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The UK subsidiary of Tepnel Biosystems has asked AK Industries (AKI), a manufacturer of technical injection mouldings, to look again at its Rapid-3D hand-held ‘dip-and-test’ kits for food allergens.

The original design, a four-piece unit, was said to be time consuming to assemble and caused difficulties and manufacturing problems for the user.

AKI analysed the project, starting from the concept/design stage, with its Solidworks 3D solid modelling system.

Applying engineering principles and its ‘knowledge bank’ of problem-solving experience from design to production, AKI converted Tepnel’s product into a one-piece unit that could be made in a range of colours.

This allows Tepnel, a US diagnostics equipment company, to use the same design, colour-coded, for different test kits.

AKI analyses the first concept to the final process, via product design and development, polymer specification, prototyping, mould making, production tool design and validation and processing.

Benefits of this cumulative ‘knowledge bank’ include marked reductions in development costs and time to market, as well as the minimisation of rejects and rework.

The material of construction in the case of the Tepnel biotester is polypropylene.

This enables the integration of an active ‘living’ hinge, as well as clip features, with the benefit of a product that is claimed to be quick and easy to assemble at AKI.

The colours are achieved by masterbatching.

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