On Thursday, 26th September 2019 Her Majesty The Queen’s royal representative, Lord Lieutenant Professor Peter Vaughan presented the Queen’s Award for Innovation to CEO, Dr Paul Taylor and his team at Laser Wire Solutions in recognition of the contribution the company is making in its technology niche of laser wire stripping and the benefits this technology delivers to the improvement of medical devices used in many life critical situations. This is the second Queens Award for the company, after securing the award for International Trade in 2018.
Laser wire stripping is not a new phenomenon. It was first introduced by NASA in the 1970’s and 1980’s as part of their Space Shuttle Program. The wire insulations used on the Space Shuttle were thinner and lighter than ever before, so new technology was developed because the risk of damage was too great when using traditional mechanical wire stripping tools.
Laser Wire Solutions further developed this technology following the introduction of compact, reliable, maintenance-free, solid-state UV lasers. The laser wire stripper that helped secure the Innovation award for Laser Wire Solutions is the Odyssey-4, which allows medical device manufacturers to introduce increasingly miniaturized, complex, life-saving devices to the market and at a faster pace than before. The system automates with a high degree of precision the task of stripping the tough enamel insulation from hair-thin medical wires. Prior to the introduction of the Odyssey-4, medical wires had to be scraped by hand under a microscope. The process was slow, painstaking and often resulted in damaged wires – with the inner conductor being “nicked” by a blade – thus causing a disruption in the electrical connection and making the device short out, leading to high value scrap. The benefit of the laser is that it harmlessly reflects from the shield or conductor and gives a perfect, nick-free strip every time without the need for further chemical treatment.
Laser Wire Solutions’ Odyssey machines are now used by large medical device manufacturers across the USA, including their Mexican subsidiaries, with demand growing across Europe. Apart from receiving a Queen’s Award for Innovation, the company has also been ranked this year in 52nd place by the Financial Times 1000 fastest growing businesses in Europe with much of the growth attributed to the launch of the Odyssey laser wire stripper.
The team at Laser Wire Solutions is naturally euphoric that all the hard work to get the machine designed, developed, tested and delivered has paid off.
A mini gallery of photos celebrating the day….
Photography: Huw John Photography, Cardiff 26/09/2019
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