Minco S.A.

Minco - Blood analyzer gets a one-piece flex circuit, heater and temp sensor

A medical device company manufactures a blood analyzer that must heat the blood and chemical reagents to 370C 1 0.50C for proper analysis.

The temperature sensor is located on top of the heater element to allow room for the cartridge containing the blood sample and the wiring. This design caused inaccurate and inconsistent thermal performance because the sensor is too close to the heater—it’s sensing the heater instead of the blood sample. Additionally, the unit’s 14 leadwires had to be routed and glued down manually during final assembly, which caused reliability, delivery and cost issues.

In a redesign, the engineer integrates the circuitry, heater and temperature sensor into one component to deliver a thin, low mass, flexible solution. The compact flex circuit eliminates the need to manually route, glue and connect leadwires, eliminating reliability concerns, lowering assembly costs, reducing weight and mass and expediting delivery. It also eliminates potential compromises in blood cartridge function and position. The integral temperature sensor delivers accurate and consistent heater control and inaccuracies in sensing the blood sample.

Engineering Tip:
Integrating components wherever possible can dramatically reduce production timelines, reduce assembly costs and improve overall performance.