The significance of energy distribution items in medical check tools
Considerations for Medical Test Equipment Requirements
The medical industry faces numerous challenges in developing electronic and software-controlled devices. Ever more sophisticated machines show a growing reliance on similarly complex electronics, driven by rapid technology development and exceptional competition. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires extensive testing before devices are placed on the market. Advanced test equipment is an important tool in overcoming these challenges and optimizing product testing to ensure quality, functionality and FDA compliance. Automated and semi-automated test equipment typically includes various sensors, control mechanisms, and active subsystems to validate products for a variety of applications.
When designing test equipment with complex functions or multiple active sub-assemblies, delivery and control of performance is critical. This is often achieved using customer-specific power distribution units (PDUs) that take up input power and reliably distribute it to various downstream devices. But how exactly do you set up a test system and how are PDUs integrated? We’ll discuss these issues and more to help you understand the role of PDUs in test equipment.
Test equipment requirements
A big consideration with test equipment is performance. The ATE (Automated Test System) power infrastructure is very different from typical power supply configurations. Since test systems consist of many internal components, they require complex power supply systems in order to provide everyone with a controlled, reliable power supply. Some requirements and components of the test system include the following elements:
Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) Filters
Almost every product, regardless of application or market, must comply with EMC regulations. These standards limit the electromagnetic noise that a product can inject onto local power lines. Just as the components and functions of a complex test system vary widely, so does the EMC noise it generates. In order to ensure EMC conformity and to protect the ATE from noise that is already present in the line, EMI filters are standard in the system architecture of test devices. EMI filters, typically located near the power inlet, can be easily incorporated into custom PDUs for optimized system design.
Each device in a test system requires a certain amount of current at the correct voltage level and may require various safety or function-based controls. A test system must include a power distribution unit to ensure that downstream equipment receives adequate power. Power distribution units for test systems ensure a sufficient flow of energy to each component and at the same time protect the devices from overvoltages, sequencing of the power supply and more. The internal socket of a PDU has a current and a nominal voltage and is compatible with both direct and alternating currents.
Due to their functions, PDUs are an integral part of a test system. Custom solutions can include fully integrated primary and secondary power sources. If you are using a PDU or any of the other items listed here, it is imperative to create a power layout. This arrangement ensures that each part receives the power it needs. Bottlenecks caused by a power failure can bring an entire process to a standstill if the affected component is integrated into the system. Working with an experienced custom PDU supplier like Astrodyne TDI reduces such risks as they work with your engineers to provide a comprehensive design.
Uninterruptible power supply (UPS)
Testing can also be affected by power outages, power outages, and malfunctions during normal operation. The uninterruptible power supply protects against this. UPSs ensure that critical components in the system are continuously supplied with power when the power supply encounters a problem. For example, cooling, control and monitoring systems are critical to maintaining functionality during power outages, as a failure can prevent quick recovery or damage equipment.
PDUs and UPSs work together to ensure that a test device receives the power it needs without the risk of failure. If necessary, you can use UPSs in combination with power converters to condition standard power to meet the requirements of the system. Ultimately, however, it may be easier to use ATE with a global input voltage to avoid the need for a power converter. Make sure you install a UPS and attach it to such critical test equipment so that your systems run as effectively and efficiently as they should.
Emergency stop function (EPA)
With the increasing role of automated test equipment, implementations of safety control functions also take on a new dimension. An ubiquitous function that almost all modern test devices have in common is the EPA function (Emergency Power Off). EPA functions simplify the response to local emergency situations by directly preventing the switching of the power supply and triggering shutdown processes.
Grounding is another critical aspect of the requirements for automated test equipment, both for safety and for measurement quality. Grounding ensures the safety of operators and equipment by ensuring that all system equipment has an appropriate path for power to flow to ground. Quality grounding also includes the assurance that electrical connections to ground are direct, which minimizes the generation of high frequency emissions that can interfere with measuring equipment.
With so many options available, it can be difficult to pinpoint the most effective approach. There are an infinite number of configurations of parts and functions of test equipment, but they share a common power infrastructure for test systems. If you are interested in a custom power distribution solution for test equipment or would like to learn more about the applications of PDUs, contact Astrodyne TDI today. With over 60 years of experience in developing customized power supply solutions, the team is happy to help you answer these questions.
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