Pneumatic automation technology provides support for doctors and patients in all kinds of applications, ranging from metering and controlling breathable gases through to anaesthesia and demanding eye operations. Modern piezo technology from Festo allows important functions to be integrated into a compact system – now with ISO certification.
Most people do not think much about breathing unless they begin to suffer from a respiratory disease. It is generally a long progression from a cough through to bronchitis and chronic respiratory tract diseases. If, however, symptoms are so pronounced that normal breathing is no longer sufficient to supply a patient's body with oxygen, he or she will need the support of stationary or portable ventilators to provide oxygen therapy.
Anaesthesia also relies on high-performance and reliable medical equipment to assist in ensuring uninterrupted breathing. Pneumatic automation components provide vital functions here. Festo proportional regulators with piezo technology in integrated functional solutions provide high-precision dosing and regulation, while at the same time saving space and reducing weight.
EN ISO 13485 ensures that medical equipment meets demanding quality requirements. Festo can develop and produce customised medical technology solutions in accordance with this standard. "For example, components for ventilators must be tested for compatibility with the media used, such as oxygen, while in the case of components for dental technology, care must be taken to see that they are easy to clean. We also consider what other factors need to be taken into account during the production of components in order to eliminate danger," explains Dr. Frank Jacob, Head of Business Area Medical Technology and Laboratory Automation at Festo.
In all kinds of cases, from breathing and oxygen therapy, intensive care medicine and anaesthesia through to emergency medicine and mobile home applications, efficient and compact piezo technology makes medical treatment easier. The little multi-talented devices supplied by Festo's Medical Technology/Laboratory Automation division are developed and individually adapted to meet the requirements of a very wide range of applications and customers.
The know-how gained from intensive research and development in the field of pneumatic automation technology is used to create reliable functional solutions for medical devices. These not only help to automate breathing activities during operations but are also responsible for mixing breathable air from oxygen, air and anaesthetic gases.
Fluid control during eye operations
Functional solutions with piezo valve technology also optimise the delicate processes involved in eye operations. During these operations, various liquids and gases have to be transported safely. Proportional and piezo valves such as Festo's VEMR or VEMC work together with integrated sensors to control the precise delivery of vitreous humour replacement solution, help with the vacuum-assisted removal of microparticles and drive all kinds of surgical tools.
As the installation space available for medical technology is often very limited, Festo has developed multifunctional system units with a compact design which reduces the amount of tubing required. Thanks to an intelligent arrangement of sensor outputs and pneumatic outputs, ready-to-install pneumatic control units are especially compact.
What makes piezo valve technology ideal for use in medicine is its low energy consumption, silent operation, absence of heat generation, small and lightweight design and long service life. It is non-magnetic and does not interfere with any other medical equipment. Festo piezo valves such as the VEMR for flow control or the VEMP and VEMC for pressure regulation are appreciated in an ever-increasing number of medical applications. With their fast switching times and high precision, they are invaluable companions which make operations easier for doctors and life easier for patients.