Deep-drawn functional components are increasingly being utilized in the production of medical and pharmaceutical products. To meet the strict standards for manufacturing and quality management in the field of surface finishing, Hubert Stüken GmbH & Co. KG has relied on mass finishing solutions and consumables from Rosler for more than 30 years.
Founded in 1931, Hubert Stüken GmbH & Co. KG is a family-owned business with manufacturing operations at five locations in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Its product range includes stamped and bent parts, plastic-coated components, and complex assemblies.
Rosler works with Stüken Medical, the company’s medical business division which focuses on medical and pharmaceutical engineering, to meet the increasing demand for deep-drawn metal components.
Andreas Hellman, Manager of the ISO 13485-certified business division, explained, “Components used in the field of medical and pharmaceutical engineering must meet strict quality standards. The same strict standards apply also to the actual production operations. For this reason, we have pooled the required know-how for the development and production of such precision components at Stüken Medical.”
Among other items, this division produces complex housings and assemblies, valves, extremely precise micro parts, and primary packaging. These components are made from metals suitable for deep drawing, including stainless steel, aluminum, and titanium.
To meet the strict quality standards in the medical and pharmaceutical industry, the company utilizes multi-stage cleaning systems and operates two class 7 cleanrooms. Its research and development department, located at the corporate headquarters in Rinteln, Germany, continuously explores the possibilities to expand the range of processes and materials.
“For many of our customers, we are a development partner,” Hellmann said. “To perfectly adapt new products to their intended use, we are not only working with our customers but are also cooperating with partners from various technological sectors.”
When it comes to issues around surface finishing that can be resolved by mass finishing, the company has relied on Rosler’s experience and know-how for more than 30 years.
“Our long partnership is based on the excellent quality and reliability of Rosler equipment and consumables,” Hellmann said. “This helps us to ensure that the required results are achieved in a consistent manner.”
Dirk Schulz, Project Engineer at Stüken, agreed.
“When it comes to the joint development of finishing processes, we especially value Rosler’s flexibility and expertise,” he said. “In this respect, our access to the Customer Experience Center in Untermerzbach is extremely valuable.
“Rosler also supports us with documentation and equipment details required for machinery and processes that must be qualified and validated in line with ISO 13485,” Schulz said.
At its manufacturing locations around the world, this deep-drawing specialist uses 15 rotary vibrators and 10 centrifugal disk finishing machines for its finishing operations. Stüken Medical also operates 18 process water centrifuges for eco-friendly and reliable cleaning and recycling of the process water.
The deep-drawn components are generally characterized by an extensive degree of material shaping, complex geometries, and extremely small dimensions requiring high dimensional accuracy and especially demanding specifications for deburring, edge radiusing, and polishing of external and internal work piece areas. Equally challenging are the surface roughness and surface quality requirements.
“On the one hand, we must ensure that all pieces within a work piece batch receive the same high-quality surface finish. On the other hand, the work pieces must not be damaged or deformed,” Schulz said.
“Last but not least, after completion of the finishing process, the work pieces and media must be reliably separated. A carry-over of the work pieces and/or media into the next batch must be prevented at all costs,” he added.
In conjunction with polishing jobs, the work piece surface must frequently be marked with a UDI code. Fully meeting these specifications requires finishing processes that are precisely tailored to the respective work pieces as well as carefully adapted equipment and consumables. Conducting special feasibility studies is often required to determine system parameters.
The process for radiusing the edges of 0.8 in (20 mm) stainless steel housings for a medical device was developed in close cooperation with Stüken.
This delicate housing’s large surface area in combination with extremely thin walls posed a challenge. To remove sufficient material at the edges, a high processing intensity that could be tightly controlled was required to prevent any deformation.
The Customer Experience Center at Rosler is equipped with ultra-modern machines capable of running a wide variety of different finishing processes and conducting trials to define the most suitable equipment technology under actual production conditions. During such development processes, the processing bowl of standard machines must be frequently modified, sometimes involving substantial engineering changes.
For this project, the comprehensive mass finishing experience at Stüken was a valuable source of ideas. To guarantee a reliable and complete separation of the finished work pieces from the media, the finishing equipment for Stüken Medical required a few changes in the separation process.
Another goal of processing trials is the determination of the optimal media shape and type (ceramic or plastic) for the finishing task at hand. In order to achieve consistently good surface finishes, very often the media must have extremely tight dimensional tolerances.
All ceramic and plastic media are produced at Rosler in compliance with the highest ecological standards. With over 15,000 different products, the media, compounds, and process water cleaning agents Rosler offers are by far the largest range of mass finishing consumables in the world.
A key factor in the development of successful finishing processes is the perfect interplay between the right equipment technology and the right consumables (media and compound). Generally, the best results are achieved by close cooperation with the customer.
The Rosler Way
Decades of experience and the ability to design, service, and maintain machines as well as provide the consumables and accessories required to get the finish you require make Rosler a well-rounded, single source for surface finishing expertise. Contact us to discuss your mass finishing needs.