At a 2007 conference sponsored by Dutch machine vision specialist GDO bv in Nuremberg, Germany, medical device manufacturers were asked to imagine the ideal stent inspection system. A consensus quickly formed around a machine that would guarantee 100% repeatability and reliability. Three years later, thanks to the applied expertise of GDO’s engineers, in-depth consultation with stent manufacturers and some support from European institutions, GDO is ready to grant their wishes with the Nuremberg Stent Inspection-7 (NSI-7) system. Maurice Baggen, of the company’s Life Sciences department, describes it as “the most complete inspection system [of its kind] currently available.”
The fully automated system has a modular design that enables trouble-free configuration for specific customer applications. Regardless of the ultimate setup, the NSI-7 provides absolute reliability, according to the company. Specially developed software eliminates the potential for human error: stent inspection is performed without operator intervention at a cycle time of two stents per minute.
The NSI-7 consists of three main modules that perform measurement of the stent geometry, 3-D surface inspection of the part’s inner and outer diameters and contact-free measurement of wall thickness.
The software includes adjustable measurement and assessment parameters, process analysis tools, calibration settings, linking capabilities with in-house ERP systems and data logging.Norbert Sparrow