Chester Medical Solutions offers a unique service to the UK’s Pharmaceutical and Healthcare industries. With a 50 year history of providing flexible, innovative and cost-effective solutions to challenging briefs, they have established themselves as a valuable partner to ethical, generic and medical device brand owners.
Their GMP Contract Packing division is fitted out to the highest standards and provides a comprehensive range of services. Dedicated suites contain processes such as Blister Packing, Peel Pouch packing, Pot, Bottle and Sachet filling as well as Medical Device packing and assembly.
With this particular company offering cartons and leaflets from their own facility, the limiting factor to more bespoke solutions for their growing list of customers is often the available sizes of format parts for their machines.
To unlock significantly more value for their customers, the company needed to source a packing throat with greater flexibility and were hopeful that 3D printing may offer a solution.
Having previously used Addition to supply better value components as an alternative to costly and time-consuming OEM change parts, Chester Medical Solutions (CMS) were keen to see what could be done to improve the range of packing sizes they offer. Our design capabilities in 3D printing and experience in 3D print manufacturing technology mean we were able to produce a bespoke solution to fit their specific requirements.
CMS had found that the selection of fixed size packing throat sizes they used was placing constraints on the range of options they were able to offer to their customers. A more flexible approach would allow for more bespoke options and a larger range of sizes to be made, and would mean a much smaller number of change parts would need to be held in stock. This would increase the value they offer to their customers, and improve profits.
Addition suggested redesigning the throat to allow for an adjustable width, which would mean an increase in the range of pack sizes which could be produced, and a reduction in the number of change parts needing to be held in stock. It would also vastly reduce the changeover time to create different packing sizes.
Using the machine itself and the original part as a basis for the design, the component was optimised for production using SLS 3D printing at minimum production cost and turnaround
Strong and wear resistant features were designed into the part which is 3D printed in an industrial nylon. The design takes advantage of the accuracy of industrial 3D print with very fine tolerances between modular components ensuring reliable operation.
Components were installed on the machine just 7 days after the brief was issued, and the devices continue to be a major component of the machine after the throughput of hundreds of thousands of packs.