The R&D section is staffed by highly qualified technologists and clinical engineers/physicists and is accredited to ISO 13485 to design and manufacture medical equipment to the Medical Devices Directive and to CE mark it accordingly.
We offer the following services:
- Feasibility Studies
Present viable solutions to a wide range of technical problems and provide estimates of costs for plans of action that will achieve the assigned objectives. Not all projects require new equipment. There is no point in re-inventing the wheel and we look towards affordable solutions.
Produce working drawings and specifications for components, instruments, machines, processes etc. There may be purchase of newly made equipment and/or manufacture of such.
The electronic and mechanical workshops are equipped to produce items ranging from simple single component items to complex mechatronic systems incorporating electronics, intricate mechanical assemblies and custom written software.
Some examples of the department's work:
An expandable table for diabetic eye screening
A therapy chair for use in the Photobiology unit
A device is used in CT scans and allowing the position of the patient head to be adjusted in three axes for the purpose of brian scanning used in nuerosurgery.
The mechanical workshop has excellent facilities and most components can be produced in house. Where highly specialised machining or manufacture is required the department has sound industrial connections to ensure that it can meet any demands. Internal machining capacity covers turning, CNC milling, CNC engraving, drilling, fitting, assembly, surface grinding, sandblasting, welding, painting and inspection.
The electronics workshop is able to design and develop new electronic equipment to meet customer requirements, or modify existing equipment to change or improve its operation. The workshop makes use of several CAD packages to assist with the creation of schematic diagrams, and for the design of PCBs and programmable logic. Prototype PCBs are etched in-house, but are sent out to commercial manufacturers if any quantity is required.
Considerable expertise has been built-up in the design of stand-alone microprocessor-based equipment, and in equipment which is interfaced with personal computers. Development and testing tools available to the workshop include in-circuit emulator, logic-analysers, digital storage oscilloscopes, spectrum analyser, frequency counters, RF signal generators, etc.
The scope of equipment designed by the workshop is very wide, ranging from simple power supplies to sophisticated control devices.
If an R&D project requires software control then it is written in-house, usually in C or C++. Some of this software is for hardware control and data gathering through programming interfaces to Analog/Digital I/O cards mounted in host PCs, while other projects use embedded controllers programmed for the task at hand or USB interfacing.
Other research projects are purely computer based, such as simulations and data visualisation work, which is usually done using IDL visualisation and data processing software. Sometimes hacks in Perl and C are crufted up to facilitate projects as required, usually for pre-processing of data to reduce it to manageable levels.