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.
Major changes are happening in the world of 3D printing and additive manufacturing materials, machines, and software. If the industry -- and the design engineers and OEMs it serves -- are to grow, all three areas must become much more tightly integrated.
Americans spent more than $60B on their pets in 2015. Folks are definitely spending their money on more than dog food. We’re spending on things like dog spas and fancy toys, and as you can imagine, the wearables market is becoming well represented here.
Time was when sports equipment was made only from common, everyday, low-tech materials. But now sports equipment has a new, high-tech ingredient that is helping players take their game to the next level.
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