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An Elegant Way to Keep Medical Devices Secure In A Pallet Fixture

Posted by Tom Churchill | Wednesday, October 9, 2019

When conveying medical devices, preventing product damage is key. While traditional accumulation techniques are effective, they can give way to product damage due to hard stops. To prevent damage to a delicate medical device, you need to find an alternative style of conveying. Glide-Line ZP (zero pressure / zero contact) is our solution.

Glide-Line ZP offers designs tailored to our client’s needs. For example, medical devices such as wands used in laparoscopic surgery. Products such as these require smooth handling, to prevent product damage without impacting the production process. But there are many factors to keep in mind when choosing the right conveyor solution. This article provides a high-level overview of why traditional accumulation may not always be the right choice.

 

Traditional Accumulation Techniques Lead To Product Damage

Traditional accumulation techniques leave delicate medical devices (such as infusion pumps and nebulizers) at risk for product damage. With a typical conveyor, the single belt runs continuously. To control pallet movement, “pop-up stops” are used. These stop the pallet, but the belt (or chain) keeps running. This quick deceleration to a sudden stop can give rise to product damage. Upstream pallets bang into the stopped pallet, potentially causing product damage.

The Glide-Line ZP make great conveyors for medical devices. Instead of using a single continuously-operating belt, the ZP is a zoned conveyor. Each pallet is in it’s own separately-zoned conveyor. There is a space between each “zone,” meaning products never touch each other. Zero product contact means zero product damage!

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The ZP Allows for Smooth Motion

On a typical conveyor system with accumulation, deceleration is anything but smooth. The pallet makes a jarring stop. This may work for pallets that can withstand the impact, but for defibrillators, respirators, and other medical device products, this could be a problem. The Glide-Line ZP ensures smooth motion. Instead of banging and stopping, the ZP has controlled deceleration. 

The ZP provides more controlled, precise movement along the assembly line. This is especially beneficial when transporting products such as surgical instruments, where the item is placed on a pallet but unfastened. It is also beneficial in situations where a partially-assembled product (such as a device with ancillary components) is moving from one station to the other. 

ZP zoned conveyors do not have “hard stops.” Instead, as the zoned conveyor reaches a stop location on the line, it automatically turns off. This allows the zone to gradually slow down before stopping. Ensuring smooth motion, pallets carrying delicate objects can be protected from damage. This makes the ZP the best alternative to product-damaging traditional accumulation techniques. With the ZP, products simply do not bang into each other.

 

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ZP Configuration is Quick and Easy

Glide-Line has extensive experience developing customized solutions for the medical device space. Clean-room compliant (White polyurethane) belts are available. We can also configure products that “hang down” (such as IV bags) with specialized conveyor design such as open center. 

Not only can we design the right conveyors for medical device manufacturers. We can configure them quickly! And with the help of our IMPACT! Integration in Solidworks, we can quickly model the right design for your customization.

Put it all together, and ZP is a great choice for securely moving medical devices along the assembly line. With our innovations and expertise, we can help you build the right conveyor system solution. If you’d like to learn more, download our eBook, How To Manage Backpressure From Accumulation.

Topics: Solutions for Applications Engineers, Conveyor System Designs, Flexible Conveyor Solutions

Written by Tom Churchill

In addition to having the biggest laugh and smile in the room, Tom brings a passion to the growth of our company that is unmatched. He thrives on helping customers and building long term relationships. Tom is a "go anywhere, go anytime" guy willing to do whatever it takes to help the cause. He has a fantastic family in Cleveland where he lives with his beautiful wife Linda, and is near his children and grandchildren who light up his face, which in turn, lights up the room.

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Glide-Line offers the most versatile multi-strand panel and pallet-handling solution available for the assembly automation industry.

We solve problems that other conveyor systems manufacturers won’t. We developed Glide-Line from the ground up with a few key, driving factors in mind. First, our conveyors had to be robust and reliable. Second, they would be simple – easy to maintain and service. Finally, we insisted on flexible configurability, creating an efficient, hassle-free customer experience. We’ve built the most versatile multi-strand panel and pallet-handling solution available for the assembly automation industry.

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