Category Archives: Medical Device

  • For the past five years BTG Labs has been a major presence at the annual meeting of the Adhesion Society. This year we are heading to Hilton Head, SC Friday 2/15 – Tuesday 2/19, to share our insight into how adhesion success begins and ends at the surface of materials used in bonding.

    BTG Labs’ CEO and Chief Scientist, Dr. Giles Dillingham, has been an active member of the Adhesion Society since the 1980’s and is a Robert L. Patrick Fellow of the Society. He has over 120 publications and patents and is teaching two sessions at this year’s Short Course as well as presenting at the conference during the Society Meeting.

    Dr. Dillingham’s first education course on Friday will examine the basic principles of adhesion and surface chemistry: how they are inextricably codependent and what the nature of their relationship is. The concepts he’ll be discussing is the science at the heart of all the work BTG Labs does. It’s this foundation that has allowed us to build an extensive customer base within a wide range of industries to develop and enhance manufacturing processes.

    The next course Dr. Dillingham will be leading takes the fundamentals of the first course and expands on them by exploring how to analyze and control the chemical makeup of a surface. The understanding that comes from the surface analysis allows for the proper control of the surface chemistry which, in turn, makes it possible to reliably predict adhesion success. This correlation between chemistry and adhesion is the fuel that powers BTG Labs’ technology.

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  • Get the Conversation Started at MD&M West

    by Pierce Geary January 2019

    BTG Labs is going to be exhibiting at the Medical Device and Manufacturing (MD&M) West medtech event Tuesday February 4 to Thursday February 7. Our Surface Experts will be joining 19,000 attendees from around the world for three days at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA to discuss the latest and greatest in manufacturing, cleaning, automation and advancements in the Medical Device industry. 

    Visit booth #349 to get an up-close look at the inspection power of the automated Surface Analyst XA. Tuesday morning at 11:00 the New Product Showcase will be featuring the XA. We’ll be demonstrating and explaining how our technology and services can find the root cause of adhesion failure, as well as give manufacturers the insight required to take back control of their process to prevent future failures. Join the conversation and gain deeper understanding of what it means to have a clean surface.

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  • It’s easy to be dazzled by the advancements in electronic and medical devices that are constantly being made and discovered allowing manufacturers to work on increasingly micro levels. Smaller tech means greater efficiency and higher production rates which can lead to lower prices and more accessibility. Tiny tech means less intrusion when incorporating electronics in everyday devices

    manufacture of chips on a silicon wafer under a microscope

    and medical applications. But we mustn’t let ourselves get distracted by all this progress. The surfaces of the electronic components of this incredible tech need to be clean at a chemical level in order to ensure that any bonding processes will be successful. It’s as true for these devices as for any others.

    Electronics packaging, even at the micro and nano level, requires wire bonding processes and coating operations that involve smaller versions of the methods used on a larger scale. When working at such tiny levels the importance of how molecular level surface activity influences bond success and true chemical cleanliness becomes all the more evident.

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  • Photo courtesy of Crest Ultrasonics

    Parts washers are the heavy-duty, hardworking machines that have become irreplaceable staples in any automotive or machined part manufacturing process. As manufacturing processes have become more sophisticated, the industries using parts washers includes not only industrial metals and aerospace materials but also more delicate applications such as medical implants and electronic devices.

    But what are the Critical Control Points within a parts washer system? What are the elements that get overlooked and result in adhesion failure even though the parts SEEM clean?

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  • Co-written with Elizabeth Kidd, BTG Labs’ Custom Applications Scientist.

     

    There’s a logical fallacy akin to a “what’s good for one is good for all” mindset that is devastating when applied to surface treatment in adhesion processes. Polymers are rapidly being developed and synthesized for niche applications to push the limits of current physical properties of materials. Polymers that are available today did not even exist a few years, or even months, ago. These different materials possess very particular molecular qualities that require distinct treatment approaches in order to compensate for their differences.

     New polymer materials enhance the aesthetics and safety of cars.

    In order to utilize these cutting-edge plastic technologies, manufacturers need to be aware of the effect on the full material system – the baseline material, the adhesion, and outcome of bond performance.

    Diversified polymer use has seen huge advances in consumer goods industries

    The chemical make-up of the baseline material surface is where it all begins and controlling this aspect of the process can stop adhesion failure at the source. This is, however, often the most overlooked and least understood component of successful adhesion.

