Posted by: Ashley

Pins for Needle Inspection: Combatting COVID-19

GLE Small Pin Gages

GLE Precision has been a global leader in manufacturing small pin gages for the medical industry for decades. As medical technology advances, these pin gages get smaller in OD size and the tolerances get tighter. We can produce pin gages with an OD size of .001″ and .000040″ tolerance, which is a class “X” tolerance in ANSI Standards. We often wondered what these parts could be used for. Years later, we learned that companies use most of them to inspect needle ID dimensions.

Manufacturing in a global pandemic was detrimental to many businesses in America and around the world. Fortunately, our doors remained open and our customers continued to support our business as much as they possibly could. Early in the pandemic, GLE brought on a new customer in the medical field that required small-ID carbide dies for stamping. The customer also inquired about small pins and explained the process of using them as pins for needle inspection.

GLE-Precision: Precision Pin Manufacturer
An example of a small pin gage manufactured at GLE.

How Does GLE Fit?

The small pin gages that GLE-Precision carefully manufactures are gages for checking the final ID size of needles. Needles like these distribute the Covid-19 vaccine. One of the three major pharmaceutical companies manufacturing the vaccine is also a longtime customer of GLE Precision.

Companies have been working very hard to distribute 126 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the months of December 2020 to March 2021. Before distribution, the vaccines met the standards developed by the FDA after rigorous testing of safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality. The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective as they have been evaluated in tens of thousands of individuals in clinical trials.

COVID-19 Vaccine Options

Currently, three pharmaceutical companies have manufactured a COVID-19 vaccine. These three companies are Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson. The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are given in two doses, while Johnson & Johnson developed a single-dose vaccine. Pfizer-BioNTech was the first vaccine to get full approval from the FDA in December 2020.  The FDA approved its second vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, about one week after the Pfizer vaccine.  Lastly, in February 2021, Johnson and Johnson announced the single-dose vaccine is approved and is available.  

Studies showed the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be 95% effective, and healthcare professionals administer the doses 21 days apart. Similarly, the Moderna vaccine has an 86% effectiveness rate, and there are 28 days between the two doses. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine has a 72% effectiveness rate, and they are working on a two-dose variant given months apart. This will be an important step for Johnson & Johnson, because on April 13th the CDC announced a pause on their single-dose vaccine. However, the risks of this vaccine are still very low.


Injection Needle Quality

GLE-Precision is optimistic that as other pharmaceutical companies roll out their COVID-19 vaccines, we will continue to manufacture small diameter pins for needle inspection. We can manufacture small diameter pins in steel or carbide, and we can hold a tolerance of .000020″ depending on the diameter size. Expedited deliveries are also an option. If a customer needs an expedited delivery, we will include our best delivery given our current manufacturing capacity. We look forward to working with you and continuing to keep combatting the COVID-19 virus.