Lohja, Finland—Polar, the market leader and pioneer in heart rate training technology who has been leading the way in technological innovations ...

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Manufacturing heart rate monitoring products

Lohja, Finland—Polar, the market leader and pioneer in heart rate training technology who has been leading the way in technological innovations and heart rate monitors since 1977, and Cencorp, a global supplier of end-of-line automation solutions for manufacturing, have achieved outstanding results utilizing the latter’s laser welding technology.

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Polar (Kempele, Finland; www.polar.fi) achieves high-quality laser welding on its plastic training computer components by using a process where the laser beam is guided along the welding path by a high-speed scanner. Laser welding improves the visual design of Polar products as the joint between the parts no longer needs to be hidden. It has also added flexibility and precision to the process as it easily enables changes to the weld width.

Cencorp’s patented laser welding process for plastics produces reliable joints and excellent repeatability, especially in applications that need to be waterproof. Monitoring of the welding process and quality assurance features can further enhance the high quality and reliability of laser welding and can extend to a variety of different product designs.

Cencorp (www.cencorp.com) is a public company with headquarters here. In the past 25 years, the company has delivered thousands of robots worldwide to the leading manufacturers in automotive electronics, the telecommunications sector, industrial electronics, and EMS. It also manufactures standard and custom-built laser marking, laser cutting, laser welding, laser drilling, and laser micromachining workstations for standalone and in-line production. The modular concept of Cencorp’s workstations combined with multiple laser options makes it easy to configure individual solutions based on a customer’s specific needs. Anssi Jansson, corporate sales director at Cencorp, comments on the customer-driven approach in laser technology: “Cencorp laser workstations are designed to meet the specific needs of each customer. Our laser systems integration combines tens of years of experience in the field of laser materials processing and production automation. This results in laser solutions that meet the needs of industrial laser processing and the demands of today’s high-volume mass-production.”

Antti Huoviala, project leader, manufacturing technology at Polar, says of the benefits of Cencorp’s laser welding for the R&D and product manufacturing at Polar, “Use of laser welding in the assembly process has offered new design opportunities for us. It produces a clean, refined finish with a strong joint. We have learned to use laser welding technology and now the manufacturing process is repeatable and easily managed, which saves our resources. Unlike in ultrasonic welding, there is no need for us to subcontract special expertise. Instead, we are able to carry out any changes with in-house resources. This helps us achieve cost savings and enables us to accelerate the introduction of new products into the market.”

Cencorp is a trusted partner for Polar in laser welding, and several of Cencorp’s laser welding systems are adopted and used in the mass-production and testing for new Polar products.

For further information contact Anssi Jansson (anssi.jansson@cencorp.co).

Laser coding pharmaceutical glass containers

St Gallen, Switzerland—A new laser coding system enables glass containers for parenteral use to be clearly coded at the glass syringe manufacturer and tracked from production to end customer. This innovation can help pharmaceutical companies to develop a reliable track-and-trace system and further reduce the risk of mix-up of syringes and batches. At the same time, this laser coding technology is an effective means to counter drug counterfeiters.

The benefit—patient safety for pharmaceutical and diagnostic products is guaranteed. The laser coded containers meet the demands of cleanroom standards and no additional chemicals or materials are required for coding. Moreover, the laser coding system can easily be integrated into existing filling systems, providing a stable, highly reproducible, and safe process.

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Laser firing (long-wave CO2 laser) on heated glass—above the transformation temperature—guarantees that there are no microcracks. Photo courtesy: Vesdo
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The laser coding process was developed and tested under production conditions by a team of experts from the pharmaceutical industry, glass tubing production, and pharmaceutical packaging supplier for software and vision inspection. Involved were the companies Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Schott forma vitrum AG, Schott-Rohrglas GmbH, Seidenader Vision GmbH, and Vesdo AG. The proof of concept for large-scale production is now available and the process is therefore ready for implementation.

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An individual data matrix code on each container ensures reliable track and trace and no mix-ups before, during, and after the filling process. Photo courtesy: Vesdo
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Various tests have proven that laser coding causes no microcracks and has no effect on the mechanical stability of the glass. The process can safely code each container with an individual 2D data matrix code, making it 100 percent readable. To guarantee 100 percent readability of the code on the curved glass surface of the syringe, the team had developed dedicated algorithms and test methods.

The laser coding concept also offers a documentation tool that can provide a trail for each container including information such as place of production, fill date, expiration date, or day of use. The code is only 2 x 2 mm. The 2D data matrix code that is marked onto the container is barely visible to the human eye but allows for the indexing of a database record that contains data related to the individual item, such as drug specification, dosage, production line, and batch. This record can have more data added during the lifecycle of the product.

The process can be used for syringes as well as for vials, cartridges, and ampoules.

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