In today’s high-tech inspection and testing techniques applied for medical parts quality control, the basic visual inspection still plays an important role. Manufacturers are still using advanced optical systems like borescopes to inspect mission-critical components [devices or components that come in direct contact with patients].
Borescope for medical tool manufacturers
The USAborescope offers visual inspection equipment like push camera that can help users to get a view of areas that are not visible to naked eyes. Visual inspection equipment is similar to a medical endoscope.
It offers a quick and non-destructive visual inspection of a component. You get an assurance that the part is free from cracks, burrs, contaminants, surface irregularities, or other finish-imperfections. Identifying a flaw before the medical tool or equipment leaves the production floor is crucial.
Sharp edges, burrs, and other flaws are detrimental to the tool functioning. It can contribute to clogging, erosion, and poor performance, especially in devices or parts like catheters, cannula, valves, trocars, and needles. These have tiny openings that can be easily blocked.
Manufacturers can lose customers and revenue if their device reveals flaws or malfunctions. It even results in poor patient care at the medical facilities. Therefore, medical tool manufacturers make use of borescopes to inspect the smallest and intricate metal-machined components, devices or molds to be used in the medical-critical environment.
For example, borescopes with 0.9mm diameters are employed to inspect tiny openings quickly and accurately.
When borescope inspection of medical parts is imperative?
Borescopic inspection is a good practice when –
- The area is hard to access like the bottom region of blind hole or cross-holes.
- The mission-critical device will come in direct contact with patients.
- The defects like debris, blockages, and dust are immeasurable, so an inspector collects data with a borescope to access component quality.
Different kinds of scopes
For medical device inspection, there are 3 common scope types –
Rigid borescopes – It offers the highest resolution [50,000 pixels to 800,000 pixels]. Image brightness is great. Double the borescope diameter, quadruple the image brightness. The traditional lens-relay system is used to transmit the images. Rigid borescopes are applied in areas with a straight path. The lens is housed in robust stainless-steel tubing.
Flexible borescope – If the inspection pathway includes a bent tube, curved pipe, or complex cast than choose a flexible borescope. The equipment has a fiber optic image parcel contained within a flexible sheath. However, the resolution gets based on the optical fiber numbers, which is between 10,000 – 30,000 pixels. The image quality is inherently low than rigid borescopes but is important when there is a need for flexibility. It is expensive and fragile.
Semi-rigid borescopes – Tubes, catheters, and tiny bores have little access, so semi-rigid borescopes are a good option. Its diameter is less than 1mm, which also offers it a little flexibility.
Visual inspection benefits
- No destruction of parts, which is crucial for expensive component production.
- It offers 100% inspection in contrast to batch testing.
- Mission-critical components get thoroughly examined to fulfill the regulatory standards.
- Manufacturers get assurance that not a single defective device or component will leave their facility.
- Borescope inspection is simple to learn.
- Guesswork is removed from quality evaluation.