Conair TPC Makes Clean, Lathe-Like Cuts on Precision, Small-Bore Medical Tubing
Producers of small-diameter medical tubing can automate cut-to-length operations and increase productivity without worrying about cut-quality or particulate contamination, thanks to this new traveling planetary cutter from Conair.
Producers of small-diameter medical tubing now can automate cut-to-length operations and increase productivity without worrying about cut-quality or particulate contamination. The new traveling planetary cutter (TPC) from The Conair Group, Cranberry Township, PA, rotates around the tubing, gradually penetrating the wall to yield a precise, square cut without the shattering, whitening or distortion that commonly occurs with other cutting methods.
Planetary cutting is not a new technology, but it has been used mainly in the manufacture of larger-diameter tubing and pipe. Today, however, it is possible to handle tubing as small as 0.080″ in diameter, while holding cut-to-length tolerances of ±0.015″. In operation, the tubing exiting the extrusion puller moves through the cutter until it reaches the prescribed cut-off length. At that point, the servo-driven traveling table begins to move at the same speed as the tubing, which is clamped in place. The knife assembly begins to rotate and centrifugal force causes the knife blade to approach the tubing and make a lathe-like cut around the circumference of the tube. The cutter displaces material so cutting debris is essentially eliminated; distortion of the tube is avoided and a clean, square cut is created with no secondary trimming or deburring required.
Cutting speed and force are controlled by adjusting the rotational speed of the cutter head. The faster it spins, the more quickly the knife penetrates the tube wall. Rotation is servo controlled for precision. Guarding is made of clear polycarbonate, allowing for full observation of the cutting process. The TPC is designed to allow quick cutting blade changes without removing product from the machine so that it is not necessary to stop and restart the extrusion line when a blade needs to be replaced. Front-mounted touchscreen control allows an operator to start and stop the cutter, adjust table travel velocity, blade velocity profiles and scale factors, as well as store process recipes for easy recall.
For more information, visit www.conairgroup.com.