The Medical Industry Is Fueled By Innovations With Enhancement In The PCB Fabrication

April 15, 2016

medical pcb

With a continuous expedition on better ways of diagnosis and medical treatments, a medical market in the US has a ceaseless growth graph. This is due to many new innovations addressed in medical device and equipment with implementation of state-of-the-art techniques. The application of the biotechnology, stent technology, microelectronics, robotic technology has given far reaching solutions for providing medical care and advanced therapeutic treatments in the world. One of the most vital components in fabrication of medical instruments is the printed circuit boards. The sustainability challenge faced by the medical OEM’s and medical equipment manufacturers is not only restricted to technologies, but also needs commitments to reliable PCB production, functional excellence and acclimatization to stringent medical standards. With this, an accurate PCB prototyping, pcb layout, PCB assembly and above all the material quality are at the top of the list of medical engineering requirements. This article casts a clear picture on the application of medical PCB’s and PCB testing methods with the technologies used in the PCB fabrication process.

A high emphasis is given to the PCB assembly and fabrication process in the recent times. With each and every medical project, high end customization is needed in PCB manufacturing. Be it high, medium or low volume PCB production, a PCB assembler has to show constant developments in the chemical and galvanic process,  pressing under high temperature/vacuum, routing and drilling process to get high yields on batches of production. Also the medical market points out fierce competition on how to make the device compact, multi functional, user friendly and cost effective.

With this, the printed circuit board has a wide range of application in medical electronic instruments, heater and medical sensors that are highly used in the operation theatre, hospitals, clinics and other healthcare institutions. These include the pacemakers, dental anesthesia delivery system, modulation devices, Endoscope leak detection system, defibrillators, electrical teeth whitening system, hearing aids, thermo therapy system and many more. The rigid/flex circuit boards with magnetic flux telemetry communication are highly used in the manufacture of medical instruments like cardiac devices, pacemakers and ICD. The multi layered flex PCB has high application in the neurological simulation implants that demand miniaturization at large. For hearing aid devices and infusion drug pumps,  rigid/flex PCB is more preferable as it has flex coils that help in communication mechanism. To get durable and safe electronic solution for Vivo and Vitro Diagnostic Application custom made PCB with proven design are used to meet the unique specification of the customers.

The flex circuit boards have high application in the floor standing analyzer and wire wound resistance thermometer. These types of PCB have a light weighted and thin etched foil to maintain a constant temperature.  A neurological probe demands flexible PCB’s to create devices that can help avoid nerve damage at the time of prostate surgery. Other surgical devices include motor controls integrated in surgical drills used for bone surgeries, for dental surgeries- RTD temperature sensor, surface mounted LED and control switches, heaters used in the IV fluid delivery system,  medical scanners, factory mounted Polyimide heaters and many more.

A high frequency and high density interconnect in the PCB’s has become the prime commitment of the PCB assembler to be offered to the medical sector. Some of the devices are produced in low volume, but have varied PCB’s installed in it. These devices include X-Ray system, MRI and CT scan system. The machines used for the medical treatment for cardiac arrest, depression and epilepsy need digital/analog PCB assembly. Improving the surgical rates and quality of life of people, PCB with high durability becomes the main concern. Besides this, the medical device manufacturer has sensed an attractive growth in the active implants.

On the other hand, a hike in investments for the innovative technologies  is addressed by keeping medical customer requirements at the nucleus. For medical market, recent enhancement is seen in the Surface Mount Technology (SMT), Through Hole Technique (THT), No Clean Flux Soldering, Catheter technology, HDI micro via technology, Conformal Coating, Kanban and testing technologies. These technologies are implemented by the PCB fabricators to provide unparalleled pcb layout and prototype services. For this, they need to proffer a wide range of PCB with different type, shape, dimension, functionalities and material melds. Some of them are single sided PCB, double sided PCB with/without plated through holes, HDI and ultra HDI circuit boards, multi-layered PCB, Rigid/Flex PCB and Semi flexible PCB.

As the medical market needs to abide by the high quality standards, research and development are also marked in the testing methods to maintain the durability, strength and toughness in the future PCB prototype and assembly process. Today, the automated optical inspection, Functional testing, Flying Probe Testing and ICT testing  are highly implemented with upcoming enhancements in electrical testing method, ionic contamination testing,  stress test and temperature cycling test. Besides innovations in the testing methods, research is heading towards the eradication of dangerous viruses across the globe one of which is Ebolla virus. Thus, the medical industry is ahead of dominant markets globally with the fruitful growth rise every other day.

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Last Update: April 15th, 2016