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18 SMT Magazine • January 2016 by kelvin Fernandez norDSon EFD Researching, designing, developing, and manufacturing medical devices is an exact sci- ence. Consequently, fluids used to manufacture medical devices must be dispensed according to scientific principles—especially as devices shrink, parts are closer together, and substrates become more fragile and more prone to contam- ination. To address these challenges, medtech manufacturers are increasingly turning to the use of robotic dispensing technologies. Used for bonding, gasketing, filling, lubri- cating, and sealing, the fluids used in medical device applications range from thick to thin. They can be two-part combinations, viscosity changing, or light curable. In addition, they can be dispensed in single or batch processes or in volume manufacturing operations using fully automated in-line systems. Whether they are used for R&D or prototyping purposes or in low-volume or high-volume production, fluids can be dispensed most precisely, reliably, and repeatedly using automated dispensing sys- tems, enabling manufacturers to save materials, time, labor, and resources. However, the transition from manual to au- tomated fluid dispensing is more involved than simply deciding to automate. Determining what to automate is key. Thus, manufacturers consid- ering the shift to automated dispensing should look closely at their entire process to ascertain whether automating a part of it will help them to improve safety, performance, product qual- ity, reliability, or productivity. Why Medtech Manufacturers Should Automate Fluid Dispensing Operations FEATurE

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