Here are four reasons why Reaction Injection Moulding (RIM), is typically the go-to process for Medical Device, Medtech and Laboratory Instrument cover manufacture.
Volume requirements tend to be low and in the early development years, clinical trials, market feedback and product evolution are key. For new technology, markets can be unknown or very niche so having a process that can provide a handful of parts and then on-going volumes in batches of 10 off which can then grow as demand increases, is invaluable.
Size and complexity
Although for many R&D teams, the focus is to reduce the foot print of products, medical and medtech devices are still relatively large. Medtech equipment will occupy bench or even floor space and demand a number of large covers (>1M) to fully clad the science. These multi-panel enclosures require significant tooling investment, design time and potential risk.
Reaction Injection Moulding (RIM) uses a stripped back tooling approach and as such, offers tooling at much lower costs than those seen in injection moulding (90% cost savings). This reduced cost helps balance out investment risk, and combined with minimal design constraints offered by RIM, provides a faster, lower cost, lower risk route to manufacture - an aspect favoured particularly by Entrepreneurs and Start-up companies where many new device innovations derive.
Long-term Support and Change Management
Due to the type of technology and regulatory framework governing such products, the gestation period for many medical and medtech devices can be lengthy. Achieving material and process compliance from the start, within the prototyping phase allows for fast design iterations, cost driver reviews and debugging which all help to keep projects on target - ultimately a higher quality product can be produced with less risk. Reaction injection moulding caters for this design fast, test, improve process, taking you from development right through to long-term production.
By the very nature of innovation, change is to be expected and RIM tooling provides a rapid and cost effective method to facilitate modifications quickly and efficiently. This speed advantage is due to much simpler tooling construction, allowing for rapid shape changes.
The polyurethane materials used within the Reaction Moulding Industry are compliant with industry standards, including RoHs, REACH and can also be sourced to UL94 V0 for flammability requirements all of which are essential for global businesses.
If you are working on a new device and would like to chat more about the process, get in touch