossibly fast cycle time.

Vernon is quoted highlighting the demand.

“The U.S. federal government plans to distribute 500 million at-home COVID testing devices, and medical device manufacturers are stepping up to meet the significant demand…”

He noted:

Emerson is ramping up production of its ultrasonic and laser welding technologies to meet its customers’ demand for assembly of COVID testing devices “as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible…”

Emerson’s Didier Perret explains that:

“Ultrasonic welding is very quick and economic… It’s able to work with very low force, and in many cases those medical device assembly are delicate.”

Also there is a shift in materials used in medical device assemblies.

Emerson’s customers are shifting away from using PVC in medical devices, which is used to make tubing and IV bags, masks, breast-pump kits and catheters, over concerns about dioxin and some phthalate plasticizers that are endocrine-disrupting compounds…

The ultrasonic welding machines will help customers “adapt to new materials” … like polyethylene and polypropylene which “don’t have the same processing characteristics.

Visit the Medical Device Fabrication & Assembly section on Emerson.com for more on the array of Branson plastic welding solutions, including ultrasonic and laser welding, to improve the efficiency, quality, and output of compliant medical devices.

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