Zoll Medical's new automatic external defrilator - the AED Plus - is for first responders in emergencies. This growing market includes gymnasiums, health clubs, and airports. The tool is also carried in the back of police cars and on buses and airplanes.
Burlington, MA—If you take a good look around the airport, health club, and other public places, you will notice that defibrillators are popping up in many new locations.
As these devices become available in places that allow non-medical professionals to administer defibrillation therapy, it becomes possible to save more of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who are stricken each year with sudden cardiac arrest.
Zoll Medical Corp. designs and manufactures defibrillators used for emergency treatment of cardiac arrest victims both inside and outside hospitals. "We were in need of two more CAD seats and stumbled across SolidWorks," says Frederick Faller, one of the company's mechanical design engineers. He explains that the switch to SolidWorks enabled several time-saving improvements in the product development process, such as simplifying the transfer of the company's design intent to its vendors.
"We work with a vendor who is 100% CAD savvy for all our big plastic parts," says Faller. "We were able to send them early concepts for mold planning and costing and then update this information painlessly as often as we needed." Zoll Medical now makes more moldable parts and becomes aware of the cost implications sooner than they had previously.
Database transfers also minimize the need for elaborate drawings. Plastic parts drawings were reduced to four or five views, a set of notes, and ten critical dimensions. Everything else was embedded in the database that accompanied the drawing. "This streamlined process reduced the documentation time for a complicated part from weeks to hours," says Faller.
In the past, design reviews required multiple sheets of hard-to-generate sketches and drawings. Now the reviews are live on projection equipment, where designers can visualize and discuss details. The ability to explode assemblies, show cross-sections, and hide and move parts made the design review more visual, and required less tedious preparation of documents.
Zoll's design and manufacturing departments used the software's product visualization capabilities during "design for manufacturability reviews," and showed how defibrillator parts could be assembled and disassembled. The two departments designed the production assembly process before committing to any parts.
Faller adds that he now has faster and easier access to rapid prototypes. "The translators that SolidWorks provided made rapid prototyping fast," he says. "These changes represented a significant step forward for the mechanical design process at Zoll Medical."
The American Hospital Association estimates that early defibrillation could raise survival rates by 30%. For more information about software from Solidworks, www.solidworks.com: Enter 535