Assembly in Action / Assembly Presses / Medical Devices Assembly / Columns / Wire Processing Assembly

Hand Tools Put Positive Crimp on Surgical Instrument

Assembling the hand piece requires two crimping processes.

July 1, 2013

Over its 30-year history, Bovie Medical Corp. has gone from making disposable penlights to becoming the largest manufacturer of battery-operated cauteries in the world. The company manufactures products for some of the largest medical OEMs in the United States.

Surgeons use a cautery to destroy abnormal tissue by burning, searing or scarring. Traditionally, the cautery performs this action with a caustic substance, electric current, laser, or a very hot or very cold instrument.

Bovie took a different approach several years ago when it developed the J-Plasma hand piece, which uses a plasma stream to perform soft-tissue coagulation and cutting during open and laparoscopic surgical procedures. The instrument energizes helium to form a plasma stream and then directs it over a specially designed blade to make fast, clean incisions.

The blade retracts or extends, increasing surgeons’ flexibility. With the blade retracted, the device can form the plasma stream for coagulation or blunt dissection. When the blade is extended, the plasma stream provides an enhanced cutting capability with minimal impact on surrounding tissue. The extended blade can also be operated without energy or plasma, enabling surgeons to handle the instrument like a scalpel.

Assembling the hand piece requires several steps, including two semiautomatic crimping processes. For the past year, Bovie has used crimping tools from Astro Tool Corp. Bovie likes that both tools have the same internal crimping die size and require the same input force (85 psi).

In one process, a worker inserts a fine tungsten electrode needle into the end of a primary flow tube. The worker then places the parts into a stationary Series 621389 crimper, which is automatically triggered and joins the parts in 2 seconds. The tool exerts a consistent retaining force on the needle to produce an evenly spaced four-point crimp.

For the other process, a worker takes the just-crimped flow tube and places it into a stationary Series 615702 crimper that makes four tiny indentations on the tube in about 2 seconds. These indentations mark where a retaining collar is to be laser welded.

Prior to using the 615702 crimper, the worker held a small fixture at the spot where the collar was to be welded. Unfortunately, doing so resulted in longer cycle times and less-precise welding.

The 615702 is designed for crimping circular pin-and-socket contacts and measures 9.25 inches long. Data plates on either side of the tool offer six settings (0.075, 0.085, 0.095, 0.105, 0.115 and 0.125 inch) that can be changed in increments of 0.001 inch.

The 621389 has a crimp range of 0.015 to 0.43 inch, with increment settings of 0.0005 inch. It is 7.25 inches long.

Bovie has been using Astro crimpers to assemble medical devices since 2003. The company uses the Series 620841 for micro-precision applications, and the portable 621200 pneumatic system and the Series 620175 crimper for various applications. The latter tool offers interchangeable dies.

 For more information on handheld crimping tools, call 503-642-9853 or visit

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Assembly Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Behind the Scenes at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant

People are the heart and soul of the 2012 Assembly Plant of the Year. This slideshow shows some of the men and women who build three different types of electrified vehicles alongside traditional gas-powered cars on the auto industry’s most flexible assembly line—Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, MI. Photos courtesy Ford Motor Co.


 Live from The ASSEMBLY Show, Bob Wood, president of ECI Spinnomatic, talks about his company’s newest product: a fully automated riveting cell equipped with a rotary indexing table, a six-axis robot, an orbital forming unit, and laser sensors. 

More Podcasts

Assembly Magazine

assembly may

2015 May

The 2015 May Assembly includes our cover story on Lean Lifts Assembly at Toyota plus much more. Check it out today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Trans-Pacific Partnership

Will the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement be good for U.S. manufacturers?
View Results Poll Archive


Welding: Principles & Practices

This text introduces students to a solid background in the basic principles and practices of welding.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


facebook_40px twitter_40px  youtube_40pxlinkedin_40pxgoogle plus  

Assembly Showrooms

ASSEMBLY Showrooms