Micro-Components in Hearing Aids

In the precision manufacture of micro-components for the hearing-aid market, using injection moulding machinery supported by heating elements such as quality cartridge heaters, there is very little margin for error.

Over the last decade, hearing-aid technology has dramatically developed with the onset of digital technology and it is now possible to effectively treat almost any hearing loss. There are a wide range of hearing aids available that use micro-manufacturing and digital technologies, including bluetooth.

As the hearing-aid market continues to develop increasingly smaller and discreet units, the manufacturing process needs to be ever more accurate whilst maintaining its cost effectiveness.

The injection moulding of small parts for hearing-aids essentially uses the same injection moulding technology used for creation of large moulded parts. However, since the weight of these components are much less than 100mg, managing production on conventional injection moulding machinery reaches its utmost limits. Issues arise covering a range of technical challenges but especially the control equipment, that cannot react quickly enough to requirements, leading to time delays in hydraulic valves or acceleration and deceleration – this in turn ultimately produces a finished product with quality defects that are unacceptable.

Micro-injection machinery, developed as a consequence of increasing micro-component requirements in plastics, is able to manufacture the smallest of hearing-aid components of the very lightest weight (often under 10mg), to specific colour specifications across 20 different skin tones. Furthermore, it is a stable production process that is cost effective due to high productivity results from short cycle times and energy saving technology.

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