Humidifier for ventilators – Concept work for cost reduction and restoration of conformity to standards

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Starting situation

Humidifiers are independent devices that humidify the air supplied by ventilators. They continuously vaporize water and add it to the circulating air. In addition, humidifiers monitor the ambient temperature around the patient and heat the tubing so that no condensation occurs.

An Asian manufacturer of medical equipment was no longer able to sell its humidifier because the devices no longer conformed to the current standards. While restoring compliance with the standards, the client also wanted to adapt the vaporizer output to meet higher requirements and improve the control performance.

Objective of the project

The objective was a complete redesign of the onboard technology. The manufacturing costs were also to be significantly decreased. The appearance of the device, which was already wide well established on the market, was to remain as unchanged as possible.

Technical implementation

The analysis of the currently applicable global standards and an updated risk analysis found many fundamental points that required modification. An important step in this process was to replace the integrated power supply unit with an external solution. It was possible to reduce the costs significantly thanks to the new power supply unit, which is mass-produced. At the same time, the wide-range input eliminated the need to configure the mains voltage prior to shipment. The entire electronics system was replaced with less expensive and more up-to-date components. A significantly less expensive solution was also found for the user interface, which is also easier to assemble.

Results

IMT proposed two concepts: One focused on low manufacturing costs and the other focused on lower development costs. Our client was delighted with our suggestions and selected one of the new designs by IMT. The client has decided to implement the designs with an in-house development team. The cost savings of the new design is about 15% with simultaneously improved performance.

“It was very exciting to formulate this optimization concept within the extremely tight constraints.”

Benno Bieri, Business Development Manager

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