Cabling in Medical Devices

September 13, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

When we think of cabling, we usually think of data and communications and networking, but there are all types of industries and applications that use cabling. The medical field is one of those industries that is increasingly using technology in medical devices, and wiring and cabling have been a large component in the growth of those technological advancements.

 

There are many medical devices that are dependent on interconnect components such as cabling, but unlike cabling used for a communications network, the requirements for medical device cables are somewhat unique. Medical devices cables must be extremely flexible and withstand repeated flexing. They also have to meet stringent regulated safety guidelines that vary depending on what type of device the cable will be used in and how/if it will come in contact with the patient. In addition to constant flexing and safety requirements, these cables also must be able to withstand constant sterilization processes, which include autoclave, gamma and exposure to chemicals and solvents.  

 

Another challenge of medical device cabling is keeping up with devices as they get smaller. For example, MRI machines now fit into a single room, ultrasound machines are now portable on mobile carts and consumer medical devices are handheld. The miniaturization of medical devices has many benefits including increased mobility and diagnostic capabilities, lower power requirements and less distance from the patient. Plus, the miniaturization of cables in these devices results in less cabling weight which makes maneuvering the cables around the patient easier. It also allows for greater flexibility since cabling with a smaller diameter can be tightly bent and still retain the recommended minimum bend radius.

 

Some of the most important cable factors to consider when it comes to cabling in medical devices are reliability, cable jacket, mating design and connector type. When it comes to people’s health, the reliability of a cable can be the difference between life and death. If cables are working properly or the connections aren’t reliable, devices can malfunction and that can cause great harm. With that in mind, cable connectors have to be properly mated, which can be made easier with the use of color-coding or keyed connectors. Plus, cables with alternative contact designs, such as hyperboloid, are good solutions to avoid issues with contact design, and plug-and-play connectors simplify the task of connecting different pieces of equipment. Lastly, selecting the proper cable jacket, whether it needs to be flexible, insulated or able to withstand a corrosive environment is critical to the overall operation of any cable.

 

The medical industry can be a demanding environment for cabling, and there are many requirements to consider, but as this is an industry with technology that is constantly advancing, and so will the need for cables. 

 

How Tech is Changing Transportation

April 19, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

These days, it’s hard to find a part of our everyday lives that’s not being transformed in some way by technology. Transportation is no different. Driverless cars have been at the forefront of most transportation technology discussions lately, but do you know other ways that tech is changing how we get from point A to point B? Here, we’ll take a look at some of the ways technology is changing the transportation industry.

 

Rail

 

Railways are one of the oldest forms of transportation still used today. At their inception, trains were a groundbreaking way for people to get back and forth for everyday commutes, to explore places they’d never been and to transport goods at speeds that were unheard of at the time. Rail systems are still used today for many of the same reasons, but they are much smarter. Today’s rail yards have wired and wireless technology that allows for communication throughout the rail yard to provide security, control and real-time data collection.

 

RFID technology has also been put in place to modernize asset management in rail yard operations. Instead of employees walking from one car to another, manually recording inventory, today’s systems use electronic scanners to record asset information accurately and without the variable of human error. This data is then sent back to a central office where assets can be monitored in real time.

 

Technology is also being used to make rail travel safer by using wayside monitoring applications to record real-time data such as speed, time of passing and track conditions. This critical information is used for real-time scheduling and to generate safety alerts.

 

Roadways

 

Until all of those self-driving cars get on the road, and possibly still after, making roadways safer is another way technology is affecting the transportation industry. In tunnels, cellular and Wi-Fi service are provided by antennas while IP cameras connect to an Ethernet network. These cameras provide real time surveillance to a tunnel control center, so traffic and safety concerns can be monitored live. Digital signs are also connected to the Ethernet network, allowing them to be controlled remotely.

 

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) use wired and wireless technology to control roadway traffic signals and vehicle and pedestrian safety systems. These systems utilize technology to manage traffic flow and ease congestion on the roads. Roadway security and overall safety is also improved with IP cameras and traffic sensors providing live surveillance and control.

