Design and Fabrication of an Automated Surgical Sponge Machine for the Medical Industry

Automated Surgical Sponge Machine
Automated Surgical Sponge Machine

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A New England-based manufacturing customer contacted Mass Automation Corporation to replicate and further upgrade existing automated equipment. Accomplishing this considerable task required use our diverse design, engineering, manufacturing, and installation skills. Our varied capabilities allowed us to deliver a high quality product managed from conception to reality through one single entity.

Our primary goal was to recreate and upgrade an automated surgical sponge machine. Upgrade work sought to create more stable and robust operation in the machine. Our design work used our electrical and mechanical engineering abilities to reformulate the machine’s functionality. A human-machine interface and vision system integration features, along with refined programming, were added to improve on operational efficiency. In addition, materials handling and assembly functions were upgraded to add on more production potential. Metal fabrication, as well as part machining, were handled on-site to fabricate the machine. Materials selected were aluminum, tool steel, stainless steel, and medical grade plastics.

A series of inspection methods ensured accurate production and a high quality end product. Tight tolerances of ±0.0003” were held for the surgical sponge machine, with the resulting surgical sponges capable of being produced under tolerances of ± 0.030.” At the project’s conclusion, we delivered and professionally installed a new and improved manufacturing system capable of producing 2,100 units per day.

Mass Automation is ready to apply its design and fabrication skill to your equipment projects just as we did with this customer. Contact us today to learn how we can help.


Automated Surgical sponge Machine Project Highlights

Product Name
Automated Surgical Sponge Machine
Project Scope
To replicate and further build upon the Automated ½*3 machine to create a more robust and stable machine.
Capabilities Applied/Processes
  • Electrical Design
  • Mechanical Design
  • Programming & Wiring
  • HMI
  • Vision System Integration,
  • Machining
  • Metal Fabrication
Epoxy Painting
Installation and Integration
Cutting Method
Azco Corp SUR-SIZE™ Cut-to-Length Assembly
Product Thickness: ± 0.03215"
Product Length: Variable: 0.375" to 4.0"
Product Width: Variable: 0.375" to 4.0"
Tightest Tolerances
Equipment: ± 0.0003"
Product: ± 0.030"
Material Types
Equipment: Aluminum, Tool Steel, Stainless Steel, Medical Grade Plastics (Delrin, Ultem)

Product: Proprietary Sponge Material, Plastic X-ray Capable String

Special Features
  • Rotary Indexer
  • Ultrasonic Welder
  • Antistatic Nozzles to Aid in Material Handling
  • Linear and Rotary Servos to Assemble Finished Product
  • Warranty: 12 Months/2,000 Hours of Running Use
In process testing/inspection performed
Vision system inspection to endure compliance with strict tolerances.
Factory Acceptance Test (FAT)
Industry for Use
Medical (Surgical Sponge)
21,000 Pieces (2,100 Cards per Day)
Delivery Location
New England
Standards Met
Customer Specifications, CAD Drawings

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