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Author Archives: PattiK

  1. Precision Die-Cutting

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    What is Precision Die Cutting?

    Die-Cutting is the process of cutting flexible materials into varying shapes, sizes, and complexity, from simple to complex multi-layer components. Precision die cutting involves using a press to produce a high volume of identical parts or products cut in a fast, cost-effective manner while maintaining accuracy and tight machining tolerances.

    Precision die-cutting is used to meet the complex demands in industries, such as medical devices, electronics, automotive, and aerospace.  Examples include medical device attachment, automotive parts bonding, appliance insulation, electronics display protection, and assembly, aerospace, EMI/RFI shielding, HVAC sealing, gasketing, and more.  The ability to quickly create sophisticated products while maintaining high levels of quality control makes precision die-cutting ideal for industries with strict regulatory requirements.

    Die-Cutting Methods

    The die-cutting process is typically done with specialized machinery and pre-shaped metal cutting tools called dies. Depending on your requirements, the process can employ a rotary, steel rule, matched metal, or solid-milled die. Materials used range from adhesives, film, fabric, foam, silicone, sponge, rubber, plastic, and thin metals.

    Depending on the material, tolerance, and volume needed will help determine the die-cutting method chosen for your project.

    • Rotary die-cutting – Rotary die-cutting uses a cylindrical die to cut shapes out of material. It moves in a circular motion and has blades to cut out the desired shape. Rotary die cutting can be used on a wide range of materials at very tight tolerances.  The benefit of rotary die cutting is that it is faster than steel rule or laser cutting at turning out high-volume parts with a high degree of accuracy.
    • Flatbed or Steel Rule die-cutting – Flatbed die-cutting utilizes custom-designed steel rule dies affixed to a flatbed press to stamp out material. Flatbed die presses are available in mechanical, hydraulic, and electric models and have configurations that vary from application Advantages of flatbed die cutting are seen with lower quantities, larger die-cut formats, and thicker materials such as foams and rubbers.
    • Punch Press – In a punch press, the material runs through the press while a hydraulic ram at the top powers the die to cut the material.  This type of die-cutting is advantageous for speed and productivity.
    • Match-Metal Die-Cutting – In match metal die cutting, materials pass through a cutting die constructed of a top and bottom die which are matched (male/female) to provide an extremely precise cut.  Match Metal die-cutting is typically used for higher-volume applications that require extreme precision.
    • Compound Die-Cutting – Compound die-cutting performs multiple steps in one pass.  The compound die-cut implements more than one operation, such as in-line laminating, slitting, or printing, during the cutting cycle. Using this single-pass method; allows for creating complex parts quickly with minimal waste.
    • Laser Cutting – A laser cutting tool moves automatically to cut the material into a given shape. Being die-less with no additional tooling cost, laser cutting is often used for quick prototyping of complex components with high tolerance requirements.
    • Water Jet Cutting – A high-power precision water jet is used for low to medium mass production of highly compressible raw materials. Water Jet cutting is CAD-controlled (die-less), making it ideal for affordable, quick prototyping.

    Rotary Die-Cutting Techniques Add Value

    Rotary die cutting is the most common type of die cutting.  It is a broad category that includes island placement, kiss cutting, perforations, and other techniques that enhance the products’ performance and ease of handling. The rotary press offers several tooling stations, from 1 to 32 stations, and can perform many functions in one pass, making it efficient and cost-effective.

    • Multi-layer Laminations with PSA –Multiple webs come together in a single pass to create a complex multi-layer part.
    • Zoned Adhesive / Island Placement -Custom patterns of adhesive are laminated to the material during the die-cutting process, leaving adhesive only in the specified area(s).
    • Kiss Cutting – Kiss cutting is a process in which a laminated material is die-cut through one or more layers without cutting through the bottom layer, leaving the die-cut part affixed to the liner. Parts can be rolled around a core on the liner making them easier to handle. Kiss cutting is specifically used to protect the die-cut shape until it is ready for application.
    • Perforation Die Cutting -This process does not fully trim the materials away from the original shape but instead creates multiple perforations, or small holes, that remain in place until it is ready to be detached.  This method is fast, and accurate and increases the production efficiency.
    • Pull-Tabs and Extended Liners -Materials with top and bottom liners are cut so that a portion of the liner is cut to extend the material, leaving a pull-tab.  This pull tab contributes to ease of handling and placement.

    Why Boyd?

    Boyd is an ideal manufacturing partner for making innovative concepts a reality.  From simple shapes to complex multi-layer die-cut parts and products, Boyd has the expertise, experience, supplier partners, equipment, and technologies to offer innovative solutions for the most demanding industries, including medical, e-mobility, enterprise, and aerospace.  With design and manufacturing facilities on three continents, the Boyd team excels in rapid prototyping and regional converting services deployed for global mass production.

    With 90+ years of die-cutting expertise, Boyd adds application knowledge and technical expertise to your project.  Depending on the application, type of material, tolerances, and volume needed, our material experts, engineers, and technical team can suggest the most innovative, scalable, and cost-effective manufacturing process to produce your component.  Having a wide range of converting equipment, Boyd offers a variety of die-cutting methodologies, from a single station rotary press to a 32 station single pass, compound die-cutting press. We offer tight tolerances up to +/- 0.127 mm, ensuring greater consistency and proper performance from each part.

    Our manufacturing capabilities and industry knowledge allow our engineers to design multifunctional solutions that enhance your products’ performance, efficiency, and delivery.

    To learn how our custom die-cutting capabilities can support your specific application, contact Boyd today at www.boydcorp.com.

     

     

  2. Materials Matter When Manufacturing Components in Stick-to-Skin Wearable Medical Devices

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    MBK Tape Solutions, a Boyd company, help product engineers design and manufacture the various component layers in stick-to-skin medical devices and wearable biosensors. Skin-friendly devices are used for a variety of applications, such as diagnostics, bio-fluidics, monitoring blood pressure, heart rate, and glucose levels, and treating health issues using electrical stimulation or transdermal drug delivery. Depending on the application, the medical device construction contains several layers of adhesives and materials, each serving a different function.

    Multi-Layer Construction in a Skin Friendly Wearable Device

    In the past two decades, there have been many scientific advances in stick-to-skin adhesives, making them gentler on the skin, easier to remove, and extending wear time. With the rise of wearable technology, devices have become smaller, lighter, and more complex. For example, transdermal patches deliver compounded drugs or ingredients in the adhesive that can be separated with a membrane or laminate material. Medical wearable devices typically consist of multiple layers of materials such as a monitoring device that requires electrical components and batteries to enable Bluetooth technology. There is no one adhesive solution that fits all wearable devices.

    Multi-Layers in a Stick-to-Skin Device

    Each layer in a wearable device has different application requirements. A skin-friendly medical device typically consists of the following layers and materials:

    • Cover/Overlay Layer: a protective film that is breathable, waterproof, and/or printable.
    • Device:
      • A custom-molded plastic enclosure that can house electrical components, PC board, batteries, conductive inks, biosensors, and other components.
      • A cushioning foam to protect, seal, or insulate the components.
      • Conductive or thermal interface materials such as metal foils or coils keep components from overheating.
    • Tie Layer: a transfer adhesive or differential double-coated adhesive that bonds the device components together.
    • Skin Contact Layer: biocompatible medical-grade adhesives and backings require the right balance of adhesion, breathability, conformability, removability, and comfort on the skin.
    • Delivery Liner: a customized silicone or fluoropolymer release liner to help make the product easy to use by the practitioner and end-user with features like pull tabs, oversized perimeter skirts, or split/folded liner to aid in removal.

    Adhesives & Materials in a Skin Worn Wearables

    Medical grade pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes consist of an adhesive coated on one or both sides of a material, also known as a substrate. Depending on the chemistry and the tape construction, adhesive-backed materials are used for bonding, sealing, insulating, protecting, electrically conducting, and thermal management. Knowing which adhesive and substrate work best for the applications can be challenging.

