Shibaura Machine introduces medical molding machine designed for clean rooms 

Feb. 23, 2024
Press features stainless steel guarding, as well as a place to attach a HEPA filter.

By Bruce Geiselman 

Shibaura has entered the medical market with the launch of its first medical-specific all-electric injection molding machine. 

The new medical version of the company’s 110-ton EC110SXIII molded medical pipettes at its debut in February at Plastec West. 

Shibaura has been selling general-purpose ECSXIII models to medical device manufacturers, but some customers have been telling the company that they need a machine more specifically tailored to their clean-room operations. 

“The premise of the medical-spec machine is that it is built to be just a little bit cleaner and generates less particulate matter in a clean-room environment,” said Chad Clawson, key accounts sales manager for Shibaura’s medical casting and molding division. 

Stainless steel guarding and panels make cleaning easier, and the ejector housing box is encapsulated to control particulates, he said. In addition, a shield closes over the clamp area of the press to minimize particulates. If extra filtration is necessary, medical equipment manufacturers can install an optional HEPA filter into a panel in the top cover of the clamp area, Clawson said. Chrome-plated platens reduce wear and corrosion. 

Areas of the machine other than the stainless steel section are painted white. 

“The bright white paint color is indicative of the medical room environment,” Clawson said. A raised frame with 4 inches of clearance provides access for cleaning below the machine, and special NFS H1-certified grease designed for use in a medical device clean room provides lubrication.. 

“Another feature that is exclusive to our medical-spec machine is an extended ejector stroke,” Clawson said. "The ejector stroke is extended 30mm [for] further travel than our standard machine. Many medical device manufacturers require an extended extractor stroke, so it comes standard.” 

Shibaura has released the clean-room version to meet increasing demands from medical device manufacturers, as well as those in the semiconductor industry. 

The medical model features the same user-friendly V70 controller built into all ECSXIII models, making it easy for operators to minimize mold set-up time, optimize cycle times, analyze part defects and troubleshoot defects, according to the company. 

Purchase of the machine includes a one-year subscription to machiNetCloud, Shibaura’s industrial IoT service that provides manufacturers with remote, real-time access to machine data so they can control validated processes for molded components from any location. 

While Shibaura Machine currently offers the new medical-device injection molding machine only in a 110-ton model, the company will consider expanding the range to include larger machines. 

Contact: 

Shibaura Machine Co., America, Elk Grove Village, Ill., 888-593-1616, www.shibaura-machine.com  

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.