What should a medical device manufacturer look for in a PCB assemblies supplier?

Nov 9, 2021Contract electronics manufacturing, Quality & compliance

What should a medical device manufacturer look for in a PCB assemblies supplier?

Demand for PCB assemblies in the medical device manufacturing industry is growing as research and diagnostic innovation continues apace and COVID-19 reshapes how people access healthcare.

Against this background, medical device manufacturers are developing products and equipment that make it vital that they choose the right PCB assembly partner. Electrical systems are integral to a wide range of medical devices and equipment, and high-quality PCB assemblies are critical to the functionality of these systems.

With medical device quality and reliability having a direct link to patient care and company performance and reputation, more and more leading medical device manufacturers are using PCB assembly specialists.

Which medical devices need PCB assemblies?

PCB assemblies are used in a large number of medical devices and this use is growing as a result of innovation in the medical device industry. As manufacturers improve existing devices and develop new ones, electrical systems are increasingly a core component.

Medical devices that use high-quality PCB assemblies include:

  • Research laboratory equipment (e.g. centrifuges, incubators and freezers)
  • Diagnostic imaging equipment (e.g. X-ray, MRI and CT devices)
  • Monitoring devices (e.g. blood pressure, oxygen and temperature monitors)
  • Treatment devices (e.g. pacemakers, neurostimulators, hearing aids, respirators and defibrillators)

In addition, healthcare personnel are increasingly using smart devices such as tablets to collect, log and analyse patient information and clinical data, rather than doing it on paper.

Another factor behind the increasing demand for PCB assemblies in the medical device manufacturing industry is the impact of COVID-19 on how people are accessing healthcare. As a result of the pandemic, there has been a major shift to online appointments and treatment. This requires electronic technology, which in turn needs high-quality PCB assemblies.

PCB assemblies and medical robotic surgery tech

A good example of how PCB assemblies are playing a role in the advance of the medical device manufacturing industry and how they are helping to make medical device innovation possible is their use in medical robotic surgery technology.

This type of technology has been used for around 30 years and is commonly associated with head and brain surgeries and the use of endoscopic cameras, but it is becoming increasingly advanced. New robotic technology is being developed that can perform repetitive tasks with more precision and autonomy, allowing surgeons more time and focus for complex procedures.

This robotic technology is based on electronic systems and these systems need high-quality, highly reliable PCB assemblies. This is why PCB assembly specialists are becoming an increasingly important part of the medical device manufacturing process.

Quality and reliability and your PCB assembly partner

How medical device technology is used means that there is a major focus on the quality and reliability of the PCB assemblies that are integral to the operation of these systems. This is why using a specialist PCB assembly partner is vital.

For example, the right partner will ensure a strong focus on quality and reliability through the use of automated optical inspection and front-end engineering. The right partner will also individually inspect every component on every single PCB assembly (rather than performing batch inspections) and will use a comprehensive component traceability system. In addition, your partner should provide a certificate of conformity with each delivery.

If your PCB assembly partner provides this level of service and operates to these standards, you can be confident that you will receive the high-quality PCB assemblies you need to ensure that your medical devices perform as you intend them to.

To find out how MPE Electronics PCB manufacturing and assembly services can benefit your business, contact us on +44 (0)1825 764822 or enquiries@mpe-electronics.co.uk.

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