Engineering Insights by Hartie Spence

ASH Industries Blog

Battlefield Eye Repair

A new emergency eye patch administered on battlefields.

The cost of freedom and war in the lives destroyed or forever altered is unmeasurably high. We could never calculate the impact on the lives of loved ones and veterans for the freedom that we enjoy as a country in the 240+ years we have stood as a beacon to the rest of the world. The cost of our privileges should give us pause and a reason to be thankful every time we gather in celebration or in an expression of our freedom. It is a mark of how great a home we have that the high quality individuals we know and love would rise to defend what we hold so dear.

More and more frequently medical developments that began as battlefield remedies and potential life-saving solutions to traumatic injury are finding their way into common tools that hospitals, first responders, and surgeons will use to heal accident victims. More and more “tried and true” practices are being revised in the face of practical experience, carefully conducted medical studies, and the results of extensive research.

Behind these developments are a team of doctors and engineers that begin work with a simple concept. After studies with basic tools prove the concept, the work to design a cost effective, safe, and easily deployable combination of medical hardware and tailored medication begins. Where most people see an eye that needs healing, ASH Engineers see a combination of thermoplastic (including thermoplastic elastomers) and silicone materials, medication, and specifications for connecting fittings.

The search begins by identifying materials that are not only compatible with this particular variety of hydrogel, but are medically compatible, can be either ETO or gamma sterilized, and which will stand up to the structural rigors and requirements of medical device field deployment. ASH Engineers will then work their way through the part requirements, feature by feature, to examine the design for manufacturing (DFM) and identify features whose manufacturing cost (medical injection molding tooling & medical device manufacturing cost) may not be justifiable by the feature function. In other words, what design details may we alter, preserve the function as determined by the customer, and ease the transition to mass production.

Once ASH has identified what will be manufactured (the final injection molded or Swiss Lathe part configuration) and of which particular material, the medical device development process demands a detailed discussion of the process repeatability and tolerance requirements necessary to achieve 100% confidence. These requirements have implications both for the process and the injection mold tooling.

ASH Industries is the partner you can depend on to have the manufacturing knowledge and passion to achieve successful product completion.

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ASH® Industries offers a wide range of product manufacturing solutions.

Our engineering knowledge, patience, technical expertise, and desire to please clients has led to consistent innovation. 

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Lafayette, LA 70506 
Ph: (800) 598-5274 
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