Covid-19: race against time

OKW Enclosures’ marketing director, Robert Cox explains the benefits of custom enclosure for medical electronics.

Speed has been vital in the battle against Covid-19, with electronics manufacturers working hard to expand production of lifesaving ventilators and medical devices. Every day of delay can be the difference between life and death for the most vulnerable patients.

Prototyping any new medical product is seldom quick, even in normal times. The medical electronics market sets the quality bar high. Just creating a bespoke plastic enclosure can take months. Hurdles to overcome include designing the housing, prototyping the tooling and the big upfront investment. Manufacturers need to be producing thousands of products to consider such an undertaking. Meanwhile, time slips away. Surely, there must be a better way? Fortunately, there is.

Customising a standard plastic electronic enclosure so it looks purpose-designed for a medical device offers the best of all worlds: a tried and tested quality enclosure; supplied quickly; at a sensible price; in low volumes if needed. Also, the end product will look unique no one need know its enclosure was off-the-shelf.

It pays to choose a specialist enclosures manufacturer which offers customisable cases. These housings must be moulded from quality plastics that are robust, UV stable and easy to clean/sterilise. They must survive years of punishing life in hospitals, surgeries and care homes without showing wear.

OKW Enclosures’ marketing director, Robert Cox, said: “It always pays to partner with a specialist manufacturer of enclosures on any electronics project. This is especially true for the medical sector because it requires such high levels of quality.

“An experienced enclosures manufacturer with a strong track record in the medical sector will be best placed to complete critical projects within the strict time pressures created by the pandemic.”

The wider the range of standard enclosures, the more likely you will find one to transform into your perfect housing with minimum customisation. Choosing a single source specialist who can do it all in-house saves time, money and administration.

OKW has a long history of manufacturing customised electronic enclosures for medical applications including: remote control units; emergency systems, monitoring and alarm equipment; portable solutions for personal protection and care and ambient assisted living (AAL); diagnostics and therapy; tracking and monitoring; IoT peripherals; and data acquisition.

The company’s EVOTEC table-top plastic enclosures offer flat/sloping tops and ergonomic soft contours, suiting them to medical electronics. The housings are moulded from tough, UV-stable ASA+PC-FR as standard and are available in five sizes. They are assembled using Torx tamperproof screws, a key requirement for the medical sector.

For larger desktop touchscreens, PROTEC is available in three versions, offering a recessed interface area, covered recess or extra deep cover. Torx screws are hidden on the underside.

New EASYTEC IP65 flanged enclosures are designed to be smart, simple and quick to install. Lugs enable them to be screwed or cable-tied in place. These contoured ASA+PC enclosures feature a rear concave recess enabling secure mounting on hospital bedrails.

Another new housing, SMART CONTROL, is designed for corner-based electronics. These wedge-shaped ASA+PC-FR cases feature tactile curves making them suitable for desktop use too.

CARRYTEC is the tough attaché case of medical enclosures, featuring optional zipped side pockets for diagnostics probes. The design offers a strong integrated handle which makes it easier to manoeuvre the housing if mounted on a suspension arm.