The Nuances of the Rotary Finger Bandage Assembly System
Finger bandages are adhesive wound dressings that are designed to fit the contours of a fingertip.They are shaped like an hourglass to eliminate the difficulties of folding and loss of adhesion when wrapped around a finger.
Manufacturing this unique bandage comes with unique challenges. IMPACT devised a high-speed finger bandage system to produce a wide variety of finger bandages with as much precision and as little waste as possible. If you’re curious as to why we call them “high-speed”, these machines are capable of producing up to 3000 .75” bandages per minute.
Our team of engineering innovators sought to create a turn-key system that would address customers’ needs for a high-speed assembly system for finger bandages.
The system needed to assemble the pad, transfer the pad to the bandage, cut the bandage, assemble liners to the bandage, wrap the bandage and rewind the bandages for later separation using rotary continuous motion technology. This challenge incorporated the assembly of a unique bandage into the system that would cut and individually wrap finger bandages.
The system they devised used low-tension roll feed technology with folding and laminating techniques to create the unique customer designed pad. That pad web was fed to a rotary cut and transfer station oriented at 90 degrees to the adhesive web to position and cut 90 degrees to its assembly direction to eliminate cut pad edges from being on the sides of the bandage, per customer specifications.
Transferring a pad at 90 degrees required the cut and transfer station to be able to be rotated slightly about the axis of transfer to ensure the pads would be squarely positioned to the adhesive web direction. Pneumatic mini pistons were incorporated into the die mechanism to ensure an accurate release and deposit from the die to the adhesive web.
A Proof of Principle was used to prove the cut and transfer techniques were production worthy and the Proof of Principle was designed to be the actual station used in the final system to save over all costs.
Rotary lamination techniques were used to assemble the release paper to the back of the bandage and crush cut rotary dies were used to cut the finger bandage shape. The bandage was speed differentially fed into the outer wrap webs coated with co-adhesive and the assembled product and package perforated and rewound for final cut off and packaging into various count strips.
The Proof of Principle was successful. Results allowed minor changes to be incorporated into the final production system and die design.
Customer dimensions and squareness specifications were achieved at 3000 bandages per minute, the highest speed ever achieved to that date for finger bandage assembly. Continuous rotary die cutting and assembly techniques integrated together allowed these speeds to be achieved.
A package of QC sensors and cameras were never integrated into the system as a result of the quality and efficiency of the product produced. Multiple systems were produced as a result.