Disposables for Corona Antibody Test – 24/7 Mass Production on NETSTAL ELION from KraussMaffei

Enormous quantities of disposable pipette tips and cups will be needed in the coming months for Roche’s new corona antibody test. Several manufacturers are relying on the performance of KraussMaffei’s NETSTAL ELION series. An all-in-one system solution produces up to 230 million units per year.

Disposables made of plastic produced under clean room conditions are a central element in medical diagnostics. Huge quantities of plastic consumables will be needed in the coming months for the SARS-CoV-2 antibody test recently presented by Roche.

230 million units per year

These are racks, which are each equipped with 84 pipette tips and reaction cups. “A for this application especially powerful all-in-one system solution with NETSTAL ELION injection moulding machines is currently in use at several leading medical technology manufacturers. The annual output of such a high-performance system is up to 230 million units,” says Wolfgang Zangerle, Head of Business Development NETSTAL at KraussMaffei HighPerformance AG.

System solution with three fully electric NETSTAL ELION

Each of these systems is operated in a clean room and comprises three fully electric injection moulding machines of the NETSTAL ELION series. The pipette tips are produced in 64 cavities on a NETSTAL ELION 1200-530, while the cups are made on a NETSTAL ELION 1750-530 equipped with a 64-cavity full hot runner mould. These two machines feed the centrally arranged handling solution encompassing total in-line camera quality control, fully automatic cup and pipette placement and transport-ready packaging of the finished products. The required racks are manufactured in a stack mould on an adjacent NETSTAL ELION with a clamping force of 2,200 kN and are fed into the system prior to placement.

Successful 24/7 mass production

For this application, the high-performance machines of the NETSTAL ELION series are equipped and certified for operation in clean rooms (ISO 8 GMP C). “In the manufacturing process of medical consumables, maximum precision, perfect material homogeneity and best reliability are decisive. The exceptionally robust machine design ensures smooth and mould friendly operation in 24/7 continuous operation”, emphasizes Zangerle. At the same time, precise shot-to-shot consistency guarantees production within extremely tight tolerances and with minimal rejection. All this during many years and with cycle times of just a few seconds.

Doubled output on half the cleanroom footprint

The key feature: With a doubling of the output, the system requires only 50% of the floor space compared to previous systems also operated with NETSTAL. “Against the backdrop of costs per cleanroom square meter, this provides a substantial competitive edge, which is only amplified in this coronavirus era. When demand suddenly increases, NETSTAL users can benefit enormously from the higher productivity per unit of area”, says Zangerle.

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