By Robert Chevalier, Director of Sensor Sales, HBM
In today’s highly competitive medical device marketplace, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their associated design and engineering personnel are opting to include custom strain gauge sensing technologies into finished product designs, as a means of achieving greater business advantage. The capability, accuracy and extended service life of such technology has been field-proven within these applications. Another measurable benefit is increased customer satisfaction in overall system performance, allowing the OEM to add that “extra competitive edge” to their bottom line, thereby increasing sales and overall “hit rate” for major contracts and projects. Strain gauge technology also contributes to drastic improvements in equipment diagnostic capabilities; a decrease in required maintenance time and costs, due to fewer field failures; and ultimately, patient care quality improvements. As such, strain gauge technology is often considered a technological “secret of success” among OEMs.
With more than 60 years of experience in the successful design, development and manufacture of custom strain gauge sensing technologies for medical devices and equipment, HBM has been an industry pioneer in this market, leveraging the capabilities of multiple global in-house manufacturing operations and the benefits of its own unique expertise, gained from hundreds of successful applications. To truly grasp the benefits of strain gauge technology, it is important to first understand the construction and operation of the strain gauge itself. This article shall provide an overview of strain gauge technology and its practical applications within medical device and equipment manufacturing; explain the typical processes by which custom strain gauge technology is introduced into medical device designs; and offer examples of device improvements achieved via successful technology integration.