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Sheet Metal Fabrication Process Analysis for Innovative Design of Medical Equipment

Date: May 06 2021 | By:LC Rapid
Tag:Sheet Metal Fabrication,

In recent years, with the technological advancement of medical equipment companies and the maturity of the supporting industry chain, as well as the promotion of national policies such as medical reform, graded diagnosis and treatment, and support for domestic equipment, the medical equipment industry is expected to enter a period of rapid development.


With the promotion and popularization of medical information products, some companies can share the same score with multinational giants. Medical information products are being promoted in coastal cities, and are currently increasing at a rate of more than 100%. It is also in this field that medical equipment companies, sheet metal fabrication companies, and industrial design companies have strong competitive advantages. Independent innovation and substitution of imports have become the main theme of the future development of medical equipment, so the shape design of medical equipment has also received more and more attention, which has been classified into different manufacturing technique fields, such as medical precision machining, injection molding or sheet metal fabrication.


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Ⅰ. Medical equipment design and sheet metal fabrication


The shape design of medical equipment is constrained by sheet metal fabrication methods. At present, the common sheet metal fabrication methods on the market mainly include stamping, bending, cutting, welding, and most of the materials for sheet metal fabrication are sheet metal.


Generally speaking, in the design of medical equipment, designers consider more the one-way arc of the product, and rarely consider the two-way arc. Because the shape of the two-way arc requires a stamping die, this will lead to increased costs.


The mass production of sheet metal is mainly reflected in the consistency of the product. The appearance design and structural design that can meet the production consistency of sheet metal products can be regarded as the appearance design that truly meets the market requirements.


This requires the design company to achieve a perfect balance in product design, structural design, and process selection. This requires the design company to have rich experience and accumulation in sheet metal product design. In addition, a sheet metal factory with comprehensive sheet metal fabrication capabilities is also needed.


The selection of sheet metal factories is different from that of large-volume standardized products such as plastic mold openings. Because each sheet metal factory's design ability, sheet metal fabrication accuracy and assembly level are quite different, it needs to be treated with caution.


Ⅱ. Appearance design of sheet metal fabrication parts


It should be noted