The following is a brief case study of Megaforce's manufacturing and assembly process. This blog contains and overview of key terms, important competencies and examples of technology processes used to build an inhaler and nebulizer.
In this project Megaforce conducted a full design study to improve the manufacturing process for this popular inhaler design.
Patent Infringement Analysis - A study of previous patents filed by international inventors, also called a prior art search, establishes if any intellectual property is being infringed on before sending a product to market.
Reverse Engineering - Understanding how the product was made by previous manufacturers in order to build or draft a manufacturing process.
Material and Mechanical Design - Using the expertise of knowledgable engineers an informed design is drafted with materials, tooling and assembly.
Precision Injection Molding - This is a certified process that allows for medical grade production.
Examples of Precision Injection Molding Tolerances:
Unilateral tolerance < 0.015 mm
High roundness and concentricity
Tolerance between long and short axes <0.15 mm
Assembly Tolerance < 0.05 mm
Aperture size range: 0.2-0.4mm
Why Precision Molding?
The plastic inhaler is molded in one single piece so that there is little to no variation between each piece. Inhlaer users will recognize the lack of joints and that the form or shape does not change very often. A single piece of plastic also improves the airflow, which helps increase the chances of an even distribution of medication.
High precision is enabled by reducing extra manufacturing steps that prevent a uniform result. But it also yields tighter tolerances at the same time, preventing leakages, contamination, or low purity. This process makes it possible to avoid overproduction of material.
Surface scratches appear on injection molded products based on the surface finish that is chosen to protect the product from damage. Afterwards, the product heads to the assembly line where it's internal parts will be put together. This is where another round lean analysis is used to improve the surface finish choice and remove any flaws or waste in assembly.