Cable assemblies for medical devices: overmoulding is the key for automatization systems and robots
Limiting the propagation of bacteria and other microbes in hospitals is essential for patient wellbeing. The manufacturers of medical devices must design their systems so as to be perfectly sterilisable. Right from the initial design of interconnect links for medical applications, Axon’ Cable takes into account this requirement not only in the choice of materials but also in the techniques of moulding and overmoulding. This is the key issue: the overmoulding must perfectly adhere to both cable and connector in order to limit the proliferation of bacteria in the areas which are not accessible for the cleaning or sterilization of the assembly.Limit contamination
The expertise of Axon’ in these techniques allows the company to offer cable assemblies perfectly sealed to contaminations, not only in the connecting area but also in the branch area. This is the case when a cable assembly is made with several branches. The harness must be protected by a Y-shaped overmoulding.
In addition to avoiding the spread of bacteria, a perfect adherence between the overmoulding and the cable mechanically protects the assembly and guarantees the cable life. The cable assembly must withstand handling from both medical staff and patients.
Make the cleaning easier
Axon’ medical cable assemblies are insulated and overmoulded with thermoplastic polymers (such as PVC, TPU, TPE) and other plastic materials. They have been chosen for the method of sterilization (disinfecting, plasma sterilization, ethylenoxyde, gamma sterilization) and for the level of biocompatibility required by the customer (FDA, USP XXIII class VI, ISO 10993). The overmoulding shapes are also designed to make the cleaning easier.
Axon’ also uses silicone or thermoplastics (FEP, TPE, etc) to manufacture assemblies designed for autoclave sterilization at 121°C or 134 °C. Both low pressure and high pressure overmoulding techniques are well known by Axon’. The company can offer an overmoulding with a different material to the one used for the cable – for example, a silicone overmoulding (low pressure) on a TPU insulated cable – while guaranteeing the adherence of the materials between one another.