Model VC Machine Base
Blockwise’s production-proven air-actuated balloon wrapping (aka folding) machine, for pleating and compressing catheter balloons
- Full recipe control over balloon wrapping process
- Powerful and intuitive interface
- Temperature-controlled stainless steel dies
- Minimal maintenance with consistent results
The world’s most intuitive balloon wrapping machine pairs a high-performance microcontroller with a touchscreen HMI to provide complete and fully configurable balloon wrapping. Recipe control ensures ease of use for the operator, while a secure calibration and manual mode ensures easy recipe setup and R&D use.
Our workhorse balloon wrapping machine with microcontroller and touchscreen HMI provides intuitive and flexible control of the balloon wrapping process. Most process settings are under software control.
Pleating and compression stations are both actuated by air cylinders. Air pressure regulation provides force control of balloon compression. Alternatively, compression can be diameter-controlled by means of a mechanical stop screw.
A complete machine includes a Model VC machine base, a pneumatically actuated pleating station, and a pneumatically actuated compression station. The pleating and compression stations are chosen based on the balloon diameter and length. Our engineers will help you choose the best pleating and compression stations for your application.
Operating temperature is from ambient up to 100°C. Balloon inflation pressures can be set up to 100 psi. Model VC is available for both PTCA and PTA applications, in diameters up to 30 mm, and working lengths up to 310 mm. Pleating stations can be easily swapped on the VC machine base for product changeover Knowledge Base: Balloon Wrapping Basics
Custom Die Design is used for all pleating dies in the VC balloon wrapper. The customer is provided with a table to fill in the details of a balloon range, such as distal seal diameter, double wall thickness, inflated diameter, and desired number of wings. One or more stainless steel die sets are then designed to accommodate the largest end of the range. All dies are hardened and electropolished. Knowledge base: Pleating Dies Custom Design
A product carrier on a manually-powered linear slide holds the catheter and allows the operator to quickly align the balloon catheter to control which parts of the product are pleated and compressed.
The VC wrapping machine has been sold and continuously refined since 2007, with hundreds of machines now in service at about 100 balloon catheter manufacturing companies. Although the newer model VE with electric actuation was introduced in 2015, the VC is still being produced, refined, and supported as Blockwise’s mid-range wrapping machine.
A touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface) allows the user to enter settings in “recipes” that specify a set of parameters for the balloon wrapping process. Pressure calibration and gauge checks are easy. Manual mode allows direct commands without a recipe. Engineering, maintenance, and manual functions can be password-protected.
The process is initiated by either the START button or the Simpluer switch, as desired. The machine prompts the operator to move the catheter through the pleating and compression stations. An information box shows the current state of the process.
Closeup view of VC machine
Barcode scanner functionality that links recipe
Data export to RS-232 port
- Up to 100 recipes
- Easy calibration
- Password access to critical settings
- Error reporting and logging
- Manual mode operation
- Optional barcode scanner for recipe selection
The pleat station open-stop indicator is easily calibrated without reference instruments. The pressure and temperature readouts may be checked using customer-supplier reference instruments. The manual includes step-by-step instructions.
The VC machine requires no maintenance. The pleating and compression mechanisms also require no maintenance - just keep them clean. Do not use in a dusty or dirty environment, and blow with compressed air. Clean the center opening with 99% isopropyl alcohol on a lint-free swab or cloth.
Required Installation Connections – Model VC
||Powers the control system, HMI, heaters, etc.
||C13 Coupler (IEC 60320)
||100-240 VAC 8A 50-60Hz
||Powers the Simpluer connector, etc. (see Knowledge Base: Compressed Air & High Pressure Gas Connections)
||Instant Tube Fitting Accepts ¼-inch OD Plastic Tube
||6.9 to 8.3 bar (100 to 120 psi)