Posted on 04.02.2024 by Gerald Fry

Introducing the UV Laser Marking System for Medical Catheters

Last Updated on Apr 2, 2024

Blog System Spotlights
UV laser marking plastic medical catheter depth bands

In the medical device manufacturing industry, precision, cleanliness, and safety are essential. At CMS Laser, we understand the critical importance of marking medical catheter tubing with accuracy and care. That’s why we’re proud to introduce our cutting-edge UV laser marking system designed specifically for plastic medical catheters. Building upon our extensive experience in developing laser systems for catheter marking, this newest model, introduced in 2023, represents the latest generation of our technological advancements.

Check out our laser marking system in action:

The Laser Marking Process

Plastic catheters used in medical settings require clear and smooth depth markings along their shafts to ensure accurate usage by medical professionals. Our UV laser marking system uses a specialized “cold marking” process ideal for medical-grade plastics. This process guarantees that markings are not only precise but also smooth to the touch, preventing the accumulation of debris or germs.

laser marked plastic catheter tube with numbers using an ultraviolet laser machine

From serial numbers to identification codes and depth markings, our UV laser marking machine delivers unmatched accuracy. Recognizing the critical nature of medical markings, our system adheres to the rigorous quality standards established by the medical industry.

Advantages of Laser Marking over Traditional Ink-Based Methods

While traditional ink-based marking methods have been historically utilized, laser marking offers several distinct advantages that are particularly beneficial for catheter applications.

  1. Precision and Permanence: Laser marking provides unparalleled precision, ensuring clear and accurate marking of catheter components such as depth bands and identification numbers. Unlike ink-based methods which can fade or smudge over time, laser marks are permanent and resistant to wear, ensuring long-lasting legibility throughout the lifespan of the catheter.
  2. Enhanced Safety and Sterility: Catheters are vital medical devices used in sensitive procedures, where maintaining sterility is an understatement. Laser marking eliminates the need for ink or dyes, reducing the risk of contamination and ensuring the highest standards of safety and sterility for patients.
  3. Versatility and Adaptability: Laser marking systems offer unmatched versatility, capable of marking a wide range of materials used in catheter manufacturing, including plastics, metals, and polymers. This adaptability allows for seamless integration into diverse production processes, offering manufacturers greater flexibility and efficiency.
  4. Compliance and Traceability: With stringent regulatory requirements governing medical device manufacturing, ensuring compliance and traceability is essential. Laser marking enables precise marking of Unique Device Identifiers (UDIs) and other regulatory information directly onto catheter components, facilitating accurate tracking and traceability throughout the supply chain.
  5. Eco-Friendly Solution: Unlike ink-based marking methods that produce waste in the form of solvent evaporation and disposal of consumables, laser marking is a clean and eco-friendly solution. It eliminates the need for consumables and reduces environmental impact, making it a sustainable choice for catheter manufacturers committed to reducing their carbon footprint.

Laser marking offers a superior alternative to traditional ink-based solutions for catheter marking, delivering precision, safety, versatility, compliance, and sustainability. By switching to laser marking technology, catheter manufacturers can enhance product quality, streamline production processes, and meet the evolving demands of the medical industry with confidence.

Turnkey Laser Operation

Operating our UV laser marking system is as seamless as the process it carries out. The operator simply loads a single catheter into the system, positioning it within a v-block channel. This configuration allows for easy rotation of the catheter, ensuring that markings are applied evenly across its entire surface. The catheter is securely held in place by a rotary chuck, which facilitates spinning or flipping for marking both sides efficiently.

Closeup view of laser marking rotary chuck used for flipping the catheter in the v-block fixture

A gentle latching mechanism exerts downward pressure onto the tubing, ensuring uniform rotation without causing damage. Safety is essential in our designs, with a touch activation sensor ensuring operator safety and light curtains preventing any accidental pinching by the automatic door—a standard feature across all our automated systems.

Advanced Marking Technology

Viewing from the left side of our UV laser marking machine with the main door open

Located above the v-block fixture on an x-axis, our ultraviolet laser is the heart of the marking process. With precision and speed, it marks a section of the catheter before the rotary unit rotates the plastic tubing for marking on the opposite side. This seamless coordination continues down the length of the catheter, ensuring every inch is marked with the same level of precision and clarity.

Effortless Laser Automation

Viewing from the front side of our UV laser marking machine with the main door open

Once the marking process is complete, the automatic door lifts, signaling the end of the operation. The operator can then safely remove the marked catheter, ready for its vital role in medical procedures. Our engineers programmed the machine to accommodate a wide range of catheter lengths, offering versatility and efficiency to medical device manufacturers.

Laser Marking Solutions for Catheter Manufacturing

For further insights into optimizing medical device manufacturing processes, we invite you to explore our two-part blog series on the intricacies of laser processing in the medical industry.

In Part 1, we delve into the critical considerations when implementing laser marking for medical devices, providing valuable insights for manufacturers.

Part 2 offers a few examples of past machines we’ve built related to medical devices, videos included. Gain in-depth knowledge and enhance your understanding of laser technology in medical device manufacturing by reading our insightful blog series.

Choose CMS Laser for Your Medical Marking Applications

Wide view from the front left of our uv laser marking system for plastic medical catheters with the front door open

In medical device manufacturing, precision and safety are non-negotiable. With our UV laser marking system for medical catheters, CMS Laser delivers a solution that not only meets but exceeds industry standards. From its precise laser marking process to its robust safety features, our system ensures that every catheter produced is of the highest quality, ready to support medical professionals in their life-saving work. Trust CMS Laser for precision, cleanliness, and safety in medical device manufacturing.

Contact us today to learn more about our laser marking solutions for medical catheters.

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