Powering Innovation Together – Part 1

150 150 Emphysys Technology Solutions

Every day, Tecan’s technology development group, Emphysys, helps MedTech, medical and diagnostics customers overcome roadblocks and achieve solutions that enable their success in the markets they serve. In this blog series, we explore a recent innovation for a lifesaving medical technology. Read ‘part 1’ below.

At Emphysys, complex challenges meet groundbreaking innovation

David Sonnenshein, Sr. Electrical Engineer at Emphysys

Discover how our technology development team helped a medical device customer overcome the ‘impossible’.

The rapid evolution of medical electronics in recent years has posed a number of challenges for device OEMs. In a competitive environment where being first-to-market is every company’s primary goal, shrinking components, technical challenges and supply chain shortages have made the path from product concept to viable prototype a steep uphill climb.

Tecan’s Emphysys group, a leading technology developer focused on energy-based delivery devices for the MedTech and diagnostic industries, has not only witnessed our customers’ challenges first-hand, our own abilities have also been put to the test as an increasing number of customers turn to our broad design, physics and engineering expertise to solve a range of unique and unprecedented challenges.

By managing design around existing IP while meeting emerging requirements for size, space and power optimization, or seeking out alternate sources for hard-to-find components, Emphysys engineers work collaboratively with many of the industry’s top innovators to bring important – even lifesaving – medical products to fruition.

And while our team has certainly seen its fair share of unique and challenging engagements over the past few years, one particular project stands apart. That’s because of the scope of the technical challenge itself, the innovative solution we helped our customer to achieve, and the differentiated approach we took to bring the customer’s vision to life.

The Challenge

Tecan customers face a multitude of competing priorities. Development teams hit frustrating roadblocks in the design of innovative electromechanical systems.  Often with some critical pieces already conceptualized, the prototype systems are unable to meet key operating parameters. This is especially true in wireless power systems, where getting enough power to target can be challenging when available space and power budgets are already tightly constrained.

Such was the case for this particular customer.  The OEM had outlined a system incorporating a power transfer circuit topology to be implemented by Emphysys. However, it became evident that the proposed topology didn’t meet the system’s functional requirements for wireless power transfer and communication, imposing significant size constraints. Emphysys’ understanding of the physics of energy transfer enabled a redesign of the power link to the circuits and control. Our efforts not only increased power transfer performance by a factor of 5, we were also able to reduce the volume of the antenna by approximately 50% and eliminate the need for significant storage altogether.

“Space for storage impacts the overall performance of a system because you have that much less space available for the other controls, electronics and the power transfer antenna,” explains David Sonnenshein, Principal Electrical Engineer and Technical Lead. “We had to step back and approach the problem from a whole new vantage point – distilling the real need down to a basic set of functional parameters.”

“While it’s relatively easy to optimize a design for either efficiency or space, when you have to meet two very distinct sets of requirements, it makes it a lot more challenging,” he added.

Charging Ahead Together

Given our proven track record in the medical space and beyond, the customer sought out Emphysys’ broad experience and reputation for solving complex challenges – whether they relate to electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, software, science, physics, or all of the above.

“With this diverse in-house expertise at our disposal, we can take a much more holistic view of a product and challenge existing assumptions,” added David. “In many instances, the fundamental engineering problem is actually a physics problem. What the customer really needs is a physicist or a scientist to ensure they’re approaching the problem accurately. Once that approach is verified or modified, we can help them charge ahead in the right way.”

Such was the case with this customer. By identifying and addressing the real product requirements and leveraging our collaborative methodology, Emphysys helped the OEM to overcome a complex, time-consuming, and potentially costly bottleneck – speeding their life-changing medical device to market and enhancing their competitive edge.

 Curious how we did it? Be sure read part two to discover the innovative steps our team took to optimize power, space and speed-to-market.

Don’t let roadblocks slow you down. Download our infographic now and take the first step towards transforming challenges into opportunities for growth.