According to the Evaluate MedTech Report produced in 2018, the global medical technology industry is expected to grow at 5.6% per year to reach worldwide sales of US$595 billion by 2024. Covid-19, however, is expected to have a significant influence on this forecast as it has created an unprecedented demand for medical products. Although fasteners are typically the smallest components in medical devices, they play an important role in the assembly,

functionality and structural integrity of the device. With medical devices playing a crucial role in the fight against the coronavirus, critical products requiring fasteners and components include: Respiratory support and monitoring equipment such as ventilators, which help to treat hospitalised patients; Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as face masks and protective visors; and Diagnostic tests which identify those infected and further limit the spread of the virus. TR Fastenings responded to the UK Government’s urgent request to support the immediate needs of

established medical equipment manufacturers and new companies diversifying into this sector. Working directly with a knowledgeable fastener manufacturer early on in the design stage mitigates the possibility of a costly redesign after the product has been launched. TR’s fast-track approach to delivering a high volume

of products, often within hours, supported the sudden acceleration of customers’ needs. In fact the company worked through weekends and bank holidays to respond quickly and engage with various medical companies around the world. The main products TR supplies are sheet metal fasteners,

high grade stainless steel fastenings, plastic and rubber products, plus specially manufactured parts to be used in a range of medical equipment. This includes ventilators, medical beds & furniture, ultrasound machines, medical imaging equipment, defibrillators, incubators, medical computer stands, volumetric pumps & infusion devices, vacuum extractors and many other vital pieces of medical equipment. The company has also introduced two new products to its range:

• The L-bow Handle can be retrofitted to an existing compatible door handle and allows the door to opened ‘hands free’ with your forearm, reducing the risk of direct contact with viruses and bacteria on the door handle. The door opener is made from plastic with stainless steel components and works on various door types with both horizontal and vertical handles from 19mm up to 22mm diameter. This is available from stock in black and to order on any other RAL colour (minimum 1000 pcs).

• The Face Visor Kit contains two Polypropylene clips and a 330mm elastic strap which is quick and easy to fit. It offers a secure, lockable and adjustable method of attaching a strap to a face visor. The kit can be manufactured in various colours, and provides simple finger pressure closure and release mechanism. The standard 19mm elastic strap can also be provided in a 15mm width, and 1mm increments up to 19mm. To meet application demands, TR Fastening has a diverse product range and is able to offer application

engineering expertise. Furthermore, its engineers are fully engaged in the design and are able to make critical recommendations for the interface between the fastener and the medical device.


Following over 60 years in which Bülte has been meeting the demands of all industry sectors with plastic protection and fasteners, the company has now launched a product range manufactured in PEEK, an organic thermoplastic polymer. Bülte’s product range manufactured

in PEEK material includes: • Washers: DIN 125/ EN ISO 7089/ DIN 34815 from M4 to M12

• Hex socket head screws: DIN 912 from M4 to M12 (lengths 10 to 70mm)

• Hex head screws : DIN 933 from M4 to M12 (lengths 10 to 60mm)

• Hex nuts: ISO 4032 from M4 to M12. PEEK offers excellent mechanical and chemical resistance properties that are


retained to high temperatures. It is also robust, has low flammability (UL 94), and is one of the few plastics compatible with ultra-high vacuum applications. PEEK is considered as an advanced biomaterial used in medical implants.

It also has a lower density than metal, which makes it an excellent substitute when weight is a limiting factor in the final product. The material is therefore highly

recommended for use in high-tech industries such as: energy (oil, nuclear), medical & pharmaceutical (replacing glass, stainless

steel or other metals), chemical, automotive (manufacturing of steering elements, clutch or brake components, etc.), and in the electronics industry (insulators, connectors and supports).


An important area for wearable devices is medical and healthcare, where they fulfil functions such as monitoring patient heart rate, oxygen levels, body temperature and respiratory rate. Dispensing technology is

required for many functions when manufacturing a wearable device, such as bonding batteries to the housing, the application of conductive pastes for thermal management, and the sealing, encapsulation and bonding of sensors. Many MEMS are bonded or encapsulated with an adhesive, and materials are also used to coat or underfill processors, attach and bond RF-modules, and seal and bond actuators. When manufacturing a medical

device, it is important that all processes are reliable, consistent and can be validated, with dispensing carried out accurately and repeatably. To achieve the level of precision required, manufacturers can opt for progressive pump technology, as it enables true volumetric dispensing. A progressive cavity pump typically consists of a single-helix metal rotor and a double- helix hole in an elastomeric stator, which forms a sequence of small discrete cavities. These cavities progress through the pump as the rotor is turned, transferring the liquid. The output represents true volumetric dispensing – the amount of material is directly proportional to the number of rotations of the rotor, and is not affected by material viscosity, input pressure or ambient temperature. One example is the eco-PEN330

preeflow dispenser, which can dispense volumes as small as 0.001µl within 1%, 99% of the time – a high level of repeatability and accuracy. It can be used for low or high viscosity materials, with or without filler content. In most wearable production

processes, adhesive dispensing is automated to achieve a high degree of repeatability. Once the dispensing technology has been selected, manufacturers can repeat the application of materials with positional accuracy by incorporating a robot or other form of automation. Medical device manufacturers have several options to mechanise the process, which include rotary tables or simple 3-axis benchtop robots, usually at modest cost, right up to multi-axis robots with vision-based control and feedback.


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