Medical Devices

Medical Devices

The worldwide market for medical devices is growing, and in 2014, the market was valued at approximately 30 trillion yen.

Medical devices are divided into two major categories, therapeutic instruments (scalpels, catheters, pacemakers, contact lenses, etc.), and diagnostic instruments (X-ray, CT scanners, ultrasound diagnostic equipment, MRI, etc.).

 

The technologies of medical diagnostic imaging systems such as X-ray and CT scanners, along with ultrasound diagnostic equipment, constantly change and evolve, helping to improve patient care.

The development of high-speed, high-precision diagnostic equipment is moving forward, and high-speed and high-precision performance, high rigidity, low vibration, low noise, and ease of maintenance are required for the bearings and linear motion products used in such devices.

NSK responds to market needs with its core technologies such as material engineering, lubrication technologies, and precision technologies, significantly contributing to improved performance in medical equipment.


NSK Linear Guides

Because medical imaging diagnostic systems include devices that move people around, safe, low-vibration, low-noise parts are essential.

NSK Linear Guides™ NH and NS Model feature low vibration and low noise performance compared to traditional linear guide products. Improved load-bearing capabilities also contribute to more compact, lightweight medical equipment.

To meet challenges such as those presented by medical imaging systems, including MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computed tomography) and PET (positron emission tomography) equipment, the healthcare industry relies on its supply chain to help produce innovative, reliable, maintenance-free machines.
Among the trusted manufacturers utilised for medical imaging equipment is NSK, which provides complete assemblies that include linear guides, ball screws and other solutions.

High-quality linear motion products are essential for medical imaging and MRI equipment, as uneven surfaces or inconsistent movements can produce unreliable results or information that ultimately leads to sub-standard care for patients. Designers of these systems must therefore consider every detail, including ball screw actuators and linear guides.

Linear motion systems from NSK have proven themselves well suited to the accuracy and precision that medical imaging equipment demands. In MRI scanners, for example, one of the most important components required for successful operation is the motorised ball screw. The ball screw utilises cylindrical motion to move the machine’s imaging equipment along a plane with extreme accuracy and precision. Since this equipment is large and complex, these ball screws must accommodate heavy loads and produce movement that is sufficiently smooth and consistent to generate clear, reliable results.

MRI technology also requires the use of high magnetic force, so the ball screws and other components need to function in this type of environment without affecting the machine’s energy. Ball screws from NSK are ideal for use in MRI scanners, providing both the load-bearing capabilities and smooth movement required. Smooth motion not only contributes to accurate results – thus avoiding potentially disastrous misdiagnosis – but improves patient comfort and safety during scans.

Unlike other types of ball screw feature circular arc grooves, where balls can get wedged, NSK uses offset gothic-style arch grooves to avoid this phenomenon by minimising the available clearance between the balls and grooves. Furthermore, durability is boosted through the use of purified alloy steel, while any potential for backlash is eliminated thanks to an application of preload.

NSK’s extensive range of high-quality linear guides are also found widely in medical imaging devices. Designed to move various components along a single plane, linear guides must deliver smooth motion and reliable functionality. It is also important that linear guides provide reliable movement over a significant time period without the need for repairs, maintenance or related services. Capability of this ilk can reduce downtime and costs, and keep medical imaging equipment functioning efficiently for as long as possible.

Linear guides from NSK make use of precision technology, advanced surface treatments and high-quality lubricants, which means they are better equipped to move components along linear planes without unnecessary friction. Over the long term, this capability reduces the opportunity for wear, boosting the uptime and operational life of medical imaging systems. Durability is further driven by avoiding structural complexity, and through the use of super-clean materials and advanced heat treatment.

A popular selection for medical imaging systems are NSK’s NH linear guides, which offer double the lifespan of conventional products due to the inclusion of features like specially developed ball groove geometry. Further benefits include high dynamic load rating, long maintenance intervals, low noise output and simple installation.

All of NSK’s linear guides and ball screws can be customised to suit individual requirements. The company’s solutions offer proven reliability and durability – along with quiet and maintenance-free operation – all of which are prerequisites for medical imaging systems the world over. 

 

Picture: Linear motion systems from NSK have proven themselves ideal for the accuracy and precision that medical imaging equipment demands. Photo: KaliAntye/Shutterstock.com

Linear Guides

  • From particularly economical standard components through to specially developed solutions
  • Long life thanks to quality components
  • Smooth running behaviour and high precision
  • Maximum variety with extraordinary performance values in combination with utmost precision and extremely high load capacity ratings
  • Ideal with long-term K1 lubrication unit for maintenance-free operation

Ball Screws

  • High operational reliability
  • Extra durable and economical
  • From standard components through to special ball screws for custom specific applications
  • Customised lubricating options as well as maintenance-free, long-term K1 lubrication unit available

Support Bearings

  • Specially developed for the requirements of ball screws
  • High precision and rigidity thanks to 60° contact angle
  • Multiple-stage sealing system to shield against particle ingress plus good grease retention capacity with low friction and heat generation
  • Easy assembly thanks to predefined preloading and direct flange connection (BSF series) to the surrounding components including installation-ready delivery

Spacea Series

  • Specifically developed for extreme and particular environments such as clean rooms, vacuums, high temperatures
  • Developed and produced according to individual customer requests
  • Broad experience due to other special applications
  • Special selection of materials available (non-magnetic, corrosion- and acid-resistant, grease-free etc.)