The Importance of Making Connections at MD&M West

Author: 
Shana Leonard
Event coverage of MD&M West 2011
High-reliability connectors, such as the integraMate from QA Technology, play an important role in meeting the requirements of a given application.

Making the right connections at MD&M West is important. But making solid connections in medical applications is absolutely critical. Luckily, companies specializing in medical connectors will be dominating Innovation Briefs Theater I on Tuesday, February 8, 2011, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to give attendees tips and advice on choosing the right connector for a given application.

Kicking off the morning’s crash-course in connectors will be Affinity Medical Technologies (Irvine, CA) with its presentation, “Medical Connector Options—Custom or Off-the-Shelf.” Copresenters Hank Mancini, business development manager, and Bob Frank, director of engineering, will address key factors that OEMs should consider when deciding between a custom or off-the-shelf connector. Among them are electrical and mechanical requirements, the need to incorporate electronic components, and whether the connector will be incorporated into the geometry of the device.

“We hope that the attendees understand what the advantages and disadvantages of both off-the-shelf and custom connectors are,” Mancini says. “We also hope that attendees will understand what benefits a custom connector may offer them, including greater design freedom, potentially lower cost, shorter lead times, and branding opportunities.”

Offering a different connector perspective will be QA Technology Company, Inc. (Hampton, NH), which will present “The Role of Contact Design in High-Reliability Connector Systems.” “There is a complex set of trade-offs between cost, connector size, and the required performance of a high-reliability connector,” states speaker Robert Lascelles, product manager, integraMate products. “We plan to show that the selection of a contact system plays an important role in meeting the requirements of a particular application and that there are a number of different systems available. We will also highlight recent developments in the design of hyperboloid contacts offering new cost-effective opportunities to maximize high-reliability connector performance.”

Contact design, according to Lascelles, is key to a high-reliability connector system because it provides consistent electrical performance and contributes to reliable mating. It must also withstand hostile conditions and environmental stresses, he adds.

Rounding out the morning’s spotlight on connector technologies will be “New Solutions for Medical Device Minimally Invasive Electrosurgical Procedures.” In this talk, presenter Dennis K. Warren, applications engineer at Lemo USA Inc. (Rohnert Park, CA), will discuss how some of the company’s Redel-series products are meeting the demands of minimally invasive devices. These types of single-use devices require high performance at a low price point, for example.

“Naturally, designers and manufacturers wish to keep electrosurgical catheters as small as possible, and so the associated cables, wires, terminations, contacts, and connectors are small,” according to the company. “As electrosurgical catheters become more complex, they demand more contacts, and more complex types of contacts.”