Nylon Mesh Sterilization

At Component Supply, we frequently receive inquiries regarding the sterilization options for our nylon mesh products. Typically, they want to know which methods of sterilization are most effective between autoclave, gamma sterilization, and EtO.  

First, can you autoclave nylon mesh? To this question, we say, “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” While we have had customers successfully autoclave nylon mesh, many more have attempted this process without success. The autoclave process speeds up the absorption of the water in the polyamide causing the material to either become brittle and break or gummy. The settings and the autoclave itself lead to varying degrees of success, or rather, failure.

Gamma sterilization of nylon 6/6 doesn’t perform well either. From our experience, you will see a decrease in the melting point, causing the material to become brittle, which can result in cracking. Additionally, the fiber surface can become rough, which can affect filtering in some application. These changes also do not happen at the time of sterilization but can continue over time after irradiation.

That brings us to our last sterilization method, which is EtO. To our knowledge, EtO is the best sterilization method for nylon 6/6 because materials sterilized with this method are not exposed to excessive heat, moisture or radiation as seen with other sterilization methods.  

For more information about the suitability of nylon mesh for your application, please visit our website or contact us directly at parts@componentsupplycompany.com.

Component Supply Expands Burr-Free Cutting Capacity

As the economy continues to reopen and production ramps up in the medical device industry, Component Supply has quadrupled its burr-fee cutting capacity for hypodermic tubing and stainless steel wire. Adding equipment and skilled personnel allows Component Supply to cut more material to tight length tolerances while keeping the lead times short.

“We were starting to see more and more requests for medium to large volume tubing and wire cutting, so we wanted to be prepared for those new requests while still providing the same level of speed and quality to our current customers,” said Kristin Livesay, vice president of sales and marketing.

While burr-free cutting of stainless steel tubing and wire has been a core business for Component Supply since its inception in 2009, the need for larger volumes and faster lead times has increased over the past year. Length tolerances range from +/- 0.002” to +/- 0.005” and the average lead time is one week.

The mission of Component Supply is to be a resource to researchers and product designers by connecting them with the components and knowledge they need to change the world. While research and development has always been a priority to the company, this added capacity will enable Component Supply to bridge the gap between R&D and production.

Component Supply Increases Production of Hypodermic Needle Fabrication as Coronavirus Vaccine Production Ramps Up

As the United States braces for the manufacture of millions of doses of coronavirus vaccines by early 2021, Component Supply is increasing its resources to support both the diagnostics for the coronavirus as well as the production of the vaccine by increasing capacity for needles and nozzles.

In an interview with JAMA editor Howard Bauchner in early June, Dr. Anthony Fauci director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the mass production of coronavirus vaccines will proceed FDA approval so they can be distributing as soon as approval is extended.

“We’re going to start manufacturing doses of the vaccines way before we even know that the vaccine works,” Fauci said. “We may know whether it’s efficacious or not by maybe November, December. Which means that by that time, we hopefully would have close to 100 million doses. And by the beginning of 2021, we hope to have a couple of hundred million doses.”

Component Supply is prepared to supply hypodermic tubing products at increased quantities as testing and vaccination production increases in the US.

“We have been following the development of testing and vaccination research of coronavirus and have already partnered with pharmaceutical companies who are developing the testing resources,” said Component Supply president Mark Maffett. “We are prepared to keep up with the demand for hypodermic needles for as long as it is needed.”

At the end of 2019, prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Component Supply quadrupled its burr-fee cutting capacity for hypodermic tubing and wire. In the first quarter of 2020, Component Supply also tripled its needle production capacity.

“Burr-free cutting of hypodermic tubing has always been a core business for us,” Kristin Livesay, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said. “But the need for larger volumes and faster lead times was already increasing at the end of 2019, even before the pandemic hit, so we were already headed in the right direction to meet production quantity demands.”

The mission of Component Supply is to be a resource to researchers and product designers by connecting them with the components and knowledge they need to change the world. While research and development has always been a priority to the company, this added capacity will enable Component Supply to support early production of diagnostic testing equipment.  

Micron Size For Fruit Fly Larvae

At Component Supply, we receive questions every day about recommendations for mesh opening sizes for a multitude of applications. Whether your separating larvae or blood samples, understanding mesh specifications and micron sizes is helpful in making sure your tests run smoothly.

