In response to South Korea’s emerging medical device manufacturing marketplace, the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH) recently installed a Davis-Standard medical tubing system at its Biomedical Technology Center (BMT). The new system is groundbreaking in terms of South Korea’s medical tubing R&D capabilities, future innovation and economic development. According to Dr. Woojin Kim, Senior Researcher, Technology Convergence R&BD Group at KITECH, the Davis-Standard system is significant in terms of both government and private industry initiatives.
“The government of South Korea is interested in developing the disposable medical device field and several domestic companies are looking at the possibility of medical tubing extrusion,” said Kim. “This system showcases multiple medical tubing possibilities, offers opportunities for R&D, and creates an atmosphere to enlarge the industrial ecosystem of the consumable medical device field in Korea.”
KITECH is a government-funded institute committed to growing Korea’s manufacturing industry through development, application and commercialization of technologies, as well as support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Kim and his team are currently using the new Davis-Standard system to develop catheters used in cardiovascular, endoscopic and epidural applications. They are also collaborating with several Korean companies on proprietary R&D projects. KITECH has been impressed with the feedscrew efficiency, die design and overall operation of the Davis-Standard system, which allows for resin versatility and processing of medical tubing with up to four lumens.
Kim explained, “When we started researching equipment for purchase, there were few extruders capable of extruding multi-lumen tubes in South Korea. We heard about Davis-Standard’s reputation through medical exhibitions such as MD&M West and through online research. From the beginning, Davis-Standard put forth a great deal of effort to make sure both the purchase contract and equipment technology met our needs. We were especially impressed with Davis-Standard’s systematic first acceptance test (FAT) and site acceptance test (SAT) process. This made the entire process much easier.”
Davis-Standard collaborated with KITECH at the company’s headquarters in Pawcatuck, Connecticut, during the FAT process to address various resin properties and develop favorable process conditions for desired tube specifications. Kim said the added support was essential due to the learning curve involved with addressing new medical extrusion processes. When the system was installed, the SAT process reinforced what was learned earlier, enabling KITECH to successfully develop prototypes and begin R&D initiatives. Davis-Standard supplied all line components including direct-drive MEDD extruders with tooling and downstream equipment.
“Working with KITECH to grow medical device manufacturing opportunities in Korea has been exciting,” said Sekaran Murugaiah, Davis-Standard Vice President of Business Development, Asia. “We equipped the system to take on additional extruders and equipment, which will allow KITECH to run other products in the future. We look forward to building on the relationship and being a trusted supplier in this endeavor.”
For more information about KITECH, visit www.eng.kitech.re.kr. For more information about Davis-Standard’s medical tubing capabilities, visit www.davis-standard.com/pipe-profile-and-tubing.