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Machine Design

Smart coupling for tubing and air lines

To err is human, but hooking the wrong gas or fluid line into a piece of equipment can cause serious downtime.


And if it is medical equipment keeping a patient alive, consequences are even more severe. To prevent such accidents, Colder Products Co., St. Paul, Minn. (, added RFID smart-tag technology to tube fittings to create Identiquik SMC connectors. The twist-to-connect couplings are also reportedly more secure than other luer-type connections. And once connected, the coupling lets the tubing rotate, preventing kinking and accidental disconnects. The RFID tag lets users electronically verify the connection is correct.

The connectors are made of chrome-plated brass, acetal, polypropylene, or polycarbonate (which can be gamma sterilized) with acetal valves. They use a steel spring and acetal or polycarbonate locking sleeves. They handle pressures to 100 psi (6.9 bar), and can connect to 1/16-in., 1/8-in., and 3-mm tubing. Couplings are configured as in-line bodies and inserts with valved and nonvalved options.

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