The University of Florida Entomology and Nematology Department published a paper on one of its “featured creatures” – the Drosohpila suzukii or more commonly known as spotted-wing drosophila, which is a species of fruit flies. Researchers working with species such as this need to understand what mesh filtration screening size they need in order to work with their specimen. While there are variations within the Drosohpila genus, general information is available to help researchers determine a mesh size they need depending on what stage in the life cycle they are working with. For quick reference purposes, the adult Drosohpila suzukii ranges from 3,000 to 4,000 microns. First instar larvae are around 70 microns and mature larvae can grow up to 6,000 microns. The pupae are between 2,000 and 3,000 microns long. Keep in mind that these are length measurements and not equivalent to what size mesh will either keep them in or out (depending on the application or requirement). Estimations will need to be made for each specific tests. However, Component Supply suggests ~1,000 micron mesh for adults and more developed larvae, ~ 400 micron mesh for pupae and ~40 micron mesh for earlier larvae. Because each test is different, we recommend trying several sizes to determine the mesh size needed for each individual test or application. That’s why we offer as little as a 1/4 yard length of mesh for purchase to researchers and product designers. To read more about the spotted-wing drosophila, click on the link below:


November is for Epilepsy Awareness

We talk a lot about growing at Component Supply. Growing inventory. Growing our team. Growing capabilities. But, no matter how much Component Supply grows, ensuring its position as a resource for research and development will always be a priority to me. I’ve been fascinated by medical research since I was a young girl and working alongside it is truly a dream come true. But, it’s not just my job — it’s my passion. And as you know, most passions stem from personal experience.

For me, that personal experience was losing my cousin Gregory during my freshman year of college. Gregory suffered from epileptic seizures, but his family did everything they could to make sure he lived as normal a life as possible. He played sports, loved to surf, and had an awesome group of friends.

Gregory was also my favorite buddy during our summer family reunions together. We rode rides at amusement parks, bodysurfed and boogie-boarded in the ocean, and played on the beach for hours on end. He died doing what he loved most – surfing, and even years later, I’m always looking for ways to honor and remember him. He was an inspiring overcomer, and we could all use a little more of that in our lives.

According to the American Epilepsy Society, “epilepsy is the second leading cause of death from a neurological condition and affects more people in the U.S. than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s combined, yet receives fewer federal dollars per patient than each of these.”

So in honor of my cousin, Gregory, and with the research statistics in mind, Component Supply has chosen epilepsy as the focus of our REAP program for the month of November. All throughout this month, we will support labs and promote research in this field. If you’re a researcher seeking advancements for epilepsy, contact us about how we can support your lab by discounting standard supply items (hypodermic tubing, 304 stainless steel wire, fittings, etc.), waiving our prototype minimums for fabricated parts, and promoting your research.

We want to see patients nationwide REAP the benefits of advancements in research and development for the diseases affecting them. Let us support you as you change the world for epilepsy patients.

componentsupplycompany.com/blog | parts@componentsupplycompany.com | 931-761-4000

For more information about Epilepsy visit these resources:

The American Epilepsy Society

The Epilepsy Foundation

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Mother. Sister. Wife. Daughter. Niece. Grandmother. Friend.

Everyone knows someone whose life has been turned upside down by breast cancer. We learn more every day about the risks, the signs, and early detection, but it still pervades the lives of women all over the world.

Thankfully, there are researchers who have dedicated their lives to understanding, preventing, and curing breast cancer so that someday, our daughters – and their daughters – will not face the same threats we face today.

As the R&D resource, Component Supply has always believed that we are more than a supplier and fabricator of metal and plastic tubing and wire. We promote and support research every day by supplying quality, affordable components faster than anyone, and this month we want to offer special support to researchers of breast cancer through REAP – our Research Engagement and Awareness Program.

To facilitate research engagement, Component Supply will offer 25% off catalog pricing* for standard supply items to breast cancer research. Also, for customers requiring custom fabrication, we will waive our $150 prototyping minimum. All you have to do is send us a link to your research lab website or a 3-5 sentence summary of the work you are doing in the field, and we will apply the requested discounts.**

Throughout the month of October, we hope that our efforts will allow patients to REAP the benefits of the life-changing advancements we see from our R&D customers every day. Let’s Change The World together.

*Discounts cannot be applied to volume price breaks. 

**Research website and research summary must highlight breast cancer to be eligible for the October discount. 

REAP: Research Engagement and Awareness Program

As the R&D resource, Component Supply has always believed that we are more than a supplier and fabricator of metal and plastic tubing and wire. We promote and support research every day by supplying quality, affordable components faster than anyone.

But, for us, it’s not enough.

