DSM Engineering Plastics (Geleen, Netherlands), a supplier of high-performance thermoplastics, currently has relatively little market share in the healthcare sector, but it hopes to change that in the coming years. "Healthcare is targeted as one of our growth areas," Sander Brakel, European Sales Segment Manager, Specialty Industries, told PlasticsToday from the company's stand at Fakuma, the international plastics processing tradeshow that was held in Friedrichshafen, Germany, last week. And the company is well positioned to make that happen, he adds, by leveraging existing medical applications and spreading the word about its production capabilities and quality systems.
The company currently is producing an inhaler valve made from a PET blend for one OEM, says Brakel. "We make 300 million inhaler components annually with our Arnite material, a high-performance engineering plastic that combines high strength and rigidity with optimal processing characteristics [enabled by the material's] high purity and narrow viscosity range," he explains. "The material's consistency and flowability is what got us this business," adds Brakel.
The drug-delivery device has a specific dosing design, and DSM had to perform extensive tests to determine the quantity of leachables and extractables in the material. "We were one-third below the minimum level, making Arnite the best performing PBT in the industry," says Brakel. "That should put us in an excellent position to further grow our business in medical products such as inhalers."