Medical #3: R&D
Angioplasty is a surgical repair or unblocking of a blood vessel, especially the coronary artery. It uses steel catheters made with advanced metal alloys, formed into wire mesh tubes that need to be cut cleanly allowing for no exposed wire filaments where the tube has been cut.
The current method of cutting these alloys tubes resulted with a high yield due to exposed wire filaments at the cut location. These fragments impeded assemblies and resulted in a high scrap rate.
Apex was contacted to design a rotary cutter that would slice the tube without fraying the tube ends and exposing bare metal. Design constraints were as follows:
Ergonomics: The cutter had to be comfortable, easy to hold, safe to use. The blades had to be easy to replace.
Performance: The cutter had to cut the braided tube within a 10 second time frame.
Endurance: The chosen blade needed to be “off the shelf” and able to cut the 100 braided tubes. All the materials chosen needed to resist corrosion and withstand high temperature sanitary clean procedures.