Advance in British precision engineering brings gastroenterologists an innovative endoscopy accessory
Case study of how a specialist medtech manufacturer innovated a new product in the field of gastroenterology.
Starmed developed a new product with S&S Plastics which European medical professionals rely upon when operating in gastroenterology suites using hi-tech endoscopy equipment.
Gastroenterologists rely on endoscopic technology to:
- Investigate conditions which are increasingly common driven by rising rates of obesity, IBS (irritable bowel disease), gluten intolerance.
- Confirm diagnoses eg biopsy.
- Treat conditions quickly and relatively safely.
Starmed had a design in mind: an innovative top to an endoscopy bottle which is essential in keeping the camera lens clean during endoscopy procedures.
The problem was getting that design ‘off the drawing board’ and into commercially-viable production.
S&S Plastics took Starmed’s concept and turned it into a finished product through the following procedure:
- Designing the precision part in a fully-dimensioned CAD drawing.
- Costed to ensure commercially-viable production was feasible.
- Preparing the tooling.
- Prototyping and finessing the part.
- Full-scale, plastic injection moulding production run.
- S&S Plastics’ role was to provide the technical expertise, advanced machinery, materials and contacts to bring the product to market.
Products in the Starmed range include:
- Endoflow water bottle and tubing now selling throughout Northern Europe and soon the USA.
- Scope Flow Pure is the premium version of Endoflow which features an integral filter in its cap to remove contaminants from the outside environment entering the bottle.
The technical specification:
- Polymeric material: ISO 10993, USP Grade VI medical grade polycarbonate.
- Resistant to chemicals and heat to 126° Celsius heat deflection temperature (unannealed) so autoclave-compatible.
- Starmed’s innovation performs to the world’s most stringent medical standards: all products are CE-marked and conform to ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 13485:2003 and use USP 6 medical grade material.
- Sold in the UK, Europe and soon the USA.
By bridging the gap between design and production, Starmed innovated a superior endoscopy bottle top which will help to reduce cross contamination (by preventing airborne contamination) across the full spectrum of gastroenterological investigations: oesophagus, stomach, duodenum, small intestine, large intestine/colon, bile duct, rectum and anus.
What Starmed says:
Starmed’s founder and owner, Justin Biggs, says: “We’ve worked with S&S Plastics since 2010 – mainly designing and developing endoscopy accessories. They will recommend different – often advanced – materials to the ones we originally had in mind. That can bring a whole host of benefits such as FDA-approval when selling to the States.
“From the start, S&S understood what we wanted: durability, thoughtful design, high quality, quick turnaround and value for money. That approach has endured.
“They keep on adding value. In fact it’s probably easier to say what they’ve not added. I identify the market gap, come up with the solution and a concept. S&S takes that outline idea and uses CAD to draw it up and they’ll often add to the design at that stage. Once we’re happy with it, we then progress to tooling, 3D design, prototyping and finally production. S&S does all of it whether that involves metal parts or not as well as any jigs and presses for assembly.
“It’s been interesting over the years to see what works in terms of aesthetics and functionality. We share a ‘can do’ attitude which conquers any problems we come across. We’re a reliable partnership.”