Laser Drilling in the Medical Sector

The medical sector, as with many of the other sectors that laser drilling plays a part in such as the automotive or aerospace industries, will affect us at some part of our lives.

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Laser drilling of medical devices

The difference between the other industries and the medical sector is that the latter isn’t so much about designing, developing, and manufacturing products for sale, but is instead about saving lives and maintaining a high level of health among patients. However, whether its cars being built in the automotive industry or medical devices being constructed for the medical sector, the manufacturing process is extremely similar, and the level of quality and safety that is required remains the same; albeit in a different way. Below we have explained in more detail how laser drilling is utilised within the medical sector.

What is the importance of the medical sector?

As we all know, the medical sector, or the healthcare industry as it is also called, is an industry that will play a part in all of our lives at some point, although we hope not too often!

The medical sector involves preventative, curative, palliative, and rehabilitative care, and with hundreds of illnesses, diseases, and conditions, there are a great number of reasons why we may find ourselves involved in the medical sector.

To help with this process, a number of different medical devices are used within the medical sector, as these are able to do a host of things that a doctor can’t themselves. These devices may be for diagnosing a patient, aiding the doctor in their job, or for help with treatment itself. Regardless of the reason for its operation, medical devices make up part of the foundations of the medical sector. The medical technology industry itself is huge, pulling in around $337.3bn in revenue in 2015.

As previously mentioned, the chief concern here is not on revenue or sales, but is instead on making safe products that can keep patients alive. While the businesses manufacturing these products obviously have to think about their revenue, this is not what the medical sector is built around. Laser drilling plays a key part in the production of reliable and efficient medical devices.

Why is laser drilling used in the medical sector?

The medical sector is all about precision, efficiency, and reliability, and so too are the devices that are utilised in it. It’s one thing manufacturing products that need to be safe, and another thing entirely manufacturing products to keep people alive. The precision, efficiency, and reliability in the medical sector requires a process that can operate with all three of these factors in mind, and laser drilling is the perfect solution for this .

As inventors continue to innovate in the world of technology, medical devices are getting smaller and with more precise features; standard methods of drilling have a hard time adapting to this. Sometimes holes as small as 0.0005” in diameter need to be drilled, and laser drilling is the only viable process for this.

One of the other huge advantages of laser drilling for the medical sector is also the fact that it affects the material being worked with in almost no way, except to create the desired hole. This lack of heat damage, on everything from metals to small-walled or polymer materials, which can’t be worked with using other drilling methods, means that the integrity and safety of the medical device isn’t compromised.

What uses does laser drilling have in the medical sector?

Laser drilling is used in a number of ways within the medical sector, such as for creating needle holes in devices or micro-tubing for drug delivery systems. These drug delivery systems, which are liquid or gas flow devices, require accurate holes to be drilled to ensure that the drug reaches its target area. Only laser drilling allows for this.

Other devices that laser drilling is utilised for are glucose monitoring sensors, catheter backforms and stents, angioplasty balloons, pacemaker components, flanges, filtering devices, and measuring equipment.

Laser drilling is even used to drill tablets, with laser drilling machines able to operate at incredible speeds, drilling around 140,000 tablets every hour! This is, of course, while ensuring that each and every tablet is produced with the same level of quality and safety as the ones before it.

Laser drilling of medical tablets

Laser drilling is even used on medical tablets

Think you may need to use laser drilling in your own processes?

Whether you are creating medical devices, automobiles, aircrafts, semiconductors, electronic products, or something else entirely, the huge number of advantages that laser drilling offers has meant it has found increasing use across a number of different industries. If you think that you may have need of the laser drilling process with one of our Pulsed Fiber Lasers or Continuous Wave Fiber Lasers, one of the team would be more than happy to help.


Image credits: stevepb and


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