If you missed walking the energetic show floor at IME West this year—where more than 14,000 attendees registered to make industry connections, attend conferences and check out more than 1,600 exhibitors on display—then you missed the emerging, as well as the proven, technologies that shape medical devices alongside a range of inventive and forward-looking industrial products. Here are just a few of the products and technology you may have missed. If you are still at the show and want to check these out yourself, we have included booth numbers to make them easy to find.
New Terminal Block for Automation, Connectivity Needs
If smart industrial automation and connectivity products and solutions are your jam, then the Omnimate 4.0 PCB terminal blocks in the MTS 5 product series from Weidmuller (Booth 4363) could be for you. The company expanded its PCB product portfolio with its introduction at this year’s show. Using its Snap-In technology, these blocks are designed for efficient wiring and signal transmission in many industrial sectors. With the new technology, conductors can be connected quickly without the need for tools and wire-end ferrules, making them suitable for the full spectrum of automated processes.
Tiny Tungsten Cables for End Effectors in Robotic-Assisted Surgery
When a surgeon’s hands guide the tentacles used in robotic surgery, small tungsten cables like these from Carl Stahl Sava Industries (Booth 516) are what ensure that the pitch and yaw required in the end effectors make the cutting, grabbing, holding, pulling, slicing, etc., possible. Because they are tungsten, when they are installed, they have about 30% to 40% more cycle count and more lifespan than stainless steel, Scott Dailey told Machine Design at their booth. “This is relevant in the surgical robotic assistant surgery market as the material of choice for the end effectors of these machines—not the elbow or the arm—but the end effectors,” he said. Hundreds of thin wires that are smaller than a third of the thickness of human hair are stranded together to create the cables.
Technology-Driven Manufacturing Solutions
If you are looking for a tooling solution to meet your development needs, SyBridge Technologies Inc. (Booth 3943) showcased its ability to support every stage of the medical device lifecycle, from concept to product launch. Dr. Charlie Wood, vice president of innovation, research and development at SyBridge, said: “Since our inception, we have made significant advancements in precision and consistency. SyBridge is committed to pushing the boundaries of what is possible, ensuring exceptional precision and consistency across industries like medical devices and pharmaceuticals, from drug delivery components (syringes, inhalers) to diagnostic tools (pipettes, glucose meters) and vital cardiovascular devices (catheters, closure devices).” The company is the combination of 15 acquisitions of industry leaders made to combine different products, services and technologies into a singular technology-enabled solution.
DMLS 3D Printed Medical Components
Among the parts that Protolabs (Booth 3501) had on display were some of its direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) projects. Chloe Vallaro showed Machine Design a titanium gyroid shape that is good for lightweighting, as it is not a lot of material but strong. She said it is currently being explored for implants and applications such as tissue growth. The company offers a turnkey solution for producing DMLS projects, including several secondary operations for improved part quality, process validation, material traceability and quality inspections. Most of these small parts are either stainless steel or titanium and suitable for a range of medical applications.