CX - Stent Crimper

Model CX Machine Base

A full-featured radial compression machine used to attach stents to balloon catheters and many other applications in medical device manufacturing
  • Unrivaled control of diameter, force, and temperature
  • Powerful and intuitive interface
  • Optional "autosheathing" capability with PTFE film
  • Very flexible "sequence-of-steps" recipe setup

The world’s best crimping process control results from high-end microcontroller-based closed-loop control of diameter or compression force with a unique system that compensates for the mechanism’s compliance. The machine achieves and displays the commanded diameter regardless of the force required.

A stepper motor opens and closes the compression station. An encoder measures the diameter of the opening. A force transducer measures the actuating force, which is proportional to the radial compression force. A product carrier on a manually-powered linear slide holds the catheter and includes alignment features to allow the operator to control which parts of the product are compressed Knowledge Base: Crimping Diameter and Force Control

A complete crimping machine includes a Model CX machine base and a radial compression station. Model CX is compatible with many Blockwise radial compression stations, which are chosen based on 1) diameter range, 2) length range, 3) radial force range, and 4) die material.

The model CX crimper is a refinement of the previous Blockwise model RJG. Process recipes running on the RJG machine can be directly transferred to the CX, step-for-step, with the same results. Improvements in the CX machine are: touch-screen for more convenient operation, better accuracy of diameter and force control, better reliability, additional step types for quality checks, and easier calibrations.

Optional Features

Vacuum / Pressure Supply


The catheter or product is connected to the high-pressure Simpluer connector and may be evacuated before, during, or after compression according to the recipe settings. The product may be pressurized up to 20.7 bar (300 psi) at any point during the sequence.

Integrated leak tester


Allows user-defined pressure or vacuum leak checks to be performed at any point during the crimping process, without disconnecting the catheter, and with minimal added trapped-air volume

Heated Dies


Cartridge heaters, temperature sensor, and over-temperature switch are installed in the dies. Recipes contain a heat on / off setting and a temperature setpoint that may range from 0 to 100C.

AutoSheathing

Automatic Film Sheathing is an optional feature of the CX machine base. Thin PTFE film envelopes the stent, protecting delicate stent materials or coatings from the high pressure of the steel dies. Automatic film feeding effortlessly provides a fresh PTFE film surface for each crimp. Film and accessories are available in a range of widths suitable for various stent diameters. Knowledge base: Autosheath Film Selection

HMI Capabilities

A touchscreen HMI (Human/Machine Interface) allows the user to enter settings in “recipes” that specify a sequence of diameter or compression force “steps”. Depending on the options installed, the recipe may also control balloon pressure or vacuum, die temperature, and balloon leak testing. Calibrations and gauge checks are easy. Manual mode allows direct commands without a recipe. Recipe editing, calibration, and manual operation mode may be password-protected. Knowledge Base: CX Crimper Screens and Recipe Setup

Recipes can be easily entered or changed on the recipe editing screen. Each recipe contains a sequence of steps that are executed in order.


Operation is initiated by pressing the START button or the foot switch. The machine sequences through a series of “steps” defined in the currently-selected recipe. Progression of steps can continue automatically, or wait for the START button. There may be up to 50 steps in each recipe, and up to 300 recipes. There are 7 types of steps. Knowledge Base: Typical Balloon-Expandable Crimping Processes

  • Up to 300 recipes
  • Up to 50 steps per recipe
  • Easy calibration
  • Password access to critical settings
  • Error reporting and logging
  • Manual mode operation
  • Export recipes to USB drive for backup or transfer
  • Process data graphing and logging data output
  • Optional barcode scanner for recipe selection
  • Optional leak check steps

Calibration or checking of diameter and force is very quick and easy. Only one pin is needed for diameter. Calibrating the diameter does not necessitate a force recalibration, or vice-versa. Checking or calibration of pressure or temperature requires customer-supplied reference instruments.

The CX requires no maintenance. The radial compression mechanism also requires no maintenance - just keep the mechanism clean. Do not use in a dusty or dirty environment. You may clean the mechanism by blowing with compressed air. You may clean the center opening with 99% isopropyl alcohol on a lint-free swab or cloth.



