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PCBs tailored for medical electronics

Posted: 02 Sep 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:PCB? medical electronics? interconnect?

PCB for medical apps

Electronic Interconnect (EI) has introduced specialized PCBs for medical device electronic assemblies, and engineering and design services to help customers plan and develop medical electronic circuit assemblies.

"Medical electronic assemblies have unique requirements that set them apart from other types of electronic devices, such as CE products," said Pratish Patel, president and CEO of EI. "Often, thermal management issues must be anticipated in the design, and assemblers must conform to certain quality standards such as ISO 13485. Medical product manufacturers in many instances can benefit from the knowledge base and experience of PCB suppliers and industry players who have been through the many changes and advancements that the electronics manufacturing industry has been through in recent years."

For example, Patel cited that burn-in and rigorous vacuum chamber testing are vital for medical electronics and circuit board products. Testing involves subjecting fully functional sub-system circuit boards to different temperature cycles to ensure a full simulation, as though the product were fully operational in a medical facility. Vacuum chamber testing puts the subsystem circuit board in a real environment, with temperature ranges from -40C to +85C for 24 to 48 hour test cycles, and it is put into non-stop operation for periods ranging from 24 to 72 hours. "Such a circuit board could be in a remote location with temperatures over 38C, with no air control rooms or, at the other extreme, with temperatures below room temperature or below freezing temperatures" Patel said. "Thus, such environmental cycling exposes the PCB to possible anticipated extreme conditions, ensuring 100 percent product reliability as well as exposing latent defects."

To achieve high reliability goals, a sound product testing strategy must be created at the prototype stage, Patel added. "That is when both OEM and EMS provider engineering staffs initially come together to discuss design and manufacturing objectives. In effect, the PCB prototype serves as a product R&D tool, allowing the EMS provider to increase reliability by defining and building in design for manufacturability and design for testability procedures within the different stages of the product development."

For application notes on PCBs click here.

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