Identify cables in the medical device

Ulf Hottung | 11. February 2020

Just a small detail and hopefully never important… The traceability of igus chainflex cables.

Just a small detail and hopefully never important… The traceability of igus chainflex cables.

EVERY igus chainflex cable is provided with a code on its jacket as in the following picture, which shows the manufacturing plant AND batch, the production date and data, including the machines used.

As we were informed last week in a personal meeting  with a customer from the field of imaging diagnostics, there is a potential for error that has been almost completely ignored up to now, with fatal consequences in the worst-case scenario:

Imagine, “… at the moment of the extraction of a heart valve, the imaging fails during the operation …” The patient could only be saved with a lot of luck.  

For this reason, the customer visited us on site to find out about the topics “how and what is tested” and “preventive maintenance”.  

But why attach more importance to cables?

The systems used, today in particular, process vast amounts of data, which is transmitted via cables, some of which are more than 40 metres long, are also bent, twisted and heavily loaded in a very confined space.

igus chainflex test laboratory

But is my cable suitable for energy chains?

Certainly, because that’s why you chose them. However, if (hopefully not) an error should occur during the manufacturing process, which is not at all that improbable due to the manufacturing method, the igus coding offers you secure access to any existing error sources. Within the framework of series monitoring and maintenance, targeted replacements could then be initiated.

BEFORE patients are harmed.

That only helps me when it’s too late…

No, not just that. igus itself monitors its cables very strictly and provides information to ensure that any affected production batches can also be immediately reported to the customer and replaced.

Batch testing in the igus laboratory… ANY batch, ANY type of cable

Is it possible to upgrade the system to detect unexpected errors?

Yes, even before use, the freely accessible igus Internet calculations can be used to determine whether service life problems could exist; you can even have a 36-month functional guarantee certified if the parameters of the movement are appropriate.

Is there the possibility of “continuous monitoring” of the cables?

Yes, there’s that one, too. The so-called “isense” system from igus can monitor cables during operation and then report, amongst other things, either changes in contact resistance or impairments in data rates to the machine system, to you or to igus for the provision of replacement parts.

If you have any questions on this subject, my colleagues from the chainflex division, by the way the largest variety of cables suitable for energy chains worldwide, incl. fibre optic cables, or I, will be glad to help you.

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