Industry News: COMPAMED 2007 – High tech solutions for medical device technology

01 Aug 2007

In sync with MEDICA COMPAMED has continuously sharpened its profile as a leading international trade fair for suppliers for medical manufacturing over the past few years. Here exhibitors from all over the world (2006: 320 exhibitors from 26 nations) present an extensive spectrum of high-tech solutions for use in the medical equipment industry – ranging from novel materials, components, semi-finished products, packaging and services to complex micro-system technology and nano-technology.

The synergies generated by being held concurrently with MEDICA allow COMPAMED to provide important momentum for innovations in medicine. It is here that leading manufacturers (as exhibitors at MEDICA) meet with top-grade suppliers (exhibiting at COMPAMED). The target groups addressed by COMPAMED are production managers, heads of research and development, anyone involved in the production planning of medical products. For them COMPAMED is the ideal venue to look for new procurement sources and system solutions – as is evidenced by the sheer number of 12,000 trade visitors who came to visit COMPAMED 2006.

For COMPAMED 2007 (14th to 16th November) exhibitors will be found in both Hall 8a and the new Hall 8b (both located next to the Exhibition Centre railway station and the main entrance concourse “North”).

The top event in its industry, COMPAMED is not only just a product showcase. A Forum Programme organised under the principal theme of “High-Tech for Medical Devices” with high-calibre speakers will discuss trends from the perspective of new product development. A focal theme of this COMPAMED Forum organised by the Professional Association for Micro-Technology (IVAM) will be high-tech components for processing medical products. Suppliers are given the opportunity, free of charge, to present their product solutions in a technical lecture delivered at the Forum at a central location in Hall 8a. In parallel with this, the IVAM will organise “product marketplaces” for Manufacturing, Micro—Technology, Nano-Medicine and New Materials at a joint stand. Visitors will be able to find everything they need here for medical device manufacturing, micro-technical components and systems, clean-room technology, process engineering, nano-medical applications, surfaces and material analysis.

There are some interesting examples in the way suppliers’ innovative power has spurred the progress made by medical device technology vendors. One covers developments in the area of medical implants. In future implants might be equipped with several acceleration sensors and a telemetry module to better identify signs of loosening. To bring such sensors and modules in conjunction with implants up to operational level is the task a number of COMPAMED exhibitors have set themselves. This novel sensor technology could form the backbone for a type of quality assurance system for hip and knee joint implants. Implants that are unfavourable for patients could be detected and eliminated at an early stage which would mean avoiding x-ray examinations that are an extra burden on the body as well as premature replacement operations.

Quality control also plays a major role in the manufacturing of medical products. This point is of particular importance in view of the on-going miniaturisation in medical device technology. To an increasing extent this is now even affecting nano-technology. Not one but several exhibitors at COMPAMED are taking this trend into account. They offer, for instance, multi-sensor devices capable of identifying the surface quality of components using scanning and imaging processes. They provide information on the topography, profile, roughness and also the thickness of the layers of components. Their modular set-up allows these devices to be easily integrated into fully automatic processes. This is how the breast implants or even finest surface textures of stents can be measured, for example.

In addition to such high-tech systems, new materials and new applications for known materials also form a focal range at COMPAMED. There is no stopping the increasing proportion of medical products made of plastics. Even comparatively “simple” plastics such as polyethylene and polypropylene have found a market for sophisticated finished products in medical applications. In demand here are high-precision components that still qualify for low-cost production. One example of the products presented at COMPAMED are the inhalators that allow patients to absorb a wide variety of active agents (e.g. insulin) via the respiratory tract rather than the more expensive and unpleasant method of injection.

This means that some of the products covered and presented as part of COMPAMED are highly complex – even if they do not always look it at first glance.

The ranges on display at COMPAMED include the following segments: parts/modules/components; drive systems; hoses; filters; pumps; valves; equipment and engineering for medical device manufacturing; raw materials; adhesives; finishing and processing; test systems and inspection services; packaging and services.

2004 marked an important milestone in the development of COMPAMED when the event was relocated and moved into its own exhibition hall for the first time – the then newly erected hall 8a. The next two years to COMPAMED 2006 resulted in further growth of over 20%.

Further information on COMPAMED 2007 (14th to 16th November) can be found on the article webpage.