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PEEK Catheter Tubing / Courtesy of Putnam Plastics Corporation

Putnam Plastics Expands Laser Capabilities

Elizabeth Hofheinz, M.P.H., M.Ed. • Thu, February 16th, 2017

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Putnam Plastics Corporation is announcing the expansion of their capabilities to include advanced laser machining and state-of-the-art short pulse and ultrashort pulse laser technologies. In addition, stated the January 31, 2017 news release, “an in-house tool shop allows Putnam to design custom tooling and fixtures to handle a variety of materials and tubing in need of laser machining. This strategy provides a reduction in lead time and shortening of customers’ supply chains to bring them one step closer to a finished device, all under one roof.

“Putnam’s laser machining allows for medical devices to be manufactured with the smallest features in accordance with the most demanding specifications. Multiple in-house lasers, provide the ability to have tight tolerances and to machine complex features with repeatability better than 4 microns. These lasers, some of which have 4-axis capability, are able to produce simple and complex micro-features, precision cuts, braid and coil terminations, and laser printing and marking. In addition to these capabilities, they also have laser bonding abilities which create smooth, strong welded bonds and offer a more efficient application of heat than the traditional method.”

“Our 2 and 4-axis lasers are able to cut precise patterns with reliable accuracy even in our most difficult configurations, such as our multi-lumen, thin walled, lined, and braid reinforced catheter tubing,” said Ray Rilling, Director of Technology. “This makes our laser machining capabilities ideal for a variety of catheters, including micro catheters, guide catheters, and EP [electrophysiology] catheters.”

A Putnam representative told OTW, “PEEK [polyether ether ketone] is a popular material in the orthopedic industry. Putnam Plastics has the ability to not only extrude various forms of PEEK, but to micro-machine PEEK, micro-mold PEEK and to laser micro features into PEEK components. One common use of PEEK in orthopedics is spinal cages, used for spinal fusion procedures. These are often hollow and filled with bone growth materials. They can very easily be laser machined, although they have traditionally been produced from conventional machining. Machining is often used over injection molding due to the three dimensional design and low quantities required. PEEK is also used in dental implant (posts), fixation screws, and other applications.”

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