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Making the Case for Enclosures

Tue, 04/06/2010 - 5:07am
The Project: An enclosure was needed for a power source that aided surgeons with a very delicate procedure.

 

The Solution: Plastic Enclosure Technology was used, which enables high quality, custom plastic enclosures to be fabricated, while offering the flexibility to make frequent, rapid, and affordable design changes.

 

FHC's Power and Assist product line for treating Parkinson's disease, aided by Buckeye Shapeform's plastic enclosure technology.
FHC's Power and Assist product line for treating Parkinson's disease, aided by Buckeye Shapeform's plastic enclosure technology (PET).
Parkinson's disease is a debilitating degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, often impairing motor skills, speech, and other nervous system functions of the afflicted. However, specially made Display and Power Assist accessories for microTargeting Drive Systems, designed and manufactured by FHC Inc., provide a breakthrough in treatment, and are being used successfully in a number of hospitals and surgical centers.



FHC created its Display and Power Assist product line to pinpoint individual cells within the brain. By delivering an electrical current via a needle probe directly to an individual brain cell, surgeons can alter the cell, greatly reducing or eliminating tremors in patients suffering from the disease.



FHC needed an enclosure to house the power source that aids surgeons in inserting the needle probe through the skull and into the brain. Off-the-shelf enclosures were not an option for this product since manufacturers typically do not offer an enclosure size small enough to work with the product design specifications.



"For our Display and Power Assist components, we really needed to work with a supplier with excellent customization capabilities," says Kate Bussey, marketing and communications manager at FHC. "We worked with Buckeye Shapeform in the past and we knew they had the ability to partner closely with us to meet our design challenges."



Buckeye's engineering team immediately recommended Buckeye Shapeform's Plastic Enclosure Technology (PET) as the answer.

Examples of plastic enclosure technology
  Examples of PET
Examples of PET (plastic enclosure technology)



"PET offers a number of benefits key to FHC's product," explains Jim Willcox, project manager at Buckeye Shapeform. "PET results in high quality, custom plastic enclosures while offering the flexibility to make frequent, rapid, and affordable design changes. In the case of FHC's products, PET also permits some of the smallest, lightest cases, which is key with products that need to be stored, managed, and organized in a busy, crowded surgical environment."



PET also achieved other product requirements plus a high-quality exterior enclosure finishing for both product performance and aesthetic reasons. PET easily accommodates an electromagnetic interference (EMI) shield, essential for preventing the transfer of electrical current from one medical device to another. By spraying the enclosure with a copper impregnated paint, Buckeye Shapeform provided the protection for the device's motor, ensuring an uninterrupted, reliable power supply to the needle probe every time, and improving comfort for both surgeon and patient during a precise and delicate life-saving procedure.



"The special enclosures make the difference in the success of our products," concludes Kate Bussey. More importantly, they make the difference in the lives of patients dealing with difficult diseases."

 

Ken Tumblison is the president of Buckeye Shapeform. The Buckeye Enclosures division offers a complete line of off-the-shelf instrumentation enclosures, as well as services for modifying standard enclosures and creating completely customized solutions in metal or plastic. Tumblison can be reached at 614-445-8433 or ktumblison@buckeyeshapeform.com.

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