Sponsored by Alleima®
Intelligent design for intelligent devices:
How to increase speed to market
As medical devices get more complex, manufacturers are under growing pressure to navigate increasingly complex design phases. This is especially true of intelligent devices that must be able to monitor and detect health issues.
medical device will typically be defined as smart if it is able to collect data and/or connect to the internet. This includes devices such as smartwatches, which collect data (such as heart rate) that can be accessed via a mobile device. An intelligent device goes one step further by responding to this data, examples include heart rate monitors that alert healthcare professionals when the patient is at risk, or implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) that administer electrical pulses when abnormal heart rhythms are detected.
Innovative intelligent designs require innovative components. Working with “off the shelf” commodity products may limit capabilities if manufacturers are forced to choose between the pros and cons of different components. Additionally, the complexity of the medical wire components used in an intelligent device means that manufacturers are increasingly outsourcing to suppliers with the in-house expertise regarding materials and processes needed to produce ultra-fine wire and wire coatings.
Unfortunately, relying on different suppliers for different stages of medical wire production not only reduces supply chain transparency, but it has the potential to significantly increase time to market. As too does trying to alter the medical devices’ design around commodity products, rather than having experts that can quickly produce perfectly configured customised wire solutions.
Alleima (formerly Sandvik Materials Technology) business unit Medical is a bespoke partner that gets involved in the engineering and design process from day one to create custom medical wire solutions and to help problem-solve. The company can also provide small batch prototypes, so manufacturers can test the components without wasting materials and waiting for large volumes.
As a “one-stop-shop” supplier, Alleima is able to supply manufacturers with everything from a wide range of metal alloys to surface treatments, precise cutting and coiling. From the initial consultation regarding what properties they need the wire to feature, to designing, testing, and final development- a finalised component is manufactured by a single supplier. Not only does this mean that multiple subcontractors do not need to be approached to negotiate and explain their end goal, but this solution also ensures full supply chain visibility and consistent quality control.
Alleima offers more than 200 alloys, metallurgy experience dating back to 1862, specially designed machinery for precision cutting, a range of polymer insulation and PTFE coatings, electroplating and electropolishing capabilities, customised coiling services and coating stripping services. By acquiring Galvarex, they also have added capabilities for plating. Alleima’s medical wire has been used for devices such as pacemakers, glucose monitoring devices, ICDs, and heart rate monitors across the globe, with the ability to manufacturer sensory wire that is fine enough for use in miniaturised devices.