Connector carries control signals, power, water for laser

A customized Harting connector allows mixed-purpose inserts that can carry control signals, power, and cooling water from the instrument console to a handheld laser tool. This versatility has helped shorten the R&D time on a new medical instrument. See expanded image.

02/17/2011


Taking a new medical device through all the steps required for FDA approval is a time-consuming process, so R&D engineers take all practical steps to shorten the product development cycle and time to market. At Lutronic Corp., which develops and manufactures medical devices using laser technology, R&D engineers found an ingenious way to make their job easier and faster.

Currently they are developing a medical electronics instrument with a handheld laser tool that painlessly removes hair, in a process that is permanent or does not have to be repeated for a long period of time.

The design of this instrument involves a handheld laser wand connected to a table- or floor-mounted power and control unit. Power, control signals, and cooling water needed to run from the main console to the laser head.

Major design criteria set by Andrey Degtyaryov, manager of the Lutronic R&D lab in Fremont, CA, included compact external connections with a streamlined look that make it easy for users to connect and disconnect the laser head from the console. Complicating the task was the need to carry high current and cooling water.

Using multiple lines and connectors to carry control signals, power and water would have required bulky, multiple connections at each end of the cabling, without the aesthetics and ease of use expected by medical professionals; using multiple components was not seen as cost effective. Still, developing a custom connector that could carry signals, power, and water seemed like it would be a difficult and lengthy design task.

Before undertaking such a design, Lutronic R&D engineers contacted various manufacturers.

Harting industrial connectors allow power, control, communication signals, and pneumatic lines. Degtyaryov was looking for something more streamlined than an industrial connector, but was intrigued by the addition of pneumatic feed-throughs. Subsequently, he was attracted to the Harting Han-Yellock 60 series, providing a modular design using off-the-shelf components. Lutronic R&D engineers felt it was a good candidate for adding water connections in place of the pneumatic inserts.

Han-Yellock - HARTING Han-Yellock departs from traditional industrial connectors by combining many new features including pushbutton latching, simplified assembly, potential multiplication and much more. This is a Control Engineering 2011 Engineers' Choice (EC) nominee.In fact, Lutronic had already developed small cooling water connection components for some of its other laser instrumentation. The engineering assessment was that it would be easier to add these components to the Han-Yellock housing than any other manufacturer’s connector products.

A major concern in making such a modification was the possibility of water leakage into the electrical connections, which wasn’t an issue with a pneumatic insert. To solve this problem, Lutronic designed a simple solid separator wall to isolate water from the electrical side of the connector.The connector design eliminated the need for Lutronic’s mechanical engineers to create a connector housing from scratch. The modified Han-Yellock connector has the sleek look and feel that Lutronic wants, with the possibility of private labeling, and features attractive for the medical application. It carries signals that control the temperature parameters of the laser headpiece, communications on the status of laser head control buttons and trigger assembly, and supplies cooling water to prevent overheating of the laser head.

The Han-Yellock design has a bulkhead connector with a frame that mounts to the instrument console. On the other side is the mating cable connector with a frame and hood that allows easy single-handed connection and operation of a latching mechanism, with audible and visual indication of the locking status. This ensures a safe, solid connection of the laser headpiece and cable assembly to the console, while making it easy to swap out laser heads. These features eliminate any need to return the power and control unit to the factory when only the laser itself needs service.

In Lutronic’s cable production, no assembly tools are required for the basic Han-Yellock connector. Power, signal, and communication inserts can be snapped-in from either the mating or termination side of the connector housing. There is a provision for contact bridging if, for example, a common ground is desirable across multiple pins. Thus, there is less wiring work and fewer steps in the workflow and assembly process. This elegant modular design also helps reduce assembly materials and component inventory costs.

By adapting this new connector type, Lutronic has achieved the desired visual appearance, gained design flexibility, and shortened development time. Off-the-shelf hardware also has more economical pricing, and ease of replacement, compared to a customized solution. User benefits of the Han-Yellock connector include high reliability and easy replacement of the laser tool. Together, these benefits created a compelling reason for Lutronic to adopt the Han-Yellock series.

Mark Dean is area sales manager for Harting North America.

www.harting.com

www.lutronic.com

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com

See the Control Engineering industrial network channel: http://www.controleng.com/new-products/industrial-networks.html



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
High-performance buildings; Building envelope and integration; Electrical, HVAC system integration; Smoke control systems; Using BAS for M&V
Pressure piping systems: Designing with ASME; Lab ventilation; Lighting controls; Reduce energy use with VFDs
Smoke control: Designing for proper ventilation; Smart Grid Standard 201P; Commissioning HVAC systems; Boilers and boiler systems
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software
Integrating BAS, electrical systems; Electrical system flexibility; Hospital electrical distribution; Electrical system grounding
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.