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Laser Drilling Is Customized to Meet Project Needs

The best way for a medical device OEM to make a high-quality, cost-effective product, and get it to market quickly, is to bring in skilled partners during the design and production process who share their specialized knowledge and know-how.

Laser Light collaborated with a leading medical device company to develop a customized process for laser-drilling tiny holes in pellethane tubes, a key component in an implantable spinal catheter used for pain management.

Laser Light engineers worked closely with OEM project leaders to develop a laser solution that met its requirements. “Several product iterations were tested with different laser systems until we found the right process for the project,” says Laser Light applications engineer Blake Winkelmann. “We usedrotary integration and custom fixturing to drill 200-um holes at different angles into the 38-inch-long tube.”

Maintaining drilling precision and accuracy with such a flexible material presented unique challenges. Laser Light designed and built a proprietary in-house system that successfully controlled the flexibility and drilled precise holes every time across the length of the tube. When the project reached production volumes, an automatic tubing cutter was integrated into the system so tubes could be cut to length for the customer.

Laser Light has stayed with the project through its validation and growth cycle. When demand for this part grew over 500 percent, Laser Light ramped up production to meet these high-volume needs without missing a single delivery—a production reliability that is essential for effective supply chain management.

The OEM has reduced the number of standard audits and check-ins, thanks largely to zero nonconformities in the last two years and impeccable on-time delivery. “As a result, Laser Light has stayed in the supply chain through two acquisitions and we are still delivering these critical parts today,” Winkelmann adds.