VCA meets ultra-small requirements for precise control

1st June 2017
Enaie Azambuja

Medical devices are often smaller and lighter in weight than the vast majority of applications that require some type of motion control, simply because they are often portable/mobile, hand-carried or lifted. Internal components needed for these devices are chosen carefully in order to make for the smallest overall device footprint. This poses unique challenges to component manufacturers supplying the medical market.

Sensata Technologies has developed a new Voice Coil Actuator (VCA) to meet the ultra-small size and exacting motion control requirements in the evolving medical industry where portability and size are becoming increasingly important. In this application, Sensata met the needs for motion control in a ventilator with its new BEI Kimco LAH08-15-000A.

The VCA can control inhalation and exhalation valves on ventilators to provide the exact amount of air specified and the necessary reliability for life-critical applications. Additionally, with its bi-directional capability, permanent magnet, and magnetic latches, the VCA will remain in position at one end or the other during a power failure. This ensures the valves will stay open or closed and continue to supply uninterrupted air to patients.

The tiny VCA measures just 0.75" in diameter and weighs only 2.3 ounces, thereby minimising weight. Delivering a peak force of nearly 1.81 pounds and an operating stroke of ±0.2mm (total 0.4 stroke), it also features low hysteresis, zero cogging, high acceleration, and long life cycle.

In addition to ventilator applications, the new VCA provides the accurate linear motion control needed for anesthesia machines and other medical instruments in an extremely small size.

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