Applying Tech: Portable Medical, Part III
How are you influencing portable medical devices?
Gregory L. Horton
President, Stellar Microelectronics
Stellar Micro specializes in optimizing space, energy use, and durability for implantable, portable, and miniaturized devices.
- Size—Reducing the size of portable devices means increasing the opportunities for their use, as well as increasing the functionality that can be included in their design.
- Efficiency—Increasing efficiencies means devices can perform longer and/or operate in a greater capacity.
- Durability—Portable devices must be able to endure shipping and extreme operating temperatures without damage or compromising performance.
We are in continuous discussions with our customer base regarding design and process enhancements. Efficiencies found in one category are applied to others. Years of contract manufacturing experience enable us to help our clients, from design to delivery. We share a common goal of creating the most efficient medical devices in the industry, and our success is intimately linked to our customer’s well being and prosperity.
Beyond changing the paradigm of insulin delivery, portable medical devices such as this integrate more fully into how people truly live their lives.
Technical and Design Services Manager, Value Plastics
VP Engineering, Mold Craft Inc.
As a pioneer and leader in the industry, Mold Craft has invested in technology to machine our molds using 0.002 wire EDM with linear motors. This offers extremely tight tolerances of ±0.0001, which are consistently repeatable. We have also been working with a press manufacturer to develop molding processes for engineering resins, such as PEEK. Although this material offers high strength-to-weight ratios and implantability, while also being safe for standard sterilization procedures, it is difficult to mold—especially for thin-walled parts. Another area of development is in MIM (metal injection molding). The ability to mold 98% dense, very small, intricate, stainless steel components has opened the door for component miniaturization. The small detail in these molds has required developing machining parameters for copper electrodes, small hard-milling cutters, and extremely hard materials exceeding 60 Rc.
Mold Craft’s mission as a moldmaker is to not only keep up with technology but to lead the way in supporting medical device manufacturers through investment, innovation, and collaboration.
Medical Device Technical Specialist, Uson
People may take leak testing those type batteries for granted now—but at first it was not so straightforward on how to approach the problem.Our mindset at Uson is “If it CAN be done, we will do it.”Our only enemy seems to be the laws of physics, most times impossible to “outsmart”.
In this case, because the vent valves opened in the same direction of the leak test we had to engineer a reverse direction for leak testing.This was accomplished, and still is the method of choice today, by placing a part in a chamber, then creating a vacuum to slightly evacuate the inside of the battery. We then vent the chamber and reseal it, monitoring chamber pressure.Any pressure drop means the battery leaks and that defective part for that surgical drill never finds its way to the operating room.