Resonetics’ centerless grinding process enables a nearly limitless level of micro-scale geometries for mandrels, guide wires, core wires and catheter components. With expert process knowledge, machine fabrication, automation and 100+ grinding systems, Resonetics has one of the largest, most comprehensive capabilities in the industry.
Precision, or centerless, grinding was invented in the early 1920s to support volume manufacturing of bicycle roller bearings. The technology found its way to the medical device industry in the early 1990s as the demand for guide wires grew from the advent of catheter based surgical techniques. Centerless grinding enabled the production of guide wires by selectively removing the outside diameter to enhance the flexibility required to navigate the circulatory system.
Many different materials can be precision ground, including metals, ceramics and polymers. The key to grinding various types of materials is the selection of the grinding wheel material which can range from carbide to diamond. The process operates under active coolant flow which maintains minimal heat input into the part. The most typical raw materials used in the medical device market include stainless steel and nitinol, both in wire and tubing form.
Precision grinding continues to expand in application as medical device development engineers understand its benefits of miniaturization and functional enhancement.
The process can produce outside diameters from several millimeters down to 25 micrometers or one-third the diameter of a human hair, with part length up to 5 meters long. Resonetics is able to use the process to grind complete micro-scale parts.
Applications include catheter wires, snare or retrieval wires, stylets, mandrels and assembly tools and core wires/guide wires for neurovascular, endovascular, interventional cardiology, peripheral vascular, cardiac surgery, CDRM and device tip wires.
Centerless ground wire often needs additional production processing to become a finished medical device. Resonetics can support this additional processing with value-add services like coatings (PTFE, EPTFE), laser welding, laser cutting, precision CNC machining, precision coiling, micro-forming, heat setting, electropolishing and assembly.
Although the technology has been around since the 1920s, there is significant opportunity for process and equipment innovation. Resonetics’ has invested in advancing this technology and developed a next generation precision grinding platform that includes robotic load/unload and inline geometry inspection. This new platform takes advantage of the latest in robotics to load and unload the machine which maximizes uptime and throughput. An inline part geometry inspection system enables real time part measurement with active feedback to the machine. This closed loop approach enables tight control of geometry with exceptional process capability. This new technology platform will help Resonetics support the next generation of medical devices that are made by precision centerless grinding.
Sponsored content by Resonetics
Resonetics is the leader in micro manufacturing for life sciences. The company’s LightSpeed Application Development team can help you bring your product through the development process with quick turnaround times, deep process knowledge and dedicated equipment. The team will help your product transfer into production and ensure it is supported with the manufacturing resources needed to meet your production demands. Throughout the process, their world-class customer engagement group will ensure full communication with your team.
Resonetics’ core manufacturing capabilities include:
Polymeric Stent and Frame Coverings
Thin Wall Tubing and Marker Bands
Resonetics is focused on innovation and heavily invests in internal R&D initiatives each year. This results in the development of many process patents and specialized equipment to support the manufacturing of the next generation of medical devices. The company is ISO 13485:2016 certified with facilities in the U.S., Costa Rice, Israel and Switzerland.