Injection moulding and diabetes may not seem like a natural match, but high-performance moulds can be used in medical technology application for modern diabetes therapy and to produce moulds for syringes and artificial pancreas devices.

Studies show that globally, almost 425 million people are living with diabetes. That is around 9% of the world’s population. The persistent high blood sugar levels of diabetics can lead to serious complications, including strokes, heart attacks, amputations, blindness and the necessity for dialysis treatments. Early diagnosis and proper diabetes management are critical.

Today, there are devices as small as a smartphone and test strips that use only 0.3 μl of blood to provide an accurate blood sugar measurement. Syringes and pens allow diabetes patients to inject themselves with the precise quantities of insulin required to manage the disease. Pumps work directly on the body, with complex sensors to determine and dose the insulin required.

Disposable syringes or pens are often preferred for insulin dosage, ensuring cleanliness and accurate dosing. In Germany, for example, about 80% of all patients administer their insulin with pens, while in North America or Asia, disposable insulin syringes account for around 80% of insulin administration.

The manufacture of pen needle components and safety pen needles requires moulds that precisely produce these components, usually made of polyethylene or polypropylene.

For example, Schöttli provides expertise in high-cavity injection moulds for medical components. Schöttli delivered the world’s first 192-cavity mould for pen needle hubs with side gate hot runner technology.

The company can offer corresponding single-face moulds for pen needle-shields with up to 256 cavities. Pen needle covers and similar components can be produced on stack moulds with up to 192+192 cavities, maintaining the highest precision and highest performance.

The needles, which protrude out of the hub on both sides, are subsequently glued in place in a fully automated process. This is a particularly challenging application, as the needles have very small outer diameters of down to 34G (34 gauge equals 0.18mm). It requires correspondingly small cylindrical openings in the injection moulded part and accordingly, tremendous precision in the injection mould.

Plastic and Chemical Trading together with international partners and KraussMaffei Berstorff deliver world-class plastic manufacturing, injection moulding, and extrusion solutions.

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