GPAX, Inc.  | Value-Added Packaging / Feeding for Automation Value-Added Packaging / Feeding for Automation

Disposable Medical Tool

Disposable Medical Tool
Disposable Medical Tool

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An existing medical contract manufacturing client of GPAX, Inc. had partnered with a medical supply company. Due to an increased demand for the finished product, the number of fragile proprietary parts required from the contract manufacturer was increasing from 500,000 to 7,500,000 per year. At lower volumes, the part was assembled manually, but it became very clear that on the increased scale, automated assembly was needed. GPAX’s client was concerned that the issues associated with an exponential increase in the number of reels/inventory (including tracking, available storage space, and an increase in shipping costs), would keep them from being competitive in their pricing and would not fit within the clients ROI (Return On Investment) calculations.

GPAX designed pocketed tape for this project which held 8 parts per pitch. (Pitch is a unit of distance between one row and the next) With 8 parts per pitch, each reel contains 8,000 parts instead of 1,000 parts at 1 part per pitch. Fewer reels (940 versus 7,500) reduced labor costs for processing and handling, resupplying inventory on production line, the material needed for each reel, shipping supplies and associated costs were all minimized while increasing throughput.

Cycle times improved by over 200% because parts were gang picked 4 at a time and placed with only 2 full movements of the end of arm tooling versus 8 full movements with 1 part per pitch for the same number of parts. Once the parts were "gang picked," the tape advanced to the next row of parts which eliminated any delays due to tape advance. The cost savings of packaging multiple parts versus 1 part per pitch was 367% per part, improved cycle times and greater throughput helped GPAX’s client successfully meet production needs without adding numerous layers of additional costs.

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Project Highlights

Product name
Proprietary disposable medical tool
GPAX Capabilities Utilized
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Forming
Overall dimensions
120mm wide continuous tape on 24" OD reel
Equipment used to package components
Custom automated equipment paired with GPAX Tape Loader
Equipment used to automate assembly
Robotic cell with custom vacuum gripper
Tape material
Biaxially oriented, Anti-Static, Clear Film
In process testing/inspection performed
Dimensional Inspection
Industry for use
High Volume Run, 7.5 million+ parts per year
Delivery/turnaround time
10 weeks first article, 12 weeks for delivery of loader/feeder
2 weeks ongoing for tape
Delivery location
Standards met
Customer Specifications

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