MeKuMed - Manufacturing of hybrid medical technology products by means of an innovative production chain
16. Mar 2022

MeKuMed - Manufacturing of hybrid medical technology products by means of an innovative production chain


Due to the long innovation cycles in medical technology from the idea to market maturity, medical products are produced with outdated manufacturing processes that are often afflicted with disadvantages. In a research project (MeKuMed), we are investigating the process optimization of pharmaceutical crimp caps to reduce a 5-step process to a single one.

The MeKuMed project "Materials-compatible and cost-effective production of metal/plastic hybrid components for use in medical technology" is funded by the BMBF. Participating project partners are: KraussMaffei Technologies GmbH, Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT), Institute for Plastics Processing (IKV) at RWTH Aachen University, Röchling Medical Brensbach GmbH, Pulsar Photonics GmbH and Werkzeugbau Siegfried Hofmann GmbH.

If products are made of different materials the potential of the individual materials and their interaction in the hybrid is only partially exploited. The pharmaceutical ‘crimp cap’ is an example of such a hybrid product. The ampule, filled with medication, is sealed airtight and sterile with a rubber stopper. The rubber stopper is fixed in the ampoule by the crimped cap. The combination of thin aluminum sheet and plastic meets the requirements for the product. The production chain consists of five separate individual steps, resulting in a high number of handling and cleaning steps and a high machine and tool requirement.

The aim of this project is to create a form-fit connection by back-injecting microstructured aluminum caps. The plastic flows into the undercut microstructures and creates a media-tight, defined detachable connection. In the joint project, cooperation between research and industry is intended to develop and implement a material-appropriate and cost-efficient manufacturing process for hybrid medical technology products. In this project SimpaTec supports the development process by simulations with Moldex3D (injection molding simulations) and MSC Marc (deep drawing simulation of the aluminum caps).


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