More than 1,200 OEM suppliers unveiled the hottest wares in medical electronics, components, equipment networks, and packaging at MD&M West in Anaheim on January 18-19th. The Orange County, California location was fitting since 350 medical device companies make up a major slice of business in the region. In fact, medical device work has become the state’s second largest employer—topping the computer and motion picture industries. All 10,000 attendees sampled more electronic components and assemblies than ever before, along with the most sophisticated materials, in vitro diagnostics, and assembly, test, and inspection equipment offered for the medical industry. Manufacturers complained about cumbersome FDA approvals, and pointed to demands to shave off more development time—condensing a typical 12-month medical-product design cycle into 9 months. Other key trends included more supplier responsibility for both design and quality testing; a push toward integrated systems versus components so that medical OEMs don’t have to interact with as many suppliers; suppliers banding together to provide “plug-’n-play” solutions as a result; and a growing level of technology licensing.
All things electronic
MicroMo Electronics targeted invasive medical device and pump manufacturers with a tiny BL 1900 brushless motor and planetary gearhead. The 0.075-inch (1.9-mm) diameter gearmotor uses a bipolar rare-earth (Nd) permanent magnet for the motor rotor, micromachined molded plastic gears, and a sensorless electronic commutation system. This construction gives designers a continuous output torque of 150 µNm and an intermittent output torque of up to 300 µNm…For positioning and lifting applications worldwide, Nook Industries introduced a new ISO-version of its acme precision screws. PowerAC trapezoidal screws are offered in 4140 alloy or 340 stainless steel, at 10 to 60-mm sizes, with ±0.1 mm per 300-mm lead accuracy…Elekon Industries revealed new silicon planar diffused photodiode assemblies for pulse oximetry, glucometers, and finger/ear probe applications, featuring high efficiency and fast response rates. Silicon-based IR and visible light detectors, designed as building blocks for medical sensors, were also displayed…Minco launched a platinum-resistance temperature sensor packaged in a low-cost, flat body for surface mounting or insertion into probes or cavities. The Thermal-Tab sensor measures only 0.20 x 0.47 inch (5 x 12 mm), is completely insulated, and operates at a temperature range of -58 to 266F (-50 to 130C)…Mosaic Industries unveiled a C-programmable controller with a built-in graphical user interface. Billed as an ideal brain for products that need a smart user interface, computational power, analog and digital I/O, and serial communications, SmarTouch contains a 128 x 240 pixel display, a 5 x 4 touch screen, multitasking RTOS, and menuing software. It can be commanded remotely by a PC or operate stand-alone.…Miniature fiber-optic spectrometers for the UV, VIS, and Shortwave NIR from Ocean Optics offer OEM developers a linear CCD-array optical bench to embed into other devices. The OEM board design is relatively simple: the bench accepts light energy transmitted through single-strand optical fiber and disperses it via a fixed grating across the CCD array, which is responsive from 200 to 1,100 nm. A combination of gratings is available.
In the materials mix
Avery Dennison Specialty Tape Div. offered a highly breathable MVTR adhesive for wound care applications. The new formulation delivers adhesion and withstands sterilization, yet is gentle and easy to remove. Hydrocolloid adhesives were also offered as transfer tapes and single-coated PUR film laminates…Dow Chemical revealed a new Covelle HR weldable polyolefin film as a “drop-in” replacement for alternative high-frequency or RF-welded medical films. Characteristics of the new medical films include superior ability to fabricate; tear, puncture, and chemical resistance; and softness and flexibility …New polymer heated tubing assemblies from Watlow can heat moving fluids up to 212F (100C) from a reservoir to a point of use. The innovative design puts the heating element in direct contact with the miniature tubing…In high-volume medical device packaging, Doyen Medipharm introduced the MT2500 thermoform machine with web speeds of up to 720 inches/minute at widths from 11 to 25 inches that can be changed on line.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.