What does your company bring to the automated medical equipment industry?

Wayne Baron: With more than 750,000 controllers sold, Galil Motion Control is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of motion controllers and programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Since Galil’s introduction of the first microprocessor-based motor controller in 1983, it has remained the industry’s leading innovator. Our goal is to be the primary source for motor control applications: we offer our customers the most powerful, cost-effective and easy-to-use controllers available in today’s market.

In the automated medical machinery industry, Galil’s motion controllers and PLCs provide the precision, flexibility and certification demanded by this growing market.

What are the unique challenges of motion control for medical equipment?

Engineers face many challenges in the design of medical equipment: fitting necessary components in the shrinking space available, reducing noise when using low-level signals and integrating unique medical-grade connectors. Finding solutions to these problems typically requires custom designs, and collaboration with the customer and Galil’s dedicated engineering team.

What other unique requirements do medical applications demand?

Acquiring certification of medical equipment for government agencies such as the US FDA can be an expensive and timeconsuming process. Any changes to hardware, in addition, mean a product will require recertification. It is therefore critical that suppliers of medical equipment are able and willing to produce and support the component for years – even decades. Galil has kept motion controllers in production for 25 years in order to meet our customers’ needs.

Could you elaborate on the significance of ISO 13485:2003 to medical device manufacturing?

Many motion control manufacturers are compliant with ISO 9001:2008. However, most are not compliant with ISO 13485:2003, which is specific to the medical device industry. Galil’s compliance with ISO 13485 offers medical OEM customers the assurance that our controllers maintain the required quality for all applications.

Describe your motion controllers in more detail.

The DMC-40×0 multi-axis motion controller series is Galil’s highest performing stand-alone motion controller. It accepts encoder inputs up to 22MHz, provides servo update rates as high as 32kHz and processes commands as fast as 40μs: ten times the speed of previous-generation controllers.

The DMC-41×3 series motion controller delivers precise, multi-axis control in a low-cost package. Both controllers can handle any mode of motion with precision and ease.

Galil’s RIO-47xxx PLC is packed with analogue and digital I/O in a compact package. Its powerful RISC processor provides fast I/O handling and logic control.

If our standard controllers don’t satisfy a client’s requirements, we will cost-effectively build a custom product that does. Over the years, we have produced thousands of tailored hardware and firmware solutions to ensure we are delivering the best solutions to our customers.

What distinguishes Galil products from those of its competition?

All of Galil’s controllers are cost-effective, easy to programme (with our intuitive two-letter programming language) and backed by our commitment to superior customer support. They have been designed into numerous medical devices, demonstrating the company’s technological innovation and prowess.

The time it takes to create custom controllers is typically only a few months, which ensures fast development cycles. Additionally, the routine lead time for production shipments is just a week, allowing OEMs to minimise their inventories.

We adopt a collaborative approach to achieve our success: we partner with customers to solve their applications’ motion challenges while sharing our knowledge and innovation to ensure they overcome every obstacle. We also provide free application support, where our engineers will continue to help customers until their machines are working.

What trends do you see impacting the sector?

We see several motion control trends that will have a positive effect on automated medical device manufacturers. The first is a continued reduction in controller size – a trend we’ve also experienced in the computer and mobile phone industries.

Another change may be an increase in amplifier power density to meet the stricter size constraints, as well as advanced failure detection algorithms. The result will be improved safety, thanks to more advanced failure detection algorithms and redundancy in encoders.

Finally, control solutions will become highly customised to meet the unique requirements of future medical machines.