Flex Mend – Who Makes Flex Mend Tape?

Who Makes Flex Mend Tape?
Flex Mend Tape is one of those things that has the amazing ability to repair itself. Flex Mend Tape was the invention of a seven-year-old boy. The story, according to his father, goes like this:

Flex Mend Inc., a 120-person company in Palo Alto, California, makes 3 billion yards of surgical tape a year. Its customers include hospitals and doctors’ offices, as well as individuals.

Flex Mend tape gets its name from the stretchy elastic material that makes the product so useful. (The company has been selling tape in one form or another since 1926.) What makes Flex Mend tape unusual is that it’s made by a machine.

The machine is a computer-controlled embroidery machine. Flex Mend Inc. makes 600,000 yards of tape a day, which comes out to about 2,500 yards every hour. The machine works by running the tape through a feed mechanism at a very high speed. The feed mechanism comprises many tiny needles that buzz along in a continuous line. They are attached to a frame with dozens of bars, each 0.1 millimeters wide and 0.5 millimeters high. As each needle passes the bar, it slides it slightly to one side and then pulls it back. This motion repeats continuously, turning the bars back and forth like a drum head.

The needles pull the tape through the feed mechanism and onto a spool, where it forms a web of tape. The tape is then wound onto a spool, and the spool is temporarily attached to the machine. The machine then pulls the tape off the spool and feeds it through a cutter, which cuts the tape into bite-size pieces. The pieces are stacked onto a tray, and the machine automatically cuts the tape into individual pieces, which are then packaged.

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