Many medical devices — from robotic surgery to autonomous delivery robots in hospitals, to dialysis equipment — use motion control products to operate. Allied Motion’s long and successful experience as a supplier to medical equipment manufacturers rests on our ability to offer the expertise, technologies, advanced products, and the global presence necessary to deliver high-quality motion solutions to our customers.
Specifically, Allied designs and manufactures motor and electronic motion control products for the medical sector and other select markets. Allied Motion’s product range includes brushed DC motors, brushless torque motors, brushless DC motors with or without integrated drive electronics, gear motors, modular servo drives, and optical encoders. We also offer a wide range of active and passive power quality products.
We enhance our competitive advantage the implementation of Allied Systematic Tools (AST) — our set of lean enterprise business tools— through which we drive continuous improvement in quality, cost, delivery, and innovation. This helps ensure that our customers receive the highest quality products and service on time and at the best possible price.
To find out more about the expertise required to develop successful motion solutions for medical equipment, MDB recently spoke with Dave Hawes, Director of Engineering at the Allied Motion facility in Tulsa, OK.
MDB: How does Allied Motion stand out from the competition?
Hawes: Allied Motion is a global manufacturing enterprise that offers diverse customized motion solutions combined with complementary and adjacent technology products, when needed, to provide the right solution for our customers’ applications.
MDB: How important is customization?
Hawes: Very important. Our ability to develop custom products and meet low- or high-volume demand is why many of our customers come to us for solutions. We enjoy a reputation for solving difficult application problems with unique and innovative solutions that are designed for serial manufacture.
MDB: What markets benefit from ISO 13485 certification?
Hawes: ISO 13485 specifies the quality management requirements for organizations that provide medical devices and related services that consistently meet customer and applicable regulatory requirements. Our Tulsa, OK facility is ISO 13485 certified. Most of our medical market customers require their vendors to have 13485 certification. It’s another reason that customers will seek us out for their motion solutions.
MDB: What technologies are most critical to add value?
Hawes: Allied Motion offers integrated solutions that often utilize multiple technologies from more than one of the Allied Motion companies. This avoids the siloed approach of some competitors and enables us to incorporate additional value into our products. Our AST design process ensures that we fully understand what our customer’s needs are, and that we address those fully even if it means utilizing components or technologies from other Allied companies or even non-Allied sources. This naturally results is in a more compact, higher efficiency, higher performance product for our customers.
MDB: Working with the medical industry, what attributes are most important?
Hawes: Flexibility. As Allied Motion collaborates with our customers, we understand and accept that in some cases the design may change for reasons not apparent during the prototype process. We are nimble and can make quick on-the-fly changes that provide new solutions to meet our customer’s evolving requirements.
MDB: What qualities do medical OEMs look for in a motion solution provider?
Hawes: Medical OEMs want more than a supplier. They need a supplier-partner. So, Allied Motion works hard to achieve a mutually beneficial partnership with our customers. We also encourage collaboration, whether it’s direct engineer-to-engineer support to help leverage our technology/know-how or perhaps exercising our own supply base to expedite and continuously improve on our quality and delivery.
MDB: What design characteristics are surgical robotic companies looking for in motors?
Hawes: Our innovative torque motor designs and our willingness to supply a “just-right” custom solution enables us to provide the higher performance and greater precision required in surgical robots. Our surgical robot motors are quieter, more compact, and more efficient than our competitors. Allied Motion is rapidly becoming the go-to company for surgical robot motors. In addition to our torque motors, our patented PerformeX slotless surgical handtool motors produce over twice the torque at load and run cooler than any of the competitive units out there. They are often used in handpieces running up to 100,000 RPM or in geared versions to provide high torques in small packages.