Integrated Bearing Technology in Medical Applications

Schaeffler at COMPAMED 2014

SCHWEINFURT, (PresseBox) - Rolling bearings, linear guidance systems, and drives always have to fulfill high requirements in terms of precision, running smoothness, and safety - whether they are used in C-arms, patient couches, operating room tables, or ceiling stands. Under its INA, FAG, IDAM, and Barden brands, Schaeffler offers expertise and a range of products for all moving components and systems in medical technology that is unrivalled worldwide, making the company an ideal development partner and supplier. At Compamed 2014, Schaeffler was exhibiting innovative and proven solutions that both fulfill the high quality and safety requirements of medical technology applications and provide increased reliability and flexibility, as well as expanding the range of possible applications for medical equipment.

Measuring system integrated into the bearing - solutions for Industry 4.0

The ready-to-install FAG SIMTUS system was specially developed for use in computer tomography and makes a significant contribution to making panoramic X-ray procedures faster and faster while continually increasing the image quality. FAG SIMTUS, which stands for Special Integrated Mechatronic Turning Unit System, incorporates direct-drive bearing units in the form of complete, ready-to-install solutions from FAG Aerospace GmbH & Co. KG that meet the exacting demands of computer-aided imaging procedures used in hospitals and radiological clinics. The computer tomography imaging process is carried out using a high-resolution measuring system that is integrated into the bearing.

Advantages of FAG SIMTUS are short scanning times, thanks to the high speeds generated by the system, razor-sharp images that can even capture active internal organs such as a beating heart, and virtually silent operation.

The drive unit consists of a torque motor from IDAM (INA Drives & Mechatronics), while the Aerospace division showcased its core competence by supplying the mechanical components, the specially developed bearing and the actual assembly work. The electronic interfaces and mechanical connection geometry along with the requirements for accuracy and rigidity were developed with the help of the customer.

Electromechanical lifting column: A ready-to-fit complete solution for C-arms that fulfills the highest requirements

The electromechanical lifting column, which Schaeffler's Linear Technology business unit will be presenting as a ready-to-fit complete solution for the first time at the Hannover Messe 2013, is characterized by its high-quality, precise guidance. The lifting column features a robust, compact design and can move loads of up to several hundred kilograms safely, continuously, and reliably. The compact mechatronic system is designed for the high requirements of C-arms used in medical technology, but it can easily be adapted to meet the demands of other industrial applications. The lifting columns are delivered as complete, ready-to-fit units that can be integrated into both new and existing systems with no problems.

Two high-performance linear guidance systems arranged opposite each other in the lifting column ensure high and precisely reproducible guidance quality. Electronic limit switches detect when the lifting column has reached the end of its stroke travel. A brushless 24 V DC motor serves as the drive.

Linear applications for patient couches and operating room tables

Patient couches, operating room tables, and dentists' chairs require the highest possible level of mobility combined with a high degree of robustness. INA linear guidance systems are the perfect solution here. The KUVE-B and KUSE linear recirculating ball bearing and guideway assemblies in particular fulfill even the highest requirements. These systems feature four and six rows of rolling elements respectively, which provide an extremely high load capacity. The linear recirculating ball bearing and guideway assemblies are designed for high loads on each carriage and ensure that all requirements are met in terms of quality, load carrying capacity, running characteristics, and safety.

Bearings for ceiling stands - smooth-running with high load capacity and low noise levels

Modern operating rooms are characterized by flexibility in terms of personnel assignment and the devices used. Safety and cleanliness requirements have made laying cables on the floor a thing of the past. The number of devices used during an operation also continues to rise. But where can all the screens, medical equipment, computers, and cables go? The solution is to use ceiling stands with swivel arms that can carry the equipment and make flexible, individual positioning possible. These ceiling stands have to support high loads, be easy to move, and provide sufficient space for the supply lines (power, oxygen, data, etc.). The AXS axial angular contact roller bearing is specifically suited to use in ceiling stands. This bearing is mounted in pairs, supports high loads and tilting moments, and allows smooth-running, low-noise movement. The small bearing cross-section - i.e. the low section height and large inside diameter - enlarges the cross-sectional opening of the ceiling stand's support arm joint and thus makes it easier to install the numerous supply lines.

The AXS axial angular contact roller bearing is also available with an integrated electromechanical brake. This brake employs springs that press the anchor plate against the brake lining, and thus prevents the single-piece bearing unit from turning when no current is flowing. This means that the ceiling stand is locked securely in place. When current is applied, an electromagnet pulls the anchor plate against the springs and releases the brake pad, allowing the unit to rotate and thus be easily repositioned.

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Schaeffler AG

Schaeffler with its product brands INA, LuK and FAG is a leading provider of rolling bearing and plain bearing solutions and of linear and direct drive technology, as well as a renowned supplier to the automotive industry of high-precision products and systems for engines, transmissions, and chassis applications. The globally active group of companies generated sales of approximately 11.2 billion euros in 2013. With more than 80,000 employees worldwide, Schaeffler is one of the largest German and European industrial companies in family ownership.

The Industrial division supplies components and systems for around 60 industrial sectors via its worldwide organization with market proximity and its application support service. The range comprises more than 225,000 products from miniature bearings only a few millimeters wide, e.g. for dental drills, to large-size bearings with an outside diameter of several meters, e.g. for wind turbines.

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