The strength of contract manufacturer Boyd Technologies is that it can help medical device and life science clients move seamlessly from new product development to commercial manufacturing runs.
But it takes the converting machinery “magic” of Delta ModTech to make this transition possible.
Challenge: Transitioning hand prototypes into a viable manufacturing process
Boyd Technologies is an advanced materials and technology company headquartered in Lee, Massachusetts. With over 50 employees, they focus on the life sciences and medical device market, helping clients to grow faster with less risk by providing help in three different areas:
- Materials sourcing
- Product development
- Advanced manufacturing
“Customers can interact with us anywhere within their product development,” said Linnea Morrison. That has included everything from bringing them prototypes literally sketched out on napkins, to using Boyd Technologies as a dual manufacturing resource.
Every situation poses unique challenges, many of them stemming from the fact that typically clients aren’t aware of how the manufacturing process works.
“We work with startups who are very good at what they do, but they don’t come from a manufacturing background,” Morrison said.
Without an inherent sense of how the manufacturing process works — including the machinery — the Boyd Technologies team is often presented with some unique challenges. Bobby Schroeder, Development Engineer, and Dylan Spink, Director of Quality Assurance, shared two examples:
1. Handling Some Sticky Materials on an Advanced Wound-Care Dressing
One of Boyd’s clients needed to produce a transparent window dressing, non-woven around the outside of the dressing, and with a thin film over the middle part.
“The adhesive was very sticky, and the film was stretchy,” said Bobby. “That’s where some of the problems came in handling it and maintaining tensions during production.”
During production, the team experienced a mid-web tension issue and couldn’t figure out how to move forward.
2. Producing a Blood Plasma Bag With Multiple Sensors
Another medical device client needed a bag that included sensors, and two printed inputs that needed to be registered together.
“The printing offset was different for each of the films for the front and back layers,” said Dylan. Adding to the complexity was the fact that the sensors, pre-die cut on a 2” wide release liner, were oriented in the wrong direction from the web. It needed to be rotated 90 degrees.
“If we were working with a manual press, we wouldn’t be able to produce it,” Dylan noted.
Solution: Use the flexibility of a Delta ModTech Crusader® and team with the company’s expert technicians
When you’re dealing with prototypes, particularly those that arrive via napkin, you need flexibility to problem solve. Delta ModTech’s Crusader® Rotary Converter provides that flexibility in its converting machinery thanks to its modular design.
“The modularity of the machine allows us to challenge any problem we face with a number of different ideas,” Bobby said. “The sky’s the limit with what we can do.”
And the people who design those machines come in handy too. Case in point: The service engineers who helped.
Because the Crusader allows for remote access, an engineer quickly checked diagnostics for the tension issue on the wound-care dressing. “Just by watching the registration statistics, they were able to adjust it remotely,” Bobby said. “That’s the magic of Delta.”
Engineers also consulted on the use of the Delta ModTech’s patented island-placement module on their machine, which allowed for the blood plasma bag to be rotated.
While their team doesn’t always reach out to Delta ModTech for help, when they do, the expertise helps improve the efficiency of the process. “There can be 100 different ways to solve a problem,” Dylan said.
Moving to manufacturing: Delta ModTech keeps the press rolling
Solving these types of challenges allows Boyd Technologies to move products into production, where Delta ModTech proves beneficial as well.
For example, the Crusader can compensate for tolerance variables on stretchy materials. “We can lock down the parameters, and it will maintain a consistent output,” Dylan said.
The Crusader can also avoid potential downtime by alerting Boyd Technologies if a roll is running low. In the worst case, if the web were to snap, the machine shuts down the press automatically.
“You could use up to a day of downtime if you needed to reweb everything,” Bobby said.
Their modified Crusader has additional capability thanks to Delta’s reciprocating heatseal packager integrated inline. “We have the rotary converting and packaging portion of the machine in the cleanroom with a conveyor that exits the room to final packout,” Dylan explained. The items are inspected in-line and shipped out the door to final sterilization.
And that’s the final benefit Boyd Technologies realizes with Delta ModTech. “We can press that green go button and parts come out the other end,” Dylan said.
The machine only works well if there is an exceptional group of people operating it. The Boyd Technologies team deserves all the credit in the world for taking on these challenging projects and figuring out a way to make these products. We’re happy to support their amazing efforts.