Required Installation Connections – Model CX

Description Physical Specs Functional Specs
Electric Power Powers the control system, HMI, heaters, etc. C13 Coupler (IEC 60320) 100-240 VAC 8A 50-60Hz
Compressed Air 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)
High-Pressure Compressed Gas Nitrogen or Air For Balloon Pressurization(see Knowledge Base: Compressed Air & High Pressure Gas Connections) Female NPT 1/8 (ANSI/ASME B1.20.1 1/8) 21 bar (305 psi)

Model CX with Alpha-Crimp™ Compression Station

Simply the world's best stent crimping machine; We recommend you select this model unless you need a bigger size, higher force, or special features. Designed especially for PTCA-sized balloon-expandable crimping, the Alpha-Crimp™ compression station’s low friction enables the CX’s legendary process control, while introducing unprecedented geometric accuracy and near-zero die-to-die gaps. Extreme precision, very low friction, no die-to-die wear, high radial force capability, high durability.

Diameter Length Max Radial Force Die Material
0-8 mm 75 mm 2670 N Hardened Stainless Steel

Model CX with J-Crimp™ Compression Station

Blockwise’s workhorse compression station for a decade, with hundreds in service. For medium-sized balloon-expandable crimping, the J-Crimp™ compression station’s extremely low friction combined with CX’s diameter and force control sytem is proven to easily outperform competitors’ machines in process control. Very small die-to-die gaps. No die-to-die wear, proven superior durability.

Diameter Length Max Radial Force Die Material
0-16 mm 62 or 124 mm 1350 N Hardened Stainless Steel

Model CX with 2-Crimp™ Compression Station

For longer-length or higher-force crimping, the 2-Crimp compression station combines very low friction and very strong construction and actuation. Precise process control, very small gaps, no die-to-die wear, high durability.

Diameter Length Max Radial Force Die Material
0-16 mm 180 mm 8000 N Hardened Stainless Steel

Model CX with Twin-Cam™ Compression Station

For very long or large-diameter stent sizes, the Twin-Cam compression station provides precise process control and very low friction and wear.

Diameter Length Max Radial Force Die Material
0-30 mm 124 or 310 mm 1460 N Hardened Stainless Steel

Model CX with Large Twin-Cam™ Compression Station

For very large diameter crimping, the Large Twin-Cam compression station provides very low friction and wear, and the best process control available for the size range. Small gaps, no die-to-die wear, high durability

Diameter Length Max Radial Force Die Material
0-60 mm 124, 186, 248, 310 mm 1450 N Hardened Stainless Steel

Model CX with High-Force Twin-Cam™ Compression Station

The world’s strongest radial compression station also has low friction and excellent process control. Very robust construction, no die-to-die wear, proven durability. There are two different models available, the RDE and RHE. The RDE has lower force and larger diameter range. The RHE has smaller diameter range but higher force capacity.

RDE: Diameter Length Max Radial Force Die Material
0-60 mm 124 or 230 mm 8100 N Hardened Stainless Steel
RHE: Diameter Length Max Radial Force Die Material
0-21 mm 124mm 20000 N Hardened Stainless Steel

Model CX with Autosheath and Alpha-Crimp™ Compression Station

The world’s best PTCA-sized balloon-expandable crimping machine. This machine processes bare metal, drug eluting, or polymer stents with no compromise. Legendary process control, near-zero die-to-die gaps, extreme precision, very low friction, no die-to-die wear, high durability. Easily set up for use with or without film sheathing.

Diameter Length Max Radial Force Die Material
0-8 mm 75 mm 2670 N Hardened Stainless Steel

Model CX with Autosheath and J-Crimp™ Compression Station

For medium-sized crimping of bare metal, drug eluting, or polymer stents, the J-Crimp™ compression station’s extremely low friction combined with CX’s diameter and force control sytem is proven to easily outperform competitors’ machines in process control. Very small die-to-die gaps. No die-to-die wear, proven superior durability. Easily set up for use with or without film sheathing

Diameter Length Max Radial Force Die Material
0-16 mm 62 or 124 mm 1350 N Hardened Stainless Steel

Model CX with Autosheath and 2-Crimp™ Compression Station

For longer-length or higher-force crimping of bare metal, drug eluting, or polymer stents, the 2-Crimp compression station combines very low friction and very strong construction and actuation. Precise process control, very small gaps, no die-to-die wear, high durability. Easily set up for use with or without film sheathing.

Diameter Length Max Radial Force Die Material
0-16 mm 180 mm 8000 N Hardened Stainless Steel