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|Aluminum Extrusions in Healthcare Applications|
Aluminum Extrusions in Healthcare Applications
Aluminum extrusions are well suited for use in healthcare environments. Aluminum's light weight, corrosion resistance, design flexibility, ease of machining and fabrication, speed to market, cost effectiveness and durability provides the medical industry - from biomedical research to surgical operating rooms to the doctor's office - with ideal solutions for the equipment, instruments and devices required in those applications.
The aluminum extrusion process delivers a near-net shape, reducing cost and time compared to other manufacturing methods. And, extruded profiles can be manufactured to tight tolerances, providing the precise dimensions needed for medical components and instruments.
Finally, extruded aluminum components are safe – non-sparking, free of red-list materials and off-gassing, and easily disinfected.
Here are just few examples of how aluminum extrusions are used in the healthcare industry.
Durable Medical Equipment
Portable combat and disaster zones structures require rapid deployment and setup, ease of transport, and housing of comprehensive medical services and equipment. Extruded aluminum profiles are ideal for framing members, providing the corrosion-resistant, strong and light weight solution for field hospitals and similar uses.
Radiation Oncology Equipment
When a failing steel coupling threatened to derail a sophisticated radiation oncology system's industry-leading reliability, the company looked to aluminum extrusions to provide an immediate solution. The new aluminum couplings were extruded, machined and hard-coat anodized, increasing wear resistance and simplifying mating assembly for an intended snap-fit design.
The design team identified slight variations from the original design that would improve the part's overall strength and durability and assure repeatability from the tooling. The leaf, coupling and another redesigned component easily snapped together and cut the assembly labor by 30 to 60 minutes for each completed assembly.
Using an aluminum-extruded part also cut component manufacturing costs by nearly 90 percent and took only a quarter of the time to produce. And because of the couplings' snap-fit geometry, the company also was able to eliminate a tool previously used for assembly. Read the full story...
Ceiling track and lift components are used in motorized lift systems for the the physically challenged. The ceiling lift system featured in the AEC Aluminum Extrusion Showcase Newsletter, provides physically challenged people with independence and security thanks to the durability, lightweight strength and aesthetic qualities of extruded aluminum. More information at www.handimove.com.
Automatic Patient Repositioner
Aluminum extrusion plays a part in many advanced healthcare technologies, but the patient repositioner is one of the best examples demonstrating an innovative way in which aluminum extrusion can be utilized in the medical equipment industry. The benefits of the system are many, thanks to the superior design using aluminum extrusions. With the patient repositioner it takes a single caregiver 10 seconds and the push of a button to easily and comfortably reposition a patient in the bed.
The repositioner uses a special sheet that rolls into the aluminum housing, pulling the patient back up to the top of the bed. The unit is comprised of seven unique aluminum extrusions that include two cavities - one that houses a roller that repositions the sheet, and one that houses the motor, clutch, circuitry, and power supply.
Creating a chassis that can handle the 600 in/lbs. of torque and still be small enough to fit under a cutout in the mattress made extruded aluminum the natural choice, according to the designer. Other advantages included extruded aluminum's recyclability, strength-to-weight ratio, low tool cost, reduced parts, and more. Read the full story...