In today’s world of rapidly evolving technology, standard off-the-shelf connectors increasingly fall short of the medical imaging market’s need for high-bandwidth data. ITT’s Ted Worroll and Murtaza Fidaali explain why you should consider custom solutions for medical imaging applications.
In today’s world of rapidly evolving technology, standard off-the-shelf connectors increasingly fall short of the medical imaging market’s need for high-bandwidth data. Design engineers in the medical imaging area often encounter scenarios that require custom interconnects, various cable assemblies, and a general need for customized interconnect solutions. The trends all include speed, dependability, higher cycle counts, size reduction, and utilization of composite materials.
Here are four things to consider relative to custom interconnects before starting your next project:
- Smaller Form Factors and Lighter Weights: Consolidation and smaller sizes can reduce costs. Medical imaging manufacturers are moving toward miniaturization, often using a wide range of sensors that call for three pins, five pins, or 10 pins, requiring a somewhat different type of connector. One solution provides a way to package those multiple interconnects in a single rectangular, plastic frame system by molding the interface with the pins. This solution is robust and delivers reduced sizes, lighter weights, and reduced costs.
- More Cycles with Composite Materials: Seek a solution with a strong contact interconnect system. With the portable gear often used in the medical imaging industry, high cycle counts are a deal-breaker. Common applications often require 10K, 20K, even 6oK cycles. You can’t achieve this level with a heavy plate of nickel topped with gold or silver. The coupling mechanism must be unique and will likely require a composite or non-magnetic material. Pogo pin technology can provide more than 100K cycles for signals, power, and even RF if you put 360-degree shielding around it. Consider customized interconnects with appropriate materials, which may sometimes need to be composite or non-magnetic in an imaging application. In medical imaging applications, it is important to find a connector solution that is RoHs-compliant and carries full substance disclosure.
- Need for Speed: Look for a fast solution with the ability to handle high bandwidth. Imaging storage can be enhanced when going through 10G with copper. One example is the explosive growth seen in robotic surgery equipment. Design engineers and specifiers cannot rely on standard interconnects to meet the ever-increasing need to transfer large image and data files and advances in automation. Customization is the answer, providing a specially created connector for each specific application, resulting in a more reliable and efficient solution.
- Coupling Technology: Flexibility, durability, and portability are key. The industry is moving toward more portable gear that supports expanding imaging options. Many applications are multiline with an interface requiring cycle counts of 100K+. Interconnects are often on a panel and must be robust enough to support high cycle counts over 10+ years. Custom coupling technology for signals and power are now possible with pogo pin technology. These interconnects are designed to allow for easy cleaning, are RoHs-compliant, and even offer a breakaway interface option.
Ted Worroll is part of ITT Cannon Business Development and Global Product Management, Medical Technologies and Murtaza Fidaali is an ITT Cannon business development manager. ITT Cannon is the longest-running interconnect company in the world with a lengthy history of industry firsts, starting with developing the first connector in 1905.