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  • The pervasiveness of electronics in every manufacturing industry has provided unique challenges. Manufacturers are tasked with protecting these components

    conformal coating adhesion for electronics

    A populated printed circuit board before a conformal coating has been applied.

    in environments that make

    electronics vulnerable to even minute amounts of moisture, debris and environmental contamination.

    A useful solution to this problem is conformal coating. Conformal coating is a thin (usually 25-75µm thick) chemical or polymer film (parylene and acrylic are popularly used, depending on the application) that covers an electronic component to act as a barrier against contamination and a defense against moisture. While, this capability massively enhances the protection of, and therefore the reliability of, electronics, manufacturers have been overlooking a key element to dependability in this system: surface condition.

    Here are four major factors that could lead to poor adhesion which manufacturers are often unaware of the impact they have:

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  • click here to view plasma treatment webinarPlastics are ubiquitous a material as they come, and there is nary an industry that does not utilize them in an adhesion application; medical device, automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, and flexible film and packaging industries all exploit the versatility of polymers in manufacturing. Take a closer look at medical device and automotive industries and you’ll find that the same polypropylene used to make car bumpers in the automotive is also used to make life-saving implantable medical devices.

    Polymers are generally chemically stable materials. While this is a desirable quality for other purposes, it is the industry’s greatest challenge to overcome for adhesion applications (coating, bonding, printing, priming and painting). In order for these materials to adhere successfully they have to undergo some type of surface activation process, like plasma treatment. This process will impart chemically reactive groups on the surface and increase chemical reactivity. This reactivity is a quantifiable material property called surface energy. Plasma treatment is a convenient, cost effective means of achieving surface activation of polymers. Before the plasma treatment can accomplish the proper activation of the surface, the chemistry of the polymer must be considered.

    This week BTG Labs and Plasmatreat got together to co-present a webinar that de-mystifies plasma treatment as it relates to polymer chemistry.

    Understanding surface state at each manufacturing step will allow you to gain complete control over your surface treatment and bonding operation. Here at BTG Labs, we provide a process control check that quantifies that surface state with a simple number.

    Control the process, control the number, control the product.

    Visit our video gallery to view the webinar and use the form at the bottom of this page to contact a BTG Labs process engineer, who can give you remarkable insight into your adhesion process.

  • Surface Activation with plasma treatment

    This Tuesday, December 11 at 2pm EST we’ll be partnering with Plasmatreat, a developer of surface treatment systems, to present a webinar hosted by Plastics Technology magazine. Dr. Giles Dillingham, BTG Labs’ CEO and Chief Scientist, and Khoren Sahagian, Chief Process Engineer and Applications Manager to Plasmatreat USA, will discuss the relationship between polymer chemistry and the development of optimal plasma treatment recipes. Plasma treatment is the cutting-edge surface processing technique of polymers for critical adhesion applications. It is increasingly crucial to know how to control this process, know how the chemistry of your surface will affect the treatment and know your target number before and after treatment. Click on the title below to register:

     

    How to Develop and Quantitatively Control Plasma Treatment Processes for Polymers

     

    Here’s what you can expect to learn:

    1. Basic understanding of parameters that affect plasma treatment of polymers
    2. Knowledge of the effects of plasma treatment on polymer surface
    3. Basic skills in developing and evaluating plasma treatment processes
    4. Tools for controlling plasma treatment processes, in the lab and manufacturing

    If you have any questions about surface treatment and unforeseen contaminants that may be interfering with your adhesion process, bring them to the webinar for the Q&A at the end. You can also contact us using the form below and ask about scheduling your free process walk to discover your Critical Control Points and gain total surface quality control.

  • What is a Critical Control Point?

    A Critical Control Point (CCP) is any point in the manufacturing process where the surface condition of a material has the opportunity to change—intentionally or unintentionally—and impact adhesion, in a positive or negative way.

    Why should you care about them?

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  • The Automated Surface Analyst XA is HERE!

    by Pierce Geary October 2018

    The wait is finally over. Making its world debut at MD&M in Minneapolis, the Surface Analyst XA integrates the power, simplicity and ease of our handheld Surface Analyst directly into the manufacturing process. Now, the most precise surface monitoring technology will seamlessly unify with any production line, magnifying the speed and efficiency of surface quality control.

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