Reliable production ensures quality of life of ostomy patients

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Photo by Kiefel Ostomy bag-making machine from Kiefel

With age comes wisdom according to the saying. What it doesn’t say is that, in many cases, it also comes with health problems. Today, more and more people are staying alive longer and one result is a rise in the number of intestinal and bladder cancer cases - and hence also an increased need for ostomy and incontinence care.

According to the figures for 2012, the worldwide market for incontinence and stoma products amounted to USD 11.5 bn. The latest forecasts indicate that by 2020, these figures may reach USD 17.2 bn.

Most ostomy procedures are performed on 60 - 70-year-old cancer patients; the surgery is, however, sometimes also required in the case of congenital malformations or chronic bowel disease. Whatever the reason, good ostomy care – which includes an ostomy bag that does not leak - is a prerequisite for the quality of life of these individuals.

Modern ostomy bags are made of extremely thin material. The material of choice is a polyolefin film with a two- to four-layer structure. Patients need closed or open bags which they can drain through an outlet. In many cases, an integrated activated carbon filter prevents odours.

The majority of these bags are produced using thermo-contact welding. Germany’s Kiefel GmbH developed and has grown into the is market-leader for machines and production equipment for ostomy bags. The company’s TC welding line series KXT contacts welds the bags, heating the multi-layer plastic film to the melting point and then pressing this into the contours with a force of up to 12 kN. The machine then connects the various components to the bag using the same technology, ensuring the weld are leakage proof. The same process is also used for the automated production of highly leak-proof containers for liquids and gases.

The KXT produces up to 2400 bags per hour in different sizes. Plug-in connection systems, filters, and plastic gaskets can be integrated immediately in the various welding stations of a machine. Both automatic material and component feed and semi-automatic machines are available.

Fast tool changes guarantee a quick changeover to another model. The visual monitoring system and the complete process documentation ensure that the machine recognizes and ejects faulty products immediately.

According to a September 2013 survey conducted by the Barmer GEK Company, in Germany alone 160,000 people live in with ostomy care. For them, the high degree of process reliability in the manufacture of these bags means a little bit more ease and normality in their lives.

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