ing aluminum, any surface features
or transition areas can create cosmetic flow lines on the exposed
surfaces. Designs can incorporate
surface features, such as raised drill
lines, grooves, or scallops to hide
flow lines. It’s also important to consider packaging upfront. Selecting
packaging that separates parts and
avoids freight damage during shipping helps assure products arrive in
6. Design for manufacturability. It is crucial to determine the best manufacturing process to get you closest to near-net
shape, or the final shape. Work with a supplier who is trained to specifically examine your product manufacturing needs and recommend
an innovative manufacturing solution.
7. Select the best aluminum alloy for the manufacturing process and product usage. Design
engineers must understand their component’s critical design absolutes, functional needs, estimated annual usage, and product manufacturing processes when choosing their preferred aluminum alloy.
Different alloys offer different properties and some are better for certain processes than others. Some alloys extrude at a faster rate, some
are easier to bend, and some accommodate machining processes better than others. Alloy choice can have a significant effect on surface
finish, as well.
8. Determine best finish. Components that don’t require
a finished look can be left in their raw form. Designers need to keep
in mind that sometimes after the process of applying a chemical finish, such as anodizing and hard coat, the after-finish tolerances will
be affected because the process adds a layer of thickness to the component. It’s important to understand how different finishes may affect
final form, fit, and function. Finishing options for your components
can be driven by the need to enhance heat dissipation, corrosion or
9. Understand the properties of aluminum. An
ideal material of choice for many product applications, aluminum is
not only lightweight – about a third of the weight of steel – but its
natural finish offers a protective oxide coating that resists corrosion.
Aluminum's electrical and thermal conductivity is also almost as good
as copper, and it is 100 percent recyclable, and requires just five per-
cent of the energy originally required to produce the primary metal.
10. Design to meet regulatory/compliance
requirements. A must-have for any medical device product is
compliance with regulatory requirements. RoHS and REACH regulations, for instance, challenge manufacturers to understand the substances contained in their products. Whether the regulations restrict
certain hazardous substances (RoHS) in electrical and electronic equipment, or require registration, evaluation and authorization of chemicals
(REACH), OEMs should work with suppliers who have in-depth knowledge and the ability to help them meet regulatory requirements.
Getting what you expect in the shortest time possible at a competitive cost is a success metric we all share. Medical device OEMs who
use aluminum instead of other materials and start project work with
their suppliers as early in the design phase as possible can reduce
their overall costs while elevating product quality.
Aluminum extrusion offers easy-to-care-for surface finishes and
non-corrosive material properties, making it ideal for repeated use and
cleaning in a sterile medical environment.
For incorporation into an MRI machine, this aluminum
C-arm was created from a straight extrusion and then
bent to get its “C” shape. Aluminum extruded components can be machined, bent, stretch-formed, artificially
aged, finished, welded, and assembled. No longer tied
to conventional ideas of standard shapes and the limited characteristics of traditional materials, OEM design
engineers are only limited by the scope of their vision
z Compact Size z Thermoplastic Housing
z Lightweight z 11 Measurement Ranges
z Analog and Digital Output z 50” Max. Travel