That’s why we’ve launched REAP – our Research Engagement and Awareness Program. We want to see patients nationwide REAP the benefits of advancement in research and development for the diseases affecting them. As you may know, every month in the United States there are national awareness campaigns launched for various diseases. Component Supply is using these national campaigns as a catalyst for our efforts to support the research occurring in these fields. In line with national awareness efforts, we will select at least one disease per month on which to focus our REAP efforts of engagement and awareness.

To facilitate research engagement, Component Supply will offer 25% off catalog pricing* for standard supply items to researchers in the selected field that month. Also, for customers requiring custom fabrication, we will waive our $150 prototyping minimum. All you have to do is send us a link to your research lab website or a 3-5 sentence summary of the work you are doing in the field, and we will apply the requested discounts.** To promote research awareness for work being done for the selected diseases, we will highlight research news on our website, blog, Facebook pages, and customer communication. We hope that our monthly efforts will allow patients to REAP the benefits of the life-changing advancements we see from our R&D customers every day.

This month, our goal is to see SARCOMA patients REAP the benefits of R&D advancements for their disease. Send your RFQ, orders, and links to your research website to parts@componentsupplycompany.com with the subject “REAP2019.” We look forward to working with you!

*Discounts cannot be applied to volume price breaks. 

**Research website and research summary must highlight SARCOMA to be eligible for the July discount. 

Component Supply Celebrates 10 Years of Business

Component Supply has always been a small business located in a small town. But when it moved from Central Florida to Middle Tennessee two years ago, the business finally had room to grow beyond the storage container where it began 10 years ago.

Father-son partners, Phil and Mark Maffett, spent five years on the management team for Small Parts, Inc., an industrial and scientific supplier in South Florida, before the company was sold to Amazon.com in 2005. Phil moved to Central Florida after the sale, but Mark continued to work for Amazon for two years before leaving. Then in 2009, Mark and Phil received a call with the opportunity to buy back the Small Parts equipment.

“We had a contracting business digging ditches and cutting grass. We were trying to figure out what to do with our lives while we were in the middle of a non-compete agreement,” Mark said. “Then God gave us the business back.”

But, he was hesitant at first.

“I didn’t know if I wanted to do it again. I had already done it once. I didn’t know how we’d get our customers back. Small Parts was a 40-year-old company with an amazing reputation. Duplicating that from the ground up was just too big.”

But with Phil’s persuading, the two decided it was something they could do on a small scale. So, without a company name, they made the deal. They brought the equipment, tables and fixtures to their family farm in Central Florida and parked it under a barn while they tried to decide what to do with it.

“The salesman in Mark pointed out to me that we had no customers,” Phil said. “But we rented an air-conditioned shipping container and stored the equipment there anyway.”

Shortly after they made the purchase, they were contacted by a company in South America who wanted them to supply nylon tubing. Then another customer needed hypodermic tubing. The material was processed in the 40-foot-long container, which had an air conditioner on one end and both doors kept open on the other end to keep the temperature manageable.

“It was hot during the fall in Florida, but we worked in there for a couple of months because we had so many orders that were coming in. We processed everything in that building,” Mark said. “Customers sent purchase orders to our names because there was no company name. We didn’t have any certifications or vendors set up. No power to run equipment. Nothing. Everything was just stored in the container.”

But Mark felt like there was a future for Component Supply beyond the shipping container. So, he and Phil bought two 400-square-foot buildings. At first, one building held a computer, a table for processing material, a saw for cutting tubing and a one-leg desk with one side nailed into the wall. The other building sat empty for a while. Eventually, operations were in one building and receiving, shipping and accounts receivable moved into the other. Three part-time employees were added, and one small rack stored all the material.

Then, more opportunities came as Mark and Phil contacted their former vendors, who were happy the pair was getting back into the business.

“Even though we hadn’t talked to them in years, our vendors remembered us and how we conducted business at Small Parts and issued us credit,” Mark said.

After the first two invoices were shipped, it was time to name the company. “National Component Supply” was the first business name idea, but because the first order was international, Component Supply Company was chosen instead.

“Then about a year later in 2010, I remember sitting at my desk, working on our website and thinking, ‘We have employees. This is actually a place of employment’,” Mark said. “But, I never expected it to be what it is now.”

In 2011, another building was added, allowing room for a small machine shop and for larger volumes of material to be processed. But it wasn’t long before it was time to expand again. While the initial vision was for the company to be an industrial supplier for standard tubing products like hypodermic tubing, nylon and silicone tubing, there was a significant void in the scientific and engineering supply market. Customers were looking for someone to fill the void.

“Our customers found us,” Mark said. “It’s so fulfilling to work with people who are working in those fields, whether medical or aerospace, because they further technology in research and development or in production. As a result, so much of what we do changes quality of life.”

