Custom cable assemblies are a common choice in the design of medical devices and equipment due to the increasingly complex requirements of medical device technology. Custom cables can vary greatly between applications, especially in other industries, but in medical devices they are required to perform reliably but also must be able to withstand the sterilization process and be biologically compatible. A custom cable manufacturer will help you design the perfect assembly for your needs. Here are five things to remember when writing specifications for your design.
The specific materials used for medical device applications can vary greatly depending on their operating requirements and intended use. While standard electrical wires can be used in medical devices, they are used in the internal wiring of the equipment, for power cords, or for other applications that do not require sterilization or physical contact with the patient. Custom cables are occasionally needed for applications when super flexible wires are needed to fit inside very small devices.
Often cables meant for medical use are required to meet special regulatory specifications regarding sterilization, the nature and facilitation of the cable’s contact with the patient, and the flexibility of the wire. Often the wires and cables used for these applications must be customized simply because the application is so complex.
Industrial designers create the specifications for the wiring of these devices and communicate them to custom cable manufacturers. Understanding your product’s application is the first step in assisting your manufacturer choose the right materials and cable construction for the medical device. Some key pieces of information to provide include the following.
1. Sterilization Requirements – If the device or cable will need to be sterilized repeatedly, your design will need a specific type of insulation and outer jacket that can withstand the high temperatures and moisture.
2. Disposable vs. Reusable – Since cables that will be disposed of do not need to be sterilized, they can typically be constructed from less expensive insulating materials like PVC. Reusable cables on the other hand, must be sterilized many times and so, must be able to withstand repeated sterilization cycles.
3. Patient Contact Compatible – Your cable manufacturer will likely already be aware of any bio compatibility requirements established by manufacturing authorities. There are specific materials meant to be implanted with minimal contact to the patient’s body. The FDA regulates and assigns grades to different materials.
4. Flexibility and Abrasion Resistance – Furthermore, the spatial design of your device will also drive the flexibility of your wire, and its resistance to abrasion, temperatures, flex, chemicals, or other environmental conditions.
When conducting your initial interviews with your list of candidate of cable manufacturers, be sure to inquire about their experience in customizing cables for medical devices. Bring along your list of design requirements such as the number of conductors, the diameter and length of the required cables, and other basic information about your design and manufacturing process. The quality of a cable that will perform reliably over time depends on the amount and quality of the information you provide your manufacturer during the design phase.
To find out more about the various requirements needed for your medical device design, click here to speak to one of the best custom cable assemblies manufacturers in the nation now!