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Virtually no other medical product is associated with as many emotions
as blood reserves. Irrespective of whether donor blood comes into the
market as red blood cells, white blood cells, blood platelets or blood
plasma - in Germany, three quarters of people do not require money for
their blood donations. According to the blood donor service of the
German Red Cross, German hospitals now consume approximately
15,000 blood counts - per day!
Medical progress has also increased the need for blood products: organ
transplants, major surgical procedures and cancer therapy have increased the
number of blood and blood component transfusions by 50 to 100 percent over
the past decade. For several years the clinics have been trying to deal more
sparingly with blood products, therefore the numbers have been falling slightly.
However, blood reserves save lives and are almost irreplaceable.
The demand for blood products is high; their shelf life is limited; making it
crucial that not a single drop is lost. The conventional container for blood
reserves - the blood bag - is made of PVC. PVC is heat-resistant for sterilizing,
flexible when cold for freezing, transparent, and can be welded reliably -
permitting safe storage of blood.
Highest quality standards are indispensable for the production of the blood
bags. This applies not only to the film material, but also to all the connections
and connecting pieces. The only suitable technology for processing PVC is
Here Kiefel GmbH, Freilassing, has the market leadership and the benefit of
decades of experience, which flows into the blood bag production systems of
the company's KIR Highliner series. The machines produce blood bags with a
volume between 150 to 600 ml and a production capacity up to 2,200 bags per
hour. The machines produce the complete blood bag, with two to five
connections and connecting pieces.
High frequency heart
The heart of the machine is a high-frequency generator. This allows the
welding of high quality medical bags made of PVC - the product of choice for
blood storage. The modular concept of the generators allows output between
eight and 32 kilowatts. High frequency welding uses the dipole properties of
the PVC - the two opposing electrical poles of the material.
The PVC films to be welded are exposed to a high-frequency electromagnetic
alternating field with the aid of the generator, which excites the dipoles and
leads to molecular vibrations. The heat is generated directly in the material
and only in the areas that are to be connected. Pressure on the areas heated
to near the melting temperature joins them - they are welded with highest
Faults in the weld or the connections must not happen, because the blood of
each donor is too precious. The features of the KIR Highliner ensure highest
Film cleaning and web edge control, weld thickness measurement, process
control, automatic feed devices, tear out and stacking stations, laser marking,
– all these options guarantee speed, reproducibility, accuracy, and complete
The KIR Highliners work with up to two welding stations. Servomotors drive
these stations. They ensure the highest precision and the constant monitoring
of the welding parameters. If a parameter deviates from its target value, the
machine marks these bags as rejects.
Kiefel is the world market leader in the construction of machines for blood bag
production. It is not unlikely that the blood or some of its components from
most of the 108 million blood donors per year will be transported to the patient
in a bag produced on a Kiefel machine.