    Adhesive Tape Applications in Wearable Device Layers

    • Bonding Adhesives: Bonding adhesives are used during construction to hold component parts together (called the tie-layer) and biocompatible adhesives are used to hold the device to the skin.
    • Moisture Management Adhesives: Whether moisture comes in the form of sweat, oils other bodily fluids or environmental factors like water contact, adhesives can either absorb the fluid to prevent skin irritation or allow moisture to evaporate (moisture-vapor transmission). An experienced converter partner not only knows which material to use for moisture management but can also help design a component to move fluids or deliver active ingredients through the skin.
    • Sealing & Insulating Materials: Devices sensors, batteries, or other electrically conductive components are typically housed in airtight molded plastic enclosures but may need sealing to keep out moisture and contaminants and insulating to prevent vibration damage to the components.
    • Thermal Management Tapes & Materials: Keeps the components from overheating utilizing advanced cooling technologies.
    • Protective Films: Protect the device from external and environmental factors such as sweat, UV light, water and moisture, and even dynamic movement.

    Medical Grade Adhesives & Materials in Skin Friendly Wearables

    In skin-worn wearables, biocompatible medical-grade adhesives include acrylic, rubber, silicone or the newest technologies, hydrocolloids, hydrogels, and silicone gels. Rubber adhesives are sturdy and tolerate moisture. Acrylate adhesives are hypoallergenic and low-sensitizing and silicone adhesives can be super gentle. Typical backing materials include films, non-woven fabrics, foams, and conductive metal foils.

    The main challenge for the design engineer is sticking materials to the skin, a dynamic organ that is constantly in flux. Skin-friendly adhesives must comply with biocompatible ISO 10993 testing, in terms of cytotoxicity, sensitization, and irritation, ensuring they are compatible with short- or long-term exposure to skin.

    Adhesives for stick-to-skin applications typically must provide a balance of adhesion and ease of removal; breathability and moisture resistance; resistance to friction and conformability. It is also important to consider the device’s weight, surface texture, and placement on the body.

    Knowing more about the intended application and the user will help determine the adhesives and materials to use. Whether wearing the device for short-term (30 minutes to 5 days) or long-term (up to 21 days) may be a determining factor in selecting materials. It is also important to choose a material based on the end-users age (neonatal, midlife, geriatric) and activity level. Because of the direct impact on the user’s comfort, health safety, and product performance, the designer must choose the medical adhesives and materials wisely. 

    Material Compatibility  

    Getting all these materials to work in harmony throughout the medical device is critical, especially when it comes to the moisture management and product performance. If an adhesive used in the skin contact layer is breathable but the construction layer does not allow moisture-vapor transmission, the product may not perform as intended. Additionally, certain polymers from one layer can interact with adhesives in another layer after assembly, potentially causing failure.

    Thus, it is imperative to use the correct combination of medical-grade adhesive and substrates throughout the entire design of the medical device. An experienced converting partner can recommend the best material combination to ensure consistent product performance.

    Material Sourcing 

    MBK has close working relationships with medical tape manufacturers and suppliers around the world including, but not limited to, 3M, Avery Dennison, Adhesives Research, Berry, DermaMed, Mactac, and Polymer Science. Leveraging these relationships, we can streamline material sampling, prototyping, and testing. As a 3M Preferred Converter, the MBK sales team stays abreast of the newest products and technological advances.  Working with coating partners, we can customize the adhesive and liner combination to meet our customer’s exact requirements.  MBK’s in-depth knowledge of material properties and compatibility assures optimum material performance for even the most complex multi-layer products.  Check out the MBK online Catalog of Medical Adhesives and Materials to learn more.

    Material Scalability  

    Not only is it important to select materials based on functionality and compatibility, but also on availability. After experiencing supply chain shortages throughout the world this past year, it is crucial having access to materials in a timely manner and secure a converting partner capable of converting materials to scale.

