Drake Medical Plastics’ facility has 12,000 square feet dedicated to high-performance plastics processing for medical shapes and component manufacturing, supply and quality assurance. This significant undertaking will ensure Drake Medical Plastics can meet all client’s shapes and component requirements.
Drake Medical Plastics’ facilities provide our team with a comprehensive array of polymer processing capabilities and control. This technology includes:
- Custom designed extruders
- Dedicated dryers
- Annealing ovens
- Precision fabrication equipment
- All-electric injection molding equipment
- RJG in-cavity injection molding process control
Together, these technologies coupled with our process IP developed over years of experience, enables extensive processing and conversion expertise with unmatched reliability.
Drake Medical Plastics emphasizes its processing capabilities, with the mindset of “if it can be melted, we can make it.” As such, DMP excels with a range of high-performance polymers including PEEK, Radel, AvaSpire and Torlon. These are often extruded into a wide array of stock shapes for subsequent precision machining. Rod diameters can range from 2mm to 150mm and plate thicknesses from 10mm to 25mm. DMP has an unmatched ability at processing these stock shapes with additives, enhancing the polymers’ properties and providing additional performance advantages. This is especially challenging when the additives reach high filler levels. Drake Medical Plastics can effectively process compounds with less than 40% of polymer! These are the types of compounds that Drake Medical Plastics is particularly skilled at processing into high-quality stock shapes for machining. Our team can readily process custom and proprietary grades incorporating extreme additive compositions and filler levels.
Our Material Selection Process
High-performance polymers are a terrific option for the medical and life science industries, but few companies are truly processing experts of high-performance polymers. Drake Medical Plastics understands that the choice between these materials may be esoteric to those not directly involved with polymer processing. For this reason, we strive to make the decision clear for our clients, taking into account all key engineering requirements for their application. We work tirelessly to determine the best polymer option, and then the leanest processing solutions possible. At every step, we communicate with our clients to ensure their needs and concerns are being addressed in real time. It is this inexhaustible commitment to process engineering and application development that allows us to deliver superior products with the quickest turnaround.
High-performance materials are the sole focus of Drake Medical Plastics. The well recognized thermoplastics ‘pyramid’ shown to the right highlight in blue font the higher performing plastics that Drake specializes in; namely implantable and non-implantable PEEK (polyetheretherketone), PAEK (polyaryletherketone), PPSU (polyphenylsulfone), PSU (polysulfone), PEI (polyether-imide), Torlon PAI (polyamide-imide) and PPS (Polyphenylene-sulfide). Drake Medical Plastics has extensive knowledge of this wide array these thermoplastics utilized in the medical device market and can provide insight and alternatives to help address existing problems and/or requirements. DMP works with clients from the very outset, identifying the best polymer, best grade and best processing method for a particular production campaign utilizing years of technical expertise, state of the art processing capabilities and exceptional customer service.
The material selection and processing of unfilled and highly filled stock shapes are just the front end of the solution, though. Drake Medical Plastics’ advanced fabrication abilities unlock the material’s potential. Fabricating from stock shapes is ideal for smaller production volumes, and when handling high complexity components, especially if thick cross-sections are required. Our facilities are equipped with PDC tooling for excellent surface finish and ultra-tight tolerances, and every component has lot and batch traceability. We carefully consider every client’s production campaign, laying out components prior to fabrication to optimize material yield and utilization. We also take fiber orientation into account when laying out component machining with filled stock shapes and the potential effect on component properties.
When high volume production campaigns are required, DMP’s injection molding is the optimal conversion process. Injection molding reduces material waste, eliminates or reduces machining and minimizes unit costs. Our injection molding capabilities can be paired with most high-performance polymers and is performed in a clean environment, adhering to the stringent demands of the medical and life sciences industries. All of DMP’s injection molding equipment is electrical with no oil and therefore does not expose components to the possibility of oil contamination. With our extensive history of high-performance polymer processing, DMP has developed advanced capabilities during the injection molding process. This includes RJG in-cavity process control, zero draft, heavy cross-sections, selective fiber orientation and precision tolerances. Hot runner capabilities are also available, depending on material and application requirements.
DMP’s stock shape conversion, fabrication and injection molding capabilities represent the core of our current capabilities, but we can also provide less mainstream processing capability as required by our clients, like film calandering. Film calandering, a process where the polymer is converted into high-quality, thin film, allows Drake Medical Plastics to develop extremely intricate components for use in complex solutions, including those for cardiovascular devices and in other highly sensitive applications. Currently, DMP can offer PEEK film as thin as 0.005 inches in thickness.
Our prototyping and product optimization capabilities are emblematic of our commitment to the client. It’s common for our clients to require assistance with early stage, small volume prototype production and material evaluation. Drake Medical Plastics provides comprehensive polymer and processing knowledge, so we can help develop an optimal solution for every client’s needs.
This impressive set of capabilities is made possible with DMP’s technical expertise, material selection guidance, robust quality assurance systems, exceptional customer service and impressive flexibility in producing results.
Our clients define their needs. Drake Medical Plastics provides the solution.