Lumetrics Announces Important Advances for Medical Instrumentation

January 31, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lumetrics Announces Important Advances for Medical Instrumentation

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA January, 2007 – Lumetrics, precision manufacturer of world-class thickness measurement technology, today announces several important new advancements in state of the art catheter tubing and medical balloon measurement, as part of MD&M West, a premier west coast medical design and manufacturing trade show. Using optical, non-contact techniques, these new capabilities dramatically advance the measurement precision and manufacturing accuracy of flexible thin-walled medical devices such as catheters and balloons, while minimizing or eliminating human error in associated manufacturing and quality control processes.

Thin-walled medical instruments such as catheters must meet rigid quality control specifications in order to perform in the field as expected. To date, the measurement of catheter tubing has been constrained by both capability and technique, as measurements have been performed with comparatively crude mechanical devices. Inner diameter (ID) measurements are normally performed by inserting calibrated pin gauges into the tubing; outer diameter (OD) measurements are typically performed with a micrometer. These methods can sometimes be precise for small sections of tubing, but provide only approximate overall quality control metrics, as they cannot offer continuous measurement along the entire length of a tube, and are prone to human error.

As part of the OptiGaugeTM Thickness Measurement System, Lumetrics has developed a new semi-automated tubing fixture that is capable of accurately measuring the ID, OD and wall thickness of a medical tube in seconds, as well as geometric and spacial variances in concentricity and ovality - all simultaneously. These nearly instantaneous metrics can be integrated into a quality control database, where comparisons with expected dimensions can be used to generate pass/fail recommendations in real time. Speed, accuracy, and reliability all far exceed traditional measurement methods.

Medical balloons, such as those used in percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), are even more challenging to measure. These devices are typically manufactured in glass molds; traditional measurement techniques have involved squeezing the balloon in concert with a micrometer, and offer no reliable way to measure the cone of the balloon at all. By contrast, Lumetrics’ OptiGaugeTM can accurately measure the thickness of each wall of the balloon, the cone, and even the terminating end of the tube inserted into the balloon, offering a comprehensive, accurate assessment of the geometry of the entire angioplasty assembly. OptiGaugeTM can even measure the glass molds themselves.

“Comparing traditional quality control techniques for these devices to OptiGaugeTM is a little like comparing a skateboard to an automobile.” said Steve Heveron-Smith, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Similar requirements, similar objectives - but totally different results. We are truly reinventing precision measurement for a broad range of medical instruments.”

About OptiGauge

The OptiGaugeTM Thickness Measurement System employs non-contact, eye-safe infrared optical technology to provide extremely precise gauging and thickness measurements for a broad range of products and industries. With resolutions as fine as 12 microns - half the thickness of a human hair - OptiGaugeTM can provide detailed analyses of virtually any translucent single or multi-layer surface component, including thin films, tubing, and coatings. Based upon technology originally developed by Eastman Kodak, OptiGaugeTM works by projecting an invisible beam of light on to the target surface, and then measuring the reflected light from each of the target layers individually and simultaneously. OptiGaugeTM is  used on both test and production manufacturing lines,and in quality assurance laboratories to ensure manufacturing consistency for product components that have heretofore been difficult or impossible to regulate.

About Lumetrics

Lumetrics designs, manufactures, and markets advanced optically-based test instruments that provide unique measurement solutions for a variety of industrial applications. Lumetrics technology employs the power of light for accurate and routine analysis of materials such as specialty tubing and film, flexible packaging, plastics, coatings, and optics.   For more information about Lumetrics, visit www.lumetrics.com.

For More Information:
Steve Heveron-Smith
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
585-214-2455 x 102
sheveron-smith@lumetrics.com

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