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Medical Technology: Isolating sensitive equipment from power system vulnerabilities

Solenoid operations in medical applications fall into several categories, but typically control an actuation function.

They include:

  • Shut off for control of fluid flow, such as a pinch valve
  • Dispensing of consumables or pre-packaged medication
  • Locking security for medical equipment or control panels
  • Surgical instrumentation

Depending on the requirement, C-Frame, D-Frame, or Tubular solenoids may be selected. C-Frames and D-Frames typically offer lower cost alternatives, but there may be some performance trade offs compared to Tubular units. Tubular solenoids provide the best force to volume ratio when space is the primary design objective. In addition, tubular units offer simpler mounting and the advantages of a protected coil.

Design considerations should include considerations for:

  • Heat generation as a function of the duty cycle
  • Exposure to shock and vibration
  • Failure mode in the event of lost power
  • Tampering and unauthorized use
  • Requirements for operation in various positions
  • Force curve characteristics versus functional requirements
  • UL, CSA, VDE and other regulatory requirements