Enhancing Human Health through Smarter Medical Device Test
"With LabVIEW, we built a reliable test system and tested the embedded algorithms. The system greatly facilitates the medical device design, meets rigorous product test requirements and ensures a higher quality consumer product."
- Derek Fluegge,
Cal-Bay Systems Inc.
Creating a product life test system capable of simultaneously controlling 30 motors using a proprietary drive algorithm.
Developing a product life test system based on NI hardware and software to improve quality of product and patient life.
Derek Fluegge - Cal-Bay Systems Inc.
A well-known Fortune 500 company that produces high-quality medical devices needed to perform comprehensive product life tests on its newest portable medical devices used for health monitoring. Specifically, they needed to measure reliability and longevity of the consumer product. The system needed to perform simultaneous tests on 30 units and generate sufficient data with the proper sample size so that design problems could be statistically differentiated from assembly problems or other anomalies.
Product Life Tests Simulate Portable Device Performance
This particular company’s product life tests, which last up to several months, simulate product performance at five, 10, and 15 years. The length of test execution time necessary to perform these product tests made reliability a critical system requirement. The system also needed to perform simultaneous tests by measuring a product or a related version of the product for performance over a sequence of various load and operating conditions.
Using RIO Software to Test Embedded Algorithm Performance
Implementing the product commutation algorithm was another critical factor in this application. The test system needed to mirror the internal algorithms executing in the product’s embedded code. Using the LabVIEW FPGA and LabVIEW Real-Time modules, we prototyped and implemented a motor drive algorithm that we downloaded and easily ran on the PXI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) module to mimic the behavior of the motor component. With LabVIEW, we built a reliable test system and tested the embedded algorithms. The system greatly facilitates the medical device design, meets rigorous product test requirements and ensures a higher quality consumer product.
To meet these test requirements, we divided the system hardware into two distinct groups: the automated test equipment (ATE) and the fixture, which needed to handle different motors or devices under test (DUTs) in the future. We used our FlexATE, a high-mix test platform using PXI hardware, to supply the power and control the DUTs. The FlexATE platform consists of a tower PC, two 18-slot PXI chassis, and a mass interconnect for fixture coupling.
The FlexATE incorporates planned spaces for all of the required components while providing ample room for test fixtures. We mounted two PXI chassis in the system with its instrumentation wired directly to the mass interconnect. The PXI hardware and its seamless integration with NI software provided a perfect system fit. In addition, the module is reconfigurable with our software tools, allowing users to download different commutation algorithms depending on the DUT.
High-Performance, Scalable Solution Benefits Patients
The medical device OEM uses the product life test system to make key design decisions for improving product quality. With the Cal-Bay FlexATE system, the company can reuse the same system to test different product designs and swap out fixtures without requiring new nonrecurring engineering. This flexibility has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in capital equipment and design costs.
With this system in place, the company can better determine the duration and capabilities of their products to improve device quality and prevent recalls that damage reputation and cost millions of dollars. All patients can benefit and potentially prevent loss of life or limb with this improved technology.
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