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Force tester springs into action

Medical Device manufacturer Bespak has recently been supplied with a computer-controlled force testing system for quality control assessment of helical springs.

Bespak is a leader in specialty medical devices for inhaled drug delivery and anaesthesia. The company manufactures more than 450 million complex devices each year, many of which are inhalers, used to administer precisely metered doses of dry powder or aerosolised medicine to sufferers of illnesses such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The tensile and compressive helical springs form a key element of the operating mechanism of these devices, and must be checked for conformance to strict tolerances on arrival at each of the company’s manufacturing facilities, including the one in King’s Lynn, UK.

Bespak previously used a manually driven test system to perform tensile & compressive force tests on the springs, but found over time their needs outgrew this set-up, and a more sophisticated solution was required.

Mecmesin supplied Bespak with a MultiTest 1-i computer-controlled force testing system, fitted with a 50N Loadcell. This system, coupled with Mecmesin’s Emperor software, provided fully automated control of all test parameters, removing inaccuracies arising from manual force application.

To perform a compression test, the spring is loaded onto custom-made alignment pins. The loadcell then descends at a constant rate, stopping first to record the spring’s free height, then continuing to the specified test height, taking more than 2000 readings per second to accurately map the spring’s compression profile.

Peter Haken, Quality Engineer at Bespak comments,

“We have used Mecmesin equipment for some years. We now estimate that every second, more than a thousand people reply on a Bespak device to help them breathe and as our testing requirements have grown, so too has our relationship with the company. Today we rely upon their advanced test systems to guarantee the quality of our supplied materials.”

Find out more about this Spring Test Solution from Mecmesin.