When an older instrument requires highly interruptive engineering demands to keep it on the market, some companies may seek engineering resources to support their legacy product line, which can be a viable and highly cost-effective solution. To better understand the feasibility and benefits of strategic partnerships, Celestica conducted an IVD instrument refresh project to discover unknown cost reduction options, and alleviate risks within the product lifecycle. For the project, a special task force was assembled, and important findings were established.
Demands on components increase with the advancing miniaturization in medical engineering. However, an important prerequisite for such advancement is the choice of the matching drive. Piezo-based drive solutions have thrived for quite some time in the semiconductor, biotechnology, and metrology industries. In addition, piezo-based drives are being used more often in medical engineering. Piezo elements and piezo actuators are ideal for medical applications because they generate linear motions very precisely without detours, and they are easily matched to the relevant application environment. Their small size means that not only laboratory applications can be realized, but also an increasing number of mobile solutions, be it in mobile measuring instruments, portable laboratories, infusion devices, or therapeutic equipment.
Subminiature LVDT Linear Position Sensor Serves as Critical Component in Ophthalmic Ultrasound SystemJuly 25, 2011 11:21 am | by Eileen Otto & Jean Carl | Comments
The Eye Cubed has been released by Ellex Innovative Imaging, which manufactures ophthalmic laser and ultrasound systems used by ophthalmologists to diagnose and treat eye diseases. A major element of the Eye Cubed is the MD 188 Series Sub-miniature LVDT Position Sensor by Macro Sensors. In conjunction with CT or MRI, the Eye Cubed is used for imaging orbital tumors and optic nerve abnormalities. It can also locate foreign bodies that become lodged in the eye.
DiFUSION Technologies’ new interbody implants are made of Solvay’s Zeniva PEEK, which has a modulus very similar to that of bone, along with toughness and fatigue resistance. The implants are for intervertebral body fusion of the thoracolumbar spine, and to be used with supplemental internal fixation. These implants are hollow, meaning the bone can grow through the device, and fuse the nearby bony surfaces of the vertebrae.
Thanks to a special needle design from Advanced Machine & Engineering (AME), Phoenix Medical Products has seen a 40% improvement in production and a 10% decrease in scrap. Phoenix can now safely rely on the AME needle sharpener for its needle design, production, sterilization, and packaging needs.
To ensure the effectiveness of a medical device, correct film thickness is crucial for optical and medical coatings. If film thickness is compromised, the medical device will not interact properly with a patient’s body. Accordingly, viscosity is needed to maintain preferred film thickness. Cambridge Viscosity, a provider of automated viscometers, offers seven pieces of advice when utilizing viscometers.
Eye-Com Corporation’s eye-tracking technology has led to many research and practical applications, including the development of the next generation EC7T eyeglasses. Due to increased design complexity, Eye-Com relied on Quickparts to meet the strict requirements needed for their custom designs in a timely manner.
Slide Forming Technology Still Competitive: Older technology produces parts at reduced cost and with lower scrap ratesJuly 18, 2011 10:47 am | by Pete Marut & Dale Pereira | Connecticut Spring & Stamping | Comments
Although slide forming machinery has existed for over eight decades as a metal stamping technology, it persists as a competitive method for manufacturing specific parts, including those going into medical devices that connect internal workings. As compared to standard stamping presses, slide forming machinery is usually inexpensive due to the simplicity of the tools.
Graphicast, a single-source contract manufacturer introduces a process using graphite molds to cast parts from ZA-12, a zinc-aluminum alloy that is stronger and more durable than aluminum, brass, bronze, and plastic. The graphite mold/ZA-12 casting process is a lower-cost alternative to CNC machining, die casting, sand casting, and investment casting for medium-volume production runs. Additionally, tooling costs for the graphite mold/ZA-12 process are much lower than for die casting or injection molding because graphite costs less than tool steel and requires no heat treating. Moreover, a graphite mold can often be produced weeks faster than a die-casting mold, and for about one-fifth the cost. Since a graphite mold will not warp or corrode, it can also be stored indefinitely and reused.
Concept to Production at the Speed of Light: Metal Springs and Stamping Business Responds to Quickening PaceJuly 18, 2011 6:31 am | by Pete Marut & Dale Pereira | Connecticut Spring & Stamping | Comments
The pace of product launch continues to pick up throughout every industry, responding to the speed at which information is exchanged and the perceived need to introduce the latest product revision to beat competitors. Such rapidity is especially seen in medical instruments, firearm components, and parts produced for the consumer, automotive, and electronic industries.
Maximizing Profit Capture for Medical Device Manufacturers: Gain Control Over Pricing Strategies, Value Stories, and Profit VisibilityJuly 13, 2011 10:56 am | by Tom Monheim | Comments
Medical device manufacturers face unprecedented pricing and profit pressure in today’s market. Several factors shift power toward the buyer. These include changes in the relationship between physicians, vendors, and economic buyers, along with the emergence of third-party purchasing consultants. On top of all of these factors, regulatory changes point to the distinct possibility of reduced profit margins.
Innovative technologies consistently emerge from the minds of medical device design engineers, but how does one ensure that an idea reaches the right pair of eyes to get the design from concept to product? The answer is effective communications. Taking a page from successful public relations campaigns, a solid foundation of market research, impactful and concise messaging, and effective promotional tools will present potential investors and other key decision-makers with a clear and strategic direction that can put a new device on the fast track to success.
As medical devices become more complex and offer increasingly sophisticated user interfaces and capabilities, these devices are inevitably moving to multicore processing. Today, ultrasound, MRI, CT, PET, and digital X-ray systems all imply multicore processing. It is not a question of if, but of when. In addition to all the other challenges they must face, medical device manufacturers must ensure that their multicore systems obtain FDA and other relevant certifications. This requirement has made many wary of multicore systems, concerned that their complexity might jeopardize certification. OS characteristics and features that can facilitate migration to multicore systems, as well as the question of validating multicore systems for certification are discussed.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines are used to treat sleep apnea, a disorder that restricts breathing, and potentially causes stress to both the heart and circulatory system. Sensortechnics’ HDI and HCE series pressure sensors monitor the instantaneous pressure at the output of the machine and inside the breathing mask, increasing accuracy and sensitivity for individual CPAP users.
Despite innovations concerning resins in medical devices, extrusion processing challenges still occur. If one has trouble maintaining the high precision required for smaller diameters, thinner walls, and tighter tolerances common to medical tubing and other products, four pieces of advice should be followed.