Your Valuable Medical PCB Supplier
High-reliability is a top priority in the Medical industry —- customers demand reliable, technologically-advanced, and high-quality solutions.
Venture is a leading medical PCB provider with 10 years experiences; we provide rigid printed circuit boards, flexible circuits, and rigid-flex printed circuit boards, from simple consumer disposables to high-end lab equipment or hospital equipment, and new areas like wearable devices.
Medical PCB : 12 Layers, 1+n+1 HDI board, 1.6mm thickness, ENGI
Venture is fully experienced in producing medical device PCB for medical applications such as
- Blood glucose meters
- Hand-held wireless controllers
- Hearing aids, aesthetic care devices
- Drug delivery systems
- Microelectronics for implantable devices
- Disposable devices (diagnostic catheters, wound management, pressure cuffs)
- Laboratory diagnostics (lab blood diagnostics, high pressure liquid chromatography, dialysis)
- Imaging and monitoring (ultrasound, CT, MRI, PET, X-ray, patient monitoring),
- Medical LCD display systems
- Medical wearable devices
Your Leading Medical PCB Supplier in China
Venture provides medial PCB design & engineering support to your medical PCB prototype to volume production, plus a full suite of medical PCB assembly, integration, and test solutions. Together, we can help you quickly launch your medical products that feature next-generation technology and meet your strict medical PCB requirements around process control, traceability, and quality.
Medical PCB :Imaging and monitoring
Nowadays the wearable electronics is fast growing in medical PCB market, no matter you’re making the medical PCBs for fitness devices, health diagnostics, or automated therapy device, you have the unique challenge of designing the hardware to fit the human body.
In the past traditional rigid medical PCBs does not usually make it wearing comfortable, but now we use flexible and rigid-flex circuit technology to fit your human body shape. And with more and denser circuits must fit snugly in and around your body shape, embedding components within the medical PCB can often be the only way to get your design to fit.
Medical PCB: 8 Layers, 0.8mm thickness, ENIG, 1 Oz.
Through our 2 hours rapid response services from our 24/7 sales and tech support team, and excellent after-sales service, we will be your best medical PCB manufacturers and suppliers in China. At Venture we can answer any medical PCB questions that you may have, pls feel free to contact us anytime.
Medical PCB-The Ultimate Guide
Medical PCB play an integral role in today’s modern equipment in hospitals, laboratories, research and other related fields.
To get the right printed circuit board, you need to understand the ins and outs of these PCBs
This guide, therefore, starts by defining medical PCB, before proceeding to its benefits. Thereafter, we will also look at the design and design and fabrication of these PCBs.
Later, we will also look at Medical PCB fabrication and prototyping processes, before exploring the types of PCBs in the medical field. Towards the end of this guide, we will also explore the applications and use of Medical PCBs.
Let’s dive right.
What is Medical PCB?
The medical sector is by far the most sensitive, chiefly because it deals with the most precious human life. The level sensitivity means that the equipment and facilities used in the sector must have certain characteristics, the first being precision.
Medical PCBs are, therefore, printed circuit boards that are designed specifically for making medical equipment and facilities. These PCBs are hence specialized for a range of care and lab settings and for different test scenarios.
Some of the medical equipment and machines that are made using these PCBs include Blood glucose monitors, heart monitors and X-ray computed tomography.
Photo courtesy: OMICS International
Others are heart pacemakers and blood pressure monitors (We will see more of these in the application section of this guide)
Benefits of Medical PCBs
As we have already mentioned, medical PCBs are used in the manufacture of electronic devices and equipment that are used in the medical field. They range from common devices like smartphones and tablets, to more specialized equipment like heart monitors.
In this regard, the devices and sets of equipment made from PCBs have benefitted the medical field in the following ways:
I.Electronic Health Records
Lack of integration was, for a very long time, a serious cause of slowness in medical service delivery. Several patients died because it took long to get their records from one section to another.
Patient care has, however, greatly improved in the last few decades, thanks to (the PCB based) technology.
There is now efficiency and speed in service delivery due to easy flow of information.
