Rapid Heat Cycle Moulding (RHCM), which is used to fabricate home appliances and housings for electronic products, is finding new applications in the medtech industry, according to Ono Sangyo Co. (OSK), which holds an international patent on the technology. RHCM uses elevated mould temperatures during the polymer injection cycle followed by rapid cooling to produce a high gloss finish and eliminate some secondary operations.
OSK has begun to manufacture blood test plates using RHCM technology and supplying the equipment to manufacturers. A series of laboratory tests also has shown that RHCM can perform nanoimprinting, prompting OSK to target medtech manufacturers as a new customer segment.
“Since we are ready to offer nanoimprinting moulding, I hope to apply this technology to biochips,” says Executive Officer and Chief Director of Technology Yoshihisa Sato.
Another advantage of RHCM is its capability of producing reflection-free walls inside testing equipment, Sato adds. “To avoid irregular reflections, many manufacturers are coating the inside surfaces of their equipment. By using our technology, they can skip that process,” Sato says.
OSK has an on-site cleanroom to satisfy special customers needs; RHCM-equipped systems can be added to customer facilities upon request.
To accelerate sales to the medtech industry outside of Japan, OKS in March acquired 15.70% of Fischer Tech Ltd, a Singapore-based manufacturer of high-volume precision engineering plastic components. Fischer Tech has strong bonds with the medtech and automotive sectors in Southeast Asia and China as well as the United States and Europe. RHCM was cross-licensed in 2001 with GE Plastics (now SABIC Innovative Plastics), which renamed the technology Heat & Cool. OSK currently holds RHMC patent rights in 14 countries around the world, including Japan, the United States, Europe and China.Miki Anzai