    Partner with Boyd throughout the Wearable Device Project Lifecycle

    MBK Tape Solution, a Boyd company, is a converter, fabricator, and component manufacturer that can help throughout the entire wearable device project lifecycle. We have the expertise, experience, state-of-the-art equipment, and resources to design and manufacture wearable devices, from start-up to large-scale manufacturing. With Boyd’s R&D and manufacturing facilities on three continents, we are regionally flexible, allowing us to manage redundant processes and deliver products in a cost-effective, timely manner.

    At the MBK converting facility in Southern California, our application engineers will help select and source the right materials and design for manufacturing, ensuring that each component is designed for optimum performance and cost. Our converting capabilities include prototyping, precision die-cutting, multi-layer laminating, slitting, and printing in a controlled cleanroom environment, under ISO 13485 certified quality management systems. We provide custom die-cut parts, island placement, registration, and release liners using extended liners, finger lift tabs, and perforated, split, or butterfly folds.

    Since joining the Boyd company, MBK’s capabilities have expanded tenfold. Boyd has a long history of developing, designing, testing, and fabricating thermal management solutions. Utilizing global material supply partners and innovative engineering, Boyd customizes molded decorative plastic components, molded silicone components, rubber seals, and gaskets. Boyd also offers printed flexible traces, graphic overlays, and membrane switches. The MBK project manager will coordinate with the Boyd team to assist with component manufacturing and assembly, kitting, sterilization, and the delivery of your FDA-compliant finished wearable product. To learn more about Boyd’s medical offerings, check out the Boyd website.

    MBK Tape Solutions has over 50 years of experience and expertise in helping customers find the ideal adhesive solution for their medical devices and Boyd has the resources and capabilities to assist in the full product life cycle. Call MBK today at 818-998-1477 to help in the early-stage design and produce all the components in your skin-friendly wearable device.

    Animated video explaining the different layers in a wearable medical device

    Click to watch this short animated video on the various components and layers in a wearable device.

  3. MBK Tape Solutions Launches a Redesigned Website

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    MBK Tape Solutions, a fabricator of adhesive tapes and flexible materials, announced the launch of their newly redesigned website, www.mbktape.com. The revamped website features a new contemporary look and an easier-to-navigate layout. The new website incorporates a scrolling navigation menu along the top, a left-side menu, call to action buttons and contact us forms on every page, making it easier and faster to find answers.

    Browse the online interactive catalog and request quotes that will provide you with the information you need within 48 hours of your request. Whether you are starting from scratch or looking for a specific product, there are multiple ways to find solutions to a specific application challenge.

     

    • In the search box on the top of the page, you can either search the website or catalog by typing in a word or item number.
    • Use the Advanced Filter Search tool to find specific products by manufacturer, application, adhesive, substrate, etc.
    • Search the catalog for industrial or medical tapes and flexible materials.
    • Search the catalog for products by specific industries, such as healthcare, electronics, transportation, and many others.
    • Search the catalog for products by applications, bonding, insulating, sealing, masking, to name a few.
    • Search the catalog for products by attributes, such as skin or food contact, temperature resistance.

    The MBK website aims to educate customers on the many types of converting processes and procedures and to provide product and contact information that will help solve sticky application challenges.  In the resource section, a glossary, comprehensive literature, and multi-media content are offered to increase knowledge about adhesive tapes, flexible materials, and the benefits of converting processes.

    The mobile layout responsiveness of the site enhances the user experience on multiple platforms, and an updated cookie and privacy policy increases security and website functionality.

    MBK Tape Solutions, a Boyd Corporation, will continue to update and populate the website with its most current product and service information.  Visitors are encouraged to explore the website and sign up for company newsletters to see more information: www.mbktape.com.

     

    MBK Redesigned Website

Our Supply Partners

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  • 3m
  • Tesa
  • Polymerscience
  • Avery
  • Novagard
  • Mactac

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