Flexible Circuit Technologies: Redefining Medical Devices with Flexible Circuit
Mark Finstad, Senior Application Engineer
The contemporary medical landscape is experiencing tumultuous disruptions with the advent of intelligent devices that automate monitoring of patient health and treatment. The devices with underlying IoT, mobility, wearables, miniaturized product profiles, and data sharing technology can be used not just within but outside the healthcare facility as well. Packing more electronic capability into smaller spaces/devices and developing electronic solutions that can interact with the human body can lead to extreme challenges for any flexible circuit designer. Flexible circuits in these applications need to survive unpredictable movements such as bending simultaneously in multiple axes, stretching and twisting. Flexible Circuit Technologies (FCT) brings the industries deepest design expertise to their customers allowing them to address their customer’s requirements while supporting the development of superior designs that will meet the challenge of these modern medical applications.
FCT provides superior application engineering expertise and design support which helps accelerate the product development life cycle. As the total number of revisions is reduced, the result is a shorter developmental cycle with lower overall developmental costs to produce the final product. “Most often our application engineers become a key member of the product development team and are key contributors that lead to overall success,” remarks Mark Finstad, Senior Application Engineer, FCT. The company leverages its extensive experience in helping the customers to miniaturize their solutions while developing designs that will perform within demanding applications. Beyond superior design support, FCT aids the customers with prototyping services so that they may expeditiously test and qualify their flexible circuit design. When the design is proven, FCT fulfills small, mid-size and large quantity production orders through its ISO13485 certified China manufacturing facilities at very competitive pricing.
FCT has recruited leading industry experts in flexible circuit design to assist customers early in the design process.
Most often our application engineers become a key member of the product development team and are key contributors that lead to overall success
When these experts are engaged early in this process, many pitfalls can be avoided thereby reducing the design cycle time and cost. “Our engineers have 20–35 years of rich experience in flex circuit design. They are flex circuit design experts. However, if you design a couple of flex circuits a year, that makes you a flex designer, not an expert,” quips Finstad.
In one instance, a product development firm which was contracted by a major medical device manufacturer to reduce assembly time/errors and update an arthroscopic surgical cleaning/warming device approached FCT. The previous design had a wire wound heater which was bulky, time-consuming to assemble, and provided inconsistent heating. To aid in the product development, FCT produced working prototypes of flexible heaters with a range of power ratings. The prototypes’ different power ratings helped the customer decide which one provided the most efficient heating. FCT also helped the customer select key components such as dielectric material, bonding adhesives, and surface mount technology (SMT) components to create the heater assembly which successfully fulfilled the customer’s requirements. The company is now supplying the fully qualified device with the new and more cost-effective design.
The company believes that the scaling down of product footprints will continue alongside increasing electronic capability. They anticipate continuing growth for FCT products such as flexible circuits, rigid flex, flexible heaters, membrane switches, value-added assembly services, and box builds. FCT will continue to listen to its customers closely with the belief that their requirements drive the company’s growth. The company is enhancing its capabilities to meet the growing requirements in the domains of HDI, rigid flex, stretchable substrates, high temperature and high-speed applications, and more.' “We will remain focused on the key items that have helped us to become one of the top providers within our industry including; providing superior expertise and design support, responsive customer care, and cost-effective solutions,” concludes Finstad.
This content is copyright protected
However, if you would like to share the information in this article, you may use the link below: