Motoring Medicine

Airex serves medical device market

When defense spending waned in the 1990s, Airex looked to commercial markets fo apply its precision electromagnetic devices. The medical device industry was an ideal fit because our business model — cutting edge technology cost-reduced by automated manufacturing techniques — matched their needs. Airex was a pioneer in electromagnetic implementations for pick-and-place devices, but the real key is continuous improvement in functionality.  

Airex patented motor technology remains a critical element in electromagnetic machinery that requires repetitive motion or the ability to dynamically hold position for extended periods of time without excessive heating. Advances in medical equipment triggered the need for small, powerful motors for imaging procedures such as angioplasty. This led to new designs and engineering projects, and soon our team was developing technology for bone saws and bone drills used in the surgical application of knee and joint replacements.

Medical technology labs require smooth acceleration and extreme accuracy for pick and place applications. For example, when your blood is processed in a medical lab they might organize the sample on a tray with 500 other samples. A machine will select the sample, move it into position for processing and then continue on to another sample. It may stay in a precise spot for a predetermined period of time before another sample is moved to exactly the same spot to grow cultures under specific, known environmental conditions. Disposal of the samples is typically handled by the same pick and place devices, when speed and acceleration become key factors. 

Airex linear motors are perfect for these applications. Our motors can operate over a wide range of performance features without a temperature rise that could affect the stability of the environment.  

Our motors also run exceptionally smoothly, again thanks to conductors positioned by our patented coil-winding procedures. This is helpful for customers who utilize six-axis milling or grinding machines. These machines often need to move very slowly – three inches in two hours, for example – and accurately to grind molds for producing contact lenses. They also need to be super-smooth, and our rotary motors are unique in their ability to perform at the speed the accuracy required in this application.

Airex serves military markets

Benefit from Airex Expertise

The early diagnosis and evaluation of cardiac problems is critical for our aging population. We were thrilled to partner with Philips Medical Systems on the design, engineering and development of a rotary transformer that contributed to early advances in invasive cardiac imaging systems. Leaning on the technical foundation of perfectly formed coils, our engineers innovated solutions for some of the industry’s biggest challenges – often with the smallest motors. Our expertise for the medical field – and its ever-changing landscape – is unmatched in the industry, due to the innovation at the heart of our designs.

Career Highlights

  • Airex designed and developed a stationary isolation transformer for vascular imaging to aid the diagnosis and evaluation of arterial disorders
  • A low-cogging, high-torque motor for surgical instruments helped reduce risk in innovative invasive procedures.
  • A custom rotary transformer was developed for an innovative cardiovascular imaging system.
  • A low cost, high speed motor was designed and developed for joint replacement
  • High-reliability magnetics were developed and manufactured in-house in support of outpatient treatment of prostate surgery.
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