Modular Assembly System Supports Rapid OEM Response to Changing Markets

March 1, 2002

5 Min Read
Modular Assembly System Supports Rapid OEM Response to Changing Markets

Originally Published MPMN March 2002


Modular Assembly System Supports Rapid OEM Response to Changing Markets

Units can be quickly retooled to accommodate variables in the production process

Jetwing's standardized modules are suited for the automated manufacture of products with relatively short life cycles.

To help device OEMs keep pace with ever-shorter life cycles and the demand for a greater diversity of products, a supplier of automated assembly equipment has developed a modular system that reduces changeover and retooling times. The Jetwing concept was introduced by sortimat Technology (Schaumburg, IL) at Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West 2002 in February.

"The system offers a level of flexibility that is unprecedented at sortimat," says marketing manager Silke Fischer. The concept is based on a flexible combination of task-specific components—assembly platforms, functional stations, testing stations, conveyors and feeders, and so forth, says Fischer. "The stations are standardized," she explains, "but they can be tailored to suit individual requirements." Up to 10 automated stations can be combined with manual processes, and each module can be integrated into the system via an interface. "The stations can be easily removed, replaced, or modified as needs change," says Fischer.

Standard connectors for the power supply, data bus systems, and compressed air facilitate installation. Jetwing can be used in any manufacturing process that calls for flexibility and variable output volumes of small parts, according to Fischer. Even manufacturers with products that are still in development can benefit from this system, she adds, because the machine can be easily adjusted to accommodate the product's final specifications. "And once the product has been designed, delivery time for the assembly system can be as little as three months."

Norbert Sparrow

sortimat Technology, 2242 N. Palmer Dr., Schaumburg, IL 60173; phone: 847/925-1234; e-mail: [email protected]; Internet:

Ultrasound Engine Speeds Time to Market

Integrated system reduces development requirements for medical OEMs

The flexible AN2300 digital engine from Analogic Corp. contains all the equipment required to acquire, process, and convert ultrasound information.

A flexible ultrasound engine combines several components into a single unit that can be integrated into OEM machines. Marketed by Analogic Corp. (Peabody, MA), the AN2300 streamlines product design by incorporating all the equipment necessary to acquire, process, and convert ultrasound information. "This engine helps OEMs get their products to market quickly by providing 90% of the equipment needed to make any ultrasound system," explains Analogic's OEM sales and marketing manager Axel Wirth. It also facilitates the integration of the remaining 10% of materials that define the end-user device, he adds.

Adaptation to specific applications is achieved through the addition of transducers, clinical software applications, displays, user interfaces, and other elements. "The system is particularly useful for companies that can't afford to develop a complete digital ultrasound unit on their own," says Wirth.

The PC-based AN2300 engine is suited for cardiology, general radiology, and breast imaging, among other applications. Special beam formers use a broadband spline-interpolation filter capable of synthesizing up to 256 receiving channels. Compatible imaging methods include parallel-beam processing, harmonic receiving, beam steering, spectral Doppler, color flow, and triplex modes. A software interface allows developers to program the system in a Windows NT environment without detailed knowledge of the engine's hardware.

Zachary Turke

Analogic Corp., 8 Centennial Dr., Peabody, MA 01960; phone: 978/977-3000; fax: 978/532-8913; e-mail: [email protected]; Internet:

Small Helium-Leak Detector Enables Easy Transportation between Environments

The compact unit meets sensitivity requirements

The Pico mass spectrometer–based leak detector from MKS Instruments is easily transported into a variety of work settings.

A lightweight, portable, mass spectrometer–based leak detector weighs 7 kg and is easily transported into a variety of industrial work settings, eliminating the need for push carts used to move traditional leak detectors that can weigh as much as 70 lb. Using an ion trap mass spectrometer, the Pico from MKS Instruments (Andover, MA) can identify leaks from pressurized lines or components with a minimum detectable leak rate of 1 x 10–7 atm-cm3/sec. The unit has an integral vacuum system that incorporates a turbomolecular pump as well as a backing scroll pump. A rugged 3-m probe has a field-replaceable filter, and a zero feature compensates for the background levels of helium often observed in production areas.

The unit measures approximately 4 in. wide, 15 in. long, and 10 in. high. A touch screen interface displays the current helium leak rate as well as historical leak-rate data. An adjustable audio signal enables the unit to be heard in the noisy environments encountered in some leak-detection applications. A beta version of the system was shipped last year to selected customers, and the company is currently ramping up for volume production.

Susan Wallace

MKS Instruments Inc., 6 Shattuck Rd., Andover, MA 01810-2449; phone: 978/975-2350; fax: 978/975-0093; e-mail: [email protected]; Internet:

Medical Product Manufacturing News is always on the lookout for innovative products and services. If you are aware of any that have recently been or are about to be introduced, please call the Hotline editor, at 310/445-4265.

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