As former customers continued to find Component Supply, the need for even more space became obvious. An additional 1000-square-foot warehouse was built.

“It took us about 8 months to move into it, and by the time we were moved in, we were already maxed out. But we were stuck. We couldn’t add more space. So, we started to look for places to move or rent. Plus, we just wanted to live near the mountains, and when many of our employees wanted to move too, and all those doors were open, we pursued it,” Mark said.

To provide the best services to its customers, Component Supply needed to find a new home closer to the UPS and FedEx hubs and at least one time zone over so the west coast customers could benefit from same-day shipping. After several months of searching for a new building, Phil finally came across the perfect property just outside of Cookeville, Tennessee. In the fall of 2016, renovations began and by June 2017, all operations had fully transitioned into a 10,000-square-foot section of the new facility.

“This building has easy access without feeling like you’re in an industrial park, but it has all the infrastructure that an industrial park would give you,” Mark said. “It gives us a nice working environment for our amazing team with a tremendous amount of room to expand.”

And Mark has big plans for all that space.

“We’re excited about adding new capabilities for custom fabrication because it builds stronger relationships with our customers. We’re ready to test the boundaries of small quantities and short lead times. We want to be the resource that other people can’t be or are unwilling to be. I’m excited that Component Supply has the same reputation that Small Parts had for so many years.”

This summer, as Component Supply celebrates its tenth year of business, it will continue to pursue the mission it has always had: “to be a resource for researchers and product designers by connecting them with the components and knowledge they need to change the world.”



Shipping Costs Realities: FedEx One Rate Program

The shipping advice we provided in the last posts is relevant to all shipping providers. However, we want to separately address one program that has stood out among the rest and encourage any customers using FedEx services to utilize it: FedEx One Rate.

Through FedEx’s One Rate program, we can ship many of our orders 2nd day for roughly the same price as, and sometimes even less than, ground shipping. It only applies to shipments that can fit inside the FedEx envelopes and express boxes, but we are able to package large amounts of product in them. One trick we were taught was to use a small box, say 6x6x4, and put that inside the FedEx envelope. This method ships packages valued at less than $100 2nd day air anywhere in the U.S, including Alaska and Hawaii, for less than $9.50.

We have customers that are requesting ground shipping on their account, but they are not able to take advantage of the cost savings because they have not signed up for it. This is a great program that we would like to see our customers take advantage of so we can use it when they want to ship orders using their own FedEx accounts. We would urge you to talk to your FedEx representative about this program. Even though it only applies to smaller shipments, we can ship products like our blunt needles, fittings, and PTFE tubing with this method and save customers some shipping costs while providing the benefit of shipping 2nd day. Unfortunately, due to their length, hypodermic tubing and wire cannot be shipped this way unless precision cutting has been performed.

We hope some of these ideas have been helpful. If you want to talk to us about how we can work with you and your organization to be more efficient with some of these costs, please contact us. This is just another way we can be a resource to our customers.


Shipping Cost Realities: Three More Tips and Custom Fab

In our last post, we shared tips 1-3 for cutting shipping costs. Here are three more tips to consider for future orders:

4) Be flexible with your shipping carrier. Shipping costs depend on size, shape, and weight of the package, along with transit route, time frame, and negotiated rates of your company, and your supplier. When you are ordering from Component Supply, if you do not have your own account with UPS or FedEx, we are willing to determine the most cost-efficient rate depending on when you expect your delivery. So, simply indicate “ground” or “overnight” or “two-day” and leave the research to us to help connect you with the best rate.

5) Ask suppliers to ship from one warehouse when possible. We often purchase from suppliers who have multiple locations. Don’t be afraid to call and ask your supplier to ship from one warehouse if it is possible. We ship everything from our Sparta, TN facility, so this is not something you need to consider with us. But, every one of our suppliers that we request this of has been very helpful and willing.

6) Order shorter if the larger length is not necessary.  Keep in mind that everything over 48” long has a $14 special handling charge from the larger carrier companies. So, if you can accept the product (like hypodermic tubing or straightened wire) in lengths shorter than 48” then you can cut out that fee from the carrier. Remember, any of our 72” wire is also available in 36” lengths and our 60” hypodermic tubing can be sent in 30” lengths.

If you would be performing precision cutting of the material, like most end-users do, consider submitting a request for quote and letting us perform that operation for you to save you production time and shipping costs.


The mission of Component Supply is to connect researchers and product designers with the knowledge and components they need to change the world.