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.
Metal injection molding (MIM) is a metal processing method that has become a beneficial manufacturing technology for the medical device industry, as it can produce complex-shaped, high-density, and high-performance metal parts at a low cost. Designers and engineers in the medical devices field are able to compare MIM to traditional machining techniques in the small parts arena.
A new method in examining test subject behavior has been developed by the Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology partnering with Wireless Techniques. Given that manual methods performed by human researchers can be inaccurate, expensive, and time-consuming, the new automated learning and testing chamber can instead analyze the behavior of small animals on a 24/7 basis, with several experiments running at the same time. As a result, greater insight will be achieved in the area of learning and memory.
For engineers and designers of medical devices, familiarity with U.S. patent rights is necessary to protect inventions. Before filing an application, it is important to distinguish "prior-art" from "novel" inventions.
Designing portable medical devices offers a multitude of challenges, from space constraints to interference issues to ergonomic concerns. Arguably, however, none of these are more serious than optimizing power use within the system. This Tech Brief reviews a number of methods designers can consider when developing their next portable medical device.
Why do medical device companies choose to pursue vertical integration? How does vertical integration cause technology drift over time? How can outsourcing be used strategically in key circumstances to gain valuable access to otherwise unavailable and diverse solutions from non-medical industries? This article addresses all of these questions for medical device manufacturers.
The Project: Determine the best DC motor with which to drive a power wheelchair or mobility scooter. The Solution: Using the innovative web tools and design expertise of one supplier of DC motors, manufacturers can be assured of making the best choice.
Implantables are already well established as a medical device solution, but this sector is achieving explosive growth with the development of new technologies. This article provides an overview of microelectronics packaging technology evolution, following how designs have been made to accommodate ever increasing demands for lightweight and smaller size modules.