 

With the use of wireless technology, roadside digital signs are able to deliver real time messaging along roadways with live updates being delivered from a central control office. These messages can include weather updates, traffic and road condition alerts and information on alternate routes, all of which can make travel easier, more efficient and save lives.

 

Maritime

 

An entire ship, including every part of shipboard communications and surveillance, can be managed via a central management station by using an Ethernet network and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). 

 

IP cameras are used for monitoring, cables connect propulsion and steering systems to a controller, and antennas allow for voice and data communications and RFID management of cargo containers.

 

To load and unload ships, modern seaport terminals use automated crane systems to save freight companies millions of dollars in labor, maintenance and repairs. Computers are housed in a secure location, connected to Ethernet networks and used to control the cranes. This wireless network allows remote control over operations without the cost of running cables.

 

On the dock, keeping track of personnel, assets and ground support vehicles is made easier with wireless communications. Antennas allow for communication with the central operations command center. They also support Intermodal container RFID tracking systems which enable wireless devices to quickly and accurately process container and inventory information in real-time. With cellular and Wi-Fi communication between crews, freight companies can save money and increase security by eliminating the need for traditional radio communications.

 

For an in-depth look at what L-com products are being used to deliver technology to the transportation industry, click here.

 

Hot off the Presses - L-com’s 2018 Master Catalog

January 25, 2018 at 8:00 AM

 

The big reveal is here and we’re ready to share our 2018 Wired & Wireless Product Guide full of thousands of products including many new and best-selling items. Long regarded as a valuable resource for technicians, engineers and educators, L-com’s master catalog is packed with tips, tutorials, full-color product images and more, making it an excellent reference guide and educational tool.

 

Here are some of the new products featured this year:

·       M12 Ethernet Cabling for Harsh Environments

·       Continuous Flex Industrial Cables

·       HDMI High Flex Cables

·       Outdoor-Rated Ethernet Assemblies

·       Premium Panel Mounted Mini Coupler Kits

·       IP68-Rated Ruggedized LC Plugs and Receptacles

·       USB 3.1 Adapters

·       Category-Rated IP67 Bulkhead Shielded Panel Mount Couplers with Dust Cap

·       Heated 14x12x6 Enclosures

 

Getting a copy of our Wired & Wireless Product Guide is easy, simply fill out our online product guide request form and we will mail it to you straight away. You can also view this year’s catalog as a flip book or download pages from the product guide as PDFs.

 

Solutions for Every Industry

October 15, 2015 at 8:00 AM

 

At L-com, we strive to solve problems for our customers. Our diverse product portfolio can be used across numerous industries and in countless applications. Here is an inside look at how our wired and wireless products are used in health care, education and energy industry applications.

 

HEALTH CARE

 

L-com works with leading medical device manufacturers around the world to develop cutting-edge solutions for saving lives. Our off-the-shelf and custom-designed connectivity products are used in products ranging from portable defibrillators to operating room diagnostics equipment.

 

We also offer wired and wireless products for in-building communications networks for hospitals and other medical facilities, as well as wireless systems for medical campus networks. Our antennas, access points and RF amplifiers provide seamless cellular and WiFi coverage to keep hospitals running and allow critical patient information to be shared between buildings. If a wireless network is not an option, no worries, L-com can supply all of the products necessary to build a wired network.  Read more.

 

 

EDUCATION


L-com helps educational institutions grow great minds and reduce operating costs with our wired and wireless communications solutions. From K-12 to institutions of higher learning, our end-to-end connectivity solutions provide high-speed, fault tolerant access to the critical resources today’s students need to succeed. Similar to health care applications, our cables, antennas, amplifiers and converters are used to build wired and wireless in-building and campus networks. Read more.

 

 


ENERGY

 

L-com’s rugged connectivity products are designed for use in land-based and maritime industrial applications. Our wired and wireless industrial communications products are used in offshore oil platforms, petroleum refineries, natural gas pipelines and renewable energy networks.  Critical systems that control pumps, valves, motors and safety devices rely on rugged, highly available connectivity products to ensure worker safety and maximize energy output. Read more.

 

 

These are just a few examples of how L-com’s products are used across a variety of industries. To see all of our industry overviews, click here.

 

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