Drug design usually depends so much on data about a certain population. The ease with which technology has enabled the gathering of such data means better and quicker development of these medicines.
The different types of equipment that have made this possible are made using special PCBs.
Today, IPads and smartphones have made it easy for medical specialists to transmit and receive information freely.
It has also made it easy to order drugs. It is also important in documentation and medical research on the go.
Today, there are systems that help in conveying secure alerts and information like lab tests. They usually use smartphones, web applications or special clinically-based systems.
This is a great improvement, considering the inconvenience that it was to pass this information.
Again, it is common to find hospital staff using instant messaging apps and walkie-talkies. This is a positive departure from the use of pagers and overhead PA systems.
All these are as a result of the development of advanced PCBs, which have been used to refine health-sector communication systems.
Today, there are modern worn medical devices that help to monitor so much information, especially about patients.
In football, players wear “bras” with trackers that track, among other things, the player’s heart rate.
By tracking such information, it is always possible to know real time whenever a patient is infected or has an attack.
Medical PCBs Design and Fabrication
PCBs for medical devices and applications must be designed with considerations for quality, reliability and repeatability.
Besides, they also need to be strong, durable and traceable. These are just some of the qualities that must be taken into consideration when designing these PCBs.
PCB design and layout
There are also other requirements that are unique to specific medical PCBs, depending on which area they will be used in.
The following is a breakdown of the step-by-step design process for medical PCBs
Step 1:Draw the Initial Schematic
This involves taking getting relevant information from the client and using it to create a schematic drawing. All the specifications are written on one side.
The details to be captured include the PCB type, materials and power, among others. All these must be taken with absolute accuracy.
Step 2:Scan and Prepare the Layout
The next step is to scan and upload the drawing onto the PCB design software. Now start adding the client’s requirements onto it one after another.
Step 3:Pay Attention to Critical Factors
There are specific vital factors to consider when designing PCBs for medical applications. They include aspects such as sequencing, split planes and pin number component selection.
Step 4:Proper Splitting of Power
To reduce crosstalk and noise levels in the PCB, there is need for diversification of ground planes and electric power.
There ought to be few high Signal-to-Noise Ratios (SNRs).
Step 5:Provide Multiple Ground Layers
Make multiple ground layers at the PCB base. These will help to reduce noise and SNR levels. Thy also enhance overall PCB performance and reliability.
Step 6:Reviewing the BOM
Here, the components are checked to ascertain that they bare the required tolerance levels. Both the PCB and OEM designers are supposed to perform this review of the BOM together.
Step 7:Check the Components
Confirm that you are using the best components as per the requirements
Step 8: Prepare an alternative list of components
You should have alternative component option to use in case the chosen ones fail to meet the requirements. This will help to save the time spent in designing the PCB.
Step 9:Check the alternative components
Just as you did with the chosen components, check the alternate components for their success and failure ratings.
Step 10:Create a drawing for the Assembly
This is to help you avoid fabrication and assembly mistakes. Ensure you take note of any revision levels in case any changes have been done on the original design.
Step 11:Indicate the test points in your design
Identify and indicate the points where testing is ideal for the board. To reduce the number of errors, try to have as many testing points as possible.
Medical PCB Assembly
PCB Assembly (PCBA) basically refers to the process of soldering electronic components onto a Printed Circuit Board. The board, without the components (fully fabricated but empty), cannot perform its intended purpose.
Medical PCB assembly
PCBA is, therefore, the inclusion of components that define and enable the functioning of the PCB.
Before you embark on the PCB assembly process, there are factors that you will need to consider, including:
- The type/classification of the circuit board
- Component characteristics
- The purpose of the board
With these considerations well taken care of, you will need to identify and put together all the required components/parts.
These include the PCB itself and the electronic components that you intend to solder onto it.
You also have to ensure that you have all the necessary tools for the job.
Some of the obvious tools you will need are a wave soldering machine, SMT equipment and inspection and testing equipment. Solder paste and solder wire are other vital requirements for the process.
Once all these parts have been gathered, it is now time to begin the assembly process. However, owing to the sensitivity of these PCBs, it is prudent that the company does a design for manufacturability (DFM) test.
