Conair demonstrates new equipment for medical manufacturing

April 18, 2023
A planetary cutter for extruded tubing and an addition to the Moisture Minder line were on view at MD&M West 2023.

By Bruce Geiselman 

Conair, an industrial equipment supplier, demonstrated two new pieces of equipment in February at the co-located Medical Design and Manufacturing West and Plastec West trade shows in Anaheim, Calif.

Conair’s MedLine M-TPC-1 planetary cutter continuously and precisely cuts extruded tubing into short pipettes. It’s designed for particle-free cutting of rigid or flexible medical-grade plastics and features a rotating cutter head in a servo-controlled traveling carriage. Using line-speed information from the extrusion-line control, the carriage travels with the moving tube, clamping on long enough to cut the tube using a rotating blade that increases depth until the cut is complete. The results are smooth cuts without dust or particulates.

The cutter is designed to cut tubing up to 1 inch in diameter, said Chad Stover, Conair technical marketing manager.

The advantage of the cutter is that it allows a customer to take extruded tubing from the extrusion line and cut it into smaller pipettes as part of an in-line process, Stover said. It eliminates the need for cutting and collecting the tubing in a separate process. Servo-driven motors ensure that the speed of the head around the product is consistent and a servo-driven knife controls the speed and depth with which the blade enters the material.

“That’s what allows us to displace material rather than fracturing or causing debris,” Stover said. “If you are using this in a medical environment, you don’t want that debris or particulate.”

Conair recently introduced the larger MDT and MTT series planetary cutters that ensure distortion-free cuts without chips or waste, but the earlier versions were designed for use with larger-diameter PVC and polyolefin plastic pipe.

“This is the first time it [the MedLine M-TPC-1] has ever been on display,” Stover said. “We’ve had planetary cutters previously that were made for larger product sizes … but this one is designed for 1-inch and smaller [diameter] cuts.”

The other new product demonstrated at the show was the Moisture Minder M5-Med, the smallest version of the recently released Moisture Minder line. The Moisture Minder allows plastics processors to accurately detect moisture in plastic pellets in real time.

The standard 4-inch models are capable of measuring moisture in line with a throughput of up to 5,500 pounds per hour. However, the smaller 1-inch Med version that was on display can measure between 1 pounds and 30 pounds per hour of throughput. The Med version’s dimensions also are smaller.

“It’s a much smaller unit,” Stover said. “Typically, medical applications have lower throughputs.”

At the show, Conair ran the Moisture Minder with an extruder from Davis-Standard, Pawcatuck, Conn. A Conair dx25 Carousel Plus desiccant dryer preconditioned the PC resin.

We’re running [the Moisture Minder] on the throat of the extruder,” Stover said. “It’s telling us the temperature of the material at the throat, but more importantly, the parts per million of moisture in the resin as it enters the throat of the extruder.”

The live demonstration involved the extrusion of medical-grade 0.25-inch PC tube into 5-inch pipettes.

Bruce Geiselman, senior staff reporter

[email protected] 


Conair Group, Cranberry Township, Pa., 724-584-5500,   

About the Author

Bruce Geiselman | Senior Staff Reporter

Senior Staff Reporter Bruce Geiselman covers extrusion, blow molding, additive manufacturing, automation and end markets including automotive and packaging. He also writes features, including In Other Words and Problem Solved, for Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing, Plastics Recycling and The Journal of Blow Molding. He has extensive experience in daily and magazine journalism.

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