Lansmont Opens Technical Center in Southern California


Daphne Allen and Susan Wallace

Lansmont's new facility is equipped with several Lansmont-built machines.

Lansmont Corp. (Monterey, CA), a manufacturer of product- and package-testing equipment, announced the opening of its Technical Services Center in Irvine CA, at an open house in February. The center provides services for product and package testing, field measurements, consulting, and customer education that can help manufacturers develop transportation packaging.

The opening coincided with the Medical Design & Manufacturing West 2002 exhibition and show in Anaheim, CA, at which Lansmont exhibited.

"Lansmont has invested in equipping the Irvine Technical Center with state-of-the-art equipment," says Dave Huntley, the center's new director. "The physical tests are conducted on our own equipment, recognized in the industry for repeatability and accuracy. We also serve as a demo center for those customers who are interested in purchasing Lansmont equipment to set up their own labs and provide training on the equipment as well as education regarding testing procedures and protocols."

Huntley recommends that medical device manufacturers begin testing devices for transport early on during the design process, preferably at the prototype stage. Testing involves fragility analysis to determine damage boundaries and vibration sensitivity, as well as to provide a thermal evaluation. "You need to determine the critical areas of the product, determine the potential hazards of the shipping environment, and then design transportation packaging to protect those areas of fragility," he explains. Once an appropriate shipping package has been identified, Lansmont can test it according to industry-standard test protocols such as International Safe Transit Association standards. Package testing also takes into consideration medical device packaging validation requirements and package performance testing.

Peter Brown, general manager of Lansmont's manufacturing group, which provides most of the testing equipment that will be used in the new facility, says that device manufacturers should follow Lansmont's six-step method when developing and testing transport packages. The first step is to define the transportation environment using field data recorders, such as the instruments Lansmont just integrated into its own line from Dallas Instruments. Second, manufacturers should test the product for resistance to shock and vibration, as described above. The third step provides an opportunity for product improvement feedback and furnishes information for product redesign to enhance ruggedness. The fourth and fifth steps include evaluating performance of protective materials and designing a packaging system that meets all the above criteria to protect the product from shock and vibration. The sixth step entails testing of the packaged product using real-world data collected from step one or testing according to defined standards such as ASTM or ISTA.

Testing equipment at the multimillion dollar, 7000-sq-ft facility includes drop, shock, vibration, and compression testers; a walk-in temperature and humidity chamber; and an altitude chamber. Instrumentation consists of the company's Saver and Shock Logger data acquisition systems, and Photon and SpectraBook signal analysis systems. Other services include hazardous materials package certification per United Nations and Department of Transportation requirements, transport environment measuring and linkage to laboratory simulations, package design and consulting, and supplier auditing. These services include live viewing of testing on-line via Web cameras and instant reporting of data via the Internet. This enables a product or package engineer to view tests in progress and obtain timely reporting of data without leaving the office. For medical applications, the Irvine center is staffed with package engineers on-site who can provide field measurement and protocol generation. Same-day turnaround services are available in the case of filing for FDA 510(k).



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