To achieve this, a design file of the PCB is made, and several tests done on it.
Doing the DFM test helps to take note of, and rectify any issues with the design before the actual assembly begins.
This helps to ensure that all functionality issues are handled, so that the final PCB is perfect.
Actual PCB Assembly Process
Through hole assembly
Step 1:Solder Paste Stenciling
Using a stencil ensures that solder paste is only applied to the required parts of the board-where components are scheduled to sit.
A mechanical fixture is used to hold the PCB and solder stencil in place. Solder paste is then placed at the exact intended areas using an applicator. Next, it is spread and applied evenly over every open area.
When the stencil is finally removed, the solder paste is left in the intended locations.
Step 2:Pick and Place
The board is first moved to the pick and place station. Here, a robotic device is used to pick surface mount devices and place them onto the board, ready for soldering.
The components are accurately positioned on top of the solder paste. Remember the aim is to assemble a faultless PCB, owing to the sensitivity of its area of application-the medical field.
Step 3:Reflow Soldering
A conveyor belt moves the PCB through a large reflow oven. Here, the PCB is heated to around 2500C so as to melt the solder paste.
It is then moved through coolers, leading to the solidification of the solder paste. This forms strong joints between the components and the board.
For two-sided PCBs, each side is stenciled and reflowed separately, starting with the side with fewer and smaller components.
Step 4:Inspection and Quality Control
The PCB, with the SMT components intact, is inspected for any floors or poor connectivity resulting from the movement during reflow.
Here, the inspection methods involved include the following: (you can learn more electrical testing PCB).
- Manual checks
- Automatic Optical Inspection
- X-Ray Inspection
Step 5:Through-Hole Component Insertion
Next, the leads of through hole components are inserted into the through holes on the board and soldered onto it. This is done through manual soldering, or wave soldering.
Step 6:Final Inspection and Functional Test
Here, the normal circumstances under which the PCB will function is simulated to check whether it will perform as required. Based on the company standards, a PCB that fails this test can either be recycled or scrapped.
Once tested and approved, it is important to wash the product. This helps to remove flux, oil and any other form of dirt from its surface.
Also, this is especially important because of the sensitivity of the health sector, where equipment made of these PCBs will be used.
Note that there are certain types of medical equipment that have special requirements for their PCBs.
An example is the pacemaker, which is usually installed in the human body. In such cases, there are several safety standards that have to be put in place.
Medical PCB Prototyping
Medical printed circuit board prototypes are important in the early design process for testing the functions of a PCB-based solution.
The prototype is taken through many runs to test the redesigns. Sometimes, a test is run for a single function, and thereafter, it is used to construct a more complex design.
Prototyping of medical PCBs therefore helps designers to predict the success and to mitigate failure. This therefore helps to eliminate losses that can occur due to late detection of these problems.
Medical PCB prototyping
Prototyping is therefore a very vital step towards getting perfect medical PCBs that meet the precision of the medical sector.
Full PCB manufacturing should only be commenced once the engineers are fully satisfied that the prototype meets the required standards.
For the best results, the prototyping process usually takes the following steps:
- Get a proper description of the PCB
- Design the PCB
- Schematic Design
- Prepare a Bill of Materials
- Create a routing design
- Create a photo film
- Print the inner layers
- Fusing the layers
- Drilling holes
- Copper Plating
- Outer layer imaging
- Copper and tin layer plating
- Final etching
- Solder mask application
- Surface finishing
- Applying silkscreen
You can learn more about this process here: PCB Prototype – The Ultimate Guide.
Types of Medical PCBs
Generally, there are many types of medical PCBs available in the market. Some of the most common options include:
·Single Layer PCBs
These are also called single-sided PCBs. They are made out of a single layer of substrate or base material. A thin layer of a metal, especially copper, is usually used to coat one side of the base material.
Single layer PCB
They usually have a protective solder mask which is usually applied on top of the copper layer.
These PCBs are preferred because they have relatively low production costs. In the medical field, they are mainly used in simple circuits like power sensors.
These sensors have many uses, for example, to convert high power currency to DC for the medical equipment that use DC.
·Double Layer Medical PCBs
These ones have a metal conductive layer on either phases of the substrate. Metal parts can be attached from one side to the other via the holes on the board.
This enables connection of the two sides via through hole technology.
Photo courtesy: The Engineering Project
Component leads are inserted through pre-drilled holes on the circuit board. They are then soldered to the pads on the opposite sides.
These PCBs are used in many areas in the medical field. They include communication devices like walkie-talkie and some medical testing equipment.
These PCBs comprise more than two copper layers. They include 4L, 6L, 8L, where the “L” denotes the number of layers.
These layers are demarcated using substrate boards and insulating materials.
These PCBs have the advantage of heaviness and space. They are used in making high-speed circuits.
Multi layer PCB
Their size also means they are able to provide additional room for conductor pattern and power. In general, they enable design flexibility.
In the medical field, these PCBs are used in more sophisticated machines and equipment that perform heavy tasks and need speed. They are used in modern X-ray equipment, CAT scan equipment, heart monitors and medical testing devices.
·Rigid Medical PCBs
These PCBs have bases that are built from nonflexible material. Therefore is that their bases cannot be bent.
This, therefore, means a wide range of multifaceted circuitry can be crafted from them. Their preservation is also easy.
They are mainly used in medical equipment whose functions are rigorous like some medical testing devices.
·Flex Medical PCBs
These ones are have flexible base material. They can be single, double or multi sided.
Their flexibility makes them the best for saving on the use of space. They also reduce the overall board weight. They are mainly used where temperature and density are of serious concern.
In the medical field, flex PCBs are used to provide mechanical aid and electronic support for various medical test equipment.
These include pacemakers, defibrillators and modulation devices.
·Rigid-Flex Medical PCBs
These PCBs usually combine the characteristics of both rigid and flexible PCBs. As such, they entail a number of flexible circuits that are put together on rigid boards.
Rigid flex PCB
The main strength of these PCBs is their light weight and limited use of space.
Rigid-flex PCBs have several applications in the medical field. One of these is in the medical care communication handheld device.
Application and use of PCBs in the Medical Field
The medical sector has become revolutionized over the past few years. This is especially due to the demand created by the increased population. There is also need for better research due to several emerging issues in the field.
Electronic medical equipment – Photo courtesy: Medium
Thanks to technological advancement, now there are state of the art devices that have made this “revolution” possible. All this technological advancement starts with the advancement of PCB design and production for medical devices and equipment. Medical PCBs are designed according to industry standards like the number of holes, number of layers and surface plating.
Some of the main areas of PCB application in the medical field include:
Blood Glucose and body temperature monitors: PCBs are used to manufacture personal and healthcare monitors. Examples include heart rate monitors, glucose monitors and blood pressure monitors, among others.
- Control Systems: These include equipment used to control fluid infusion, flow rate and dispensation.
- Scanning Technology: scanning systems like CT scanners and ultrasonic technology are made using PCBs.
- Worn and Internal Medical Devices: Internal medical devices are those that that are implanted into the patient’s body because of certain medical conditions. An example is Heart pacemakers. They are run by minuscule PCBs at the
Worn Medical devices, on the other hand, are the wearable devices that are used to monitor a person’s health. They help in ensuring that any health issues are detected in good time so as to avoid losing the patient.
- Scientific Instrumentation: These medical research instruments that are used to study disease trends and to test patient outcomes. Examples are electronic microscopes and photometers. Control systems for generators and compressors also belong to this category.
- Wireless Communication: Communication is very essential in the medical field. Today, there are modern communication devices that enable real time communication, thus saving many lives.
Hospital staff today rely on instant messaging apps and walkie-talkies. This is as opposed to the pagers and overhead Pas that were formerly relied on.
The medical industry has become one of the most sophisticated today. The sensitivity of the industry means it requires the use of hi-tech electronic devices and.
For top performance, these equipment and devices must have advanced circuitry. That is why medical PCBs are very vital in enhancing the functionality of the sector, especially in research and medical service delivery.
To achieve the best results, strict standards are adhered to, right from PCB design to the assembly stages.