Page 16 - 2021 High-Reliability, Harsh Environment Connectivity eBook
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Key Cable Considerations for Harsh-Environment Applications in the Medical and Solar Energy Markets
Mish Chen, Director, Tong Ying Electronics (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd., A BizLink Group Company
When it comes to harsh-environment applications, determining the appropriate interconnect solutions is essential for delivering high-reliability electrical and mechanical performance over long product lifetimes. This is especially true for medical and solar energy applications, which rely heavily on wire, cable, and connector solutions to transfer sufficient power and signal to charging devices and communication systems. However, with so many different connectivity factors to consider, it can be difficult to feel confident that you’re making the right choices. Here we’ll address several key cable considerations for high-reliability, harsh-environment applications in the medical and solar energy markets.
Cable Considerations for Harsh-Environment Medical Applications
1. What type of power and/or signal will be routed through the cable? Identifying the type of signal the cable will be carrying — for instance, an analog signal generated by an MRI body coil — is the first consideration when specifying cables for medical applications, because that information will determine the compatibility of the power and signal wires integrated into the same cable. Cables with a higher level of integration have fewer openings in the jacketed enclosure, which is especially critical in harsh environments exposed to moisture and liquid hazards. High-integration cables also enable designs with fewer connections, which can simplify and hasten assembly and installation procedures address on-site or in the field.
» A diagram (left) and close-up view (right) of a cable that exhibits a high level of integration, which means that it has fewer openings in the jacketed enclosure. High-integration cables also enable designs with fewer connections, which can simplify and hasten on-site or in-field installation.
2. What are the operating conditions for the cable carrier? Many medical applications, including MRI machines and robotic surgery equipment, employ cable carriers to safely and effectively guide flexible electronic cables connected to moving machinery. Cable carriers relieve stress and reduce wear on equipped cables and are available in a variety of sizes, materials, and configurations to satisfy a broad range of application environments and operating conditions.

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