Skip To Content

The Lowly Plastic Specimen Container

August 29, 2021

It’s really hard to get excited about plastic specimen containers — or cups as they are often called. At first glance they are a simple, utilitarian object designed to do one thing, and only one thing:  safely collect, then seal urine, stool or tissue samples for later testing. Easy peasy, right?

Not so quick. Manufacturing any medical device is an exercise in precision, not least because of the Food & Drug Administration.  The FDA is an exacting regulatory body and justifiably so; it is responsible for the safety and efficacy of substances we put in our bodies, which is arguably one of the most important governmental functions there is. In pre-FDA days, all sorts of quack medications and dubious foodstuffs were being hawked to the American public, endangering the health and well-being of the body politic.

Plastic specimen containers
Plastic Specimen Containers during quality control process

Enter the FDA. Over the course of the next few decades, this juggernaut of a governmental agency began spreading its tentacles into every corner of the American food and drug industries. And while there are certainly more complex plastic medical devices, any medical device is a crucial piece of equipment for the reasons stated above.

So what exactly is involved in the manufacturing of the aforesaid “lowly” specimen container?

  1. The chosen plastic resin is fed into a “barrel” (similar to a gun barrel), heated and melted by heater bands and friction a reciprocating screw, which produces friction
  2. Once the resin is melted, the screw transports it down the barrel toward an injection nozzle.
  3. The nozzle injects the pressurized resin at a high pressure and, calibrated speeds into a steel or aluminum mold.
  4. The injected resin cools to the shape of the mold and is ejected.

Sounds straightforward, right? Well, the process is but quality control isn’t. Defects can and do happen at various points in the process.  But here at AdvanTech Plastics, those defects are caught early and corrected.

After all, the FDA is watching! And our customers demand nothing less than perfection.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *