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Adhesive waste is a big issue for these companies, even though the deposits they make are so small. That's because many of the high-performance bonding agents used in their assembly processes have a short working time. With "pot life" sometimes as short as 20 minutes or less, the adhesive often begins to cure or harden before it can be used up.
Before the introduction of the Mikros, these companies had limited dispensing options. They could dip a toothpick or similar tool into a thimble of adhesive, load a small amount of material into a
3-cc industrial-grade syringe reservoir connected to a pneumatic dispenser or use a small medical syringe to manually dispense the adhesive. Each of these methods, however, involves significant waste: one medical-device manufacturer estimates that over 90% of the adhesive it purchases must be discarded.
To help these companies reduce waste, lower production costs and apply adhesives in more consistent amounts, EFD did some out-of-the-box thinking and came up with the Mikros dispensing pen.
Reservoir Minimizes Adhesive WasteThe Mikros takes a revolutionary approach to precision adhesive dispensing. It consists of a small, 0.25-cc, disposable fluid-reservoir tip attached to a lightweight, pen-like aluminum handle. The unique reservoirs, which replace traditional barrels and syringes, incorporate a small-gauge, stainless steel dispensing needle. The 0.25-cc reservoir is large enough to hold an ample amount of adhesive but, with only one fourth the capacity of a standard 1-cc medical syringe, helps manufacturers reduce their assembly costs by preparing adhesives in much smaller batches.
The slim aluminum handle features a cushioned grip and is as easy to maneuver as a writing pen, making it ideal for precision assembly work under a microscope. The disposable reservoirs are available with 30-, 32- or 33-gauge precision, stainless steel needles that are polished to remove any burrs or imperfections that could cause variations in the amount of adhesive dispensed.
A miniature piston, inserted after the reservoir is filled with adhesive, improves fluid control and prevents "tunneling" when dispensing medium-viscosity materials. To install a reservoir, the user simply rotates the pen's grip, slides the reservoir into position and turns the grip in the opposite direction to lock the reservoir in place.
Consistent Deposits as Small as 0.007"The Mikros is designed for use with EFD's microprocessor-controlled fluid dispensers. These benchtop devices operate on compressed air and electricity and use a precisely timed air pulse to apply uniform amounts of adhesives and many other assembly fluids. Microprocessor circuitry permits dispense time to be adjusted in increments as small as 0.001 seconds, allowing the user to determine the exact amount of adhesive required for a specific application. With dispense time stored in memory, the user just places the dispensing needle in position and taps an electric foot pedal to produce consistent deposits as small as 0.007 inches in diameter - smaller than the period at the end of this sentence.
EFD introduced the Mikros at MD&M West, a major tradeshow for the medical-device community, where many attendees expressed interest in the product's ergonomic design and cost savings potential, according to Terrence Woldorf, the company's director of marketing.
Additional information about the Mikros precision dispensing pen is available from EFD Inc., 977 Waterman Ave., East Providence, RI 02914; call 800-556-3484; fax 800-394-3585; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit the Web site www.efd-inc.com. Or Circle No. 79