In the past several years, medical devices have seen a wave of changes in product design and quality to comply with federal regulations and customer expectations. Electronic connectors are a major component of theses medical devices as they are used to transfer data and power, which is crucial in the age of the Internet of Things (IOT). The problem is that they aren't usually considered until later in the design phase, and their impact is only known when something goes wrong. Given the enormity of the potential consequences, manufacturers must pay close attention to connectors in order to ensure quality.
In a post in 2014 for Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry, the managing editor for the publication outlined several factors that influence the type of connectors manufacturers ultimately decide to use. She notes that cost is a major factor as regulations have pushed makers to reduce costs without sacrificing quality. Commercial-off-the-shelf and modified-off the shelf are often used when customization isn't required to reduce overall costs.
Another factor is functionality. Medical customers want devices that are multi-functional. Electrical connectors are being combined with optical connectors for multiple applications. Sterilization is another key factor. Hospital-related infections are a real concern and recent regulations and best practices include a strong sterilization effort. Certain materials are more appropriate for meeting these sterilization requirements than others. Mate life is another concern as designers try to create devices that are safe and meet the requirements of the application. Finally, as medical devices get smaller, the size of the connectors has shrunk along with them.
The various factors for choosing connectors are constantly changing. Materials, processors, costs, and function will all weigh heavily in deciding a good interconnect strategy. However, one thing to keep in mind is that a good supplier of connectors will always be in demand. Whether we're talking about the tiniest of medical devices or multi-ton military electric vehicles, quality and reliability are what matter.
As a supplier of bulk head power switches, power connectors, and other electrical components, Rebling remains a highly respected name in the industry. If you're looking for power and reliability, contact us today to learn more about our electrical components and their various applications.