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For many years the production of complex cardiovascular catheters and guide-wires has relied on a somewhat primitive process to remove FEP Heat Shrink Tubing (HST) in lamination / bonding / welding / tipping and masking processes. Skiving has been the established technique used to cut through and remove the FEP HST without damaging the underlying surface of the jacket. The word technique gives one a clue as to the challenges facing operators tasked with this activity. Considerations like variability in wall thickness coupled with soft durometer jacket materials have contributed to challenges in this area. These issues manifest themselves in terms of poor yields, slower throughput and increased inspection time. In addition, there are some potential ergonomic challenges with this approach.

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