Extrusion, drying, conveying, and heating/cooling equipment tailored for medical applications.

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The Conair Group, Cranberry Township, Pa., used a mock cleanroom facility at NPE2015 to launch its new MedLine products, which include equipment for conveying and storage, resin drying, blending, heat transfer, and downstream extrusion. The installation on the show floor combined features of ISO Class 7 and 8 cleanrooms, white rooms, and hybrid rooms.

Conair says the equipment has been specially sized, configured, documented, and supported for use in cleanrooms and other controlled environments, using only ISO 14644-compliant mechanical equipment and materials of construction. Machine surfaces may be stainless steel or powder coated in RAL 9003 signal white, and all equipment is supplied with a quality and regulatory compliance package aligned with ISO and FDA requirements.

The machines are factory calibrated to meet regulatory requirements, and labeled and certified for one year. Installation qualification forms are supplied, and preventive-maintenance procedures required for regulatory compliance are also detailed. Conair notes that all this documentation reduces the paperwork processors typically generate when validating cleanroom facilities and process compliance.

Work on the MedLine range began in the fall of 2013 and is currently directed by Matt Zelkovich, who joined Conair in March 2014 as general manager, medical. Zelkovich has almost 30 years of experience in plastics manufacturing, the last 10 of them with West Pharmaceutical Services as director of engineering and development. At West, he was responsible for the setup and operation of cleanrooms.

At the show, Conair featured a MicroWheel dryer in a whiteroom environment, and a MedLine downstream extrusion cooling tank and puller/cutter in the hybrid cleanroom. In the simulated ISO Class 7 and 8 cleanrooms, Conair showed a MedLine TW Premium temperature-control unit (TCU) and a new MedLine micro receiver (photo) mounted on the hopper of a MedLine MicroWheel dryer, as well as a MedLine FLX material-handling control system with a touchscreen.

Other Medline equipment on display included the new, patent-pending R-PRO low-speed conveying system and the next-generation Material Vision Proofing (MVP) system, which uses a camera to provide automatic 100% validation that the correct material is being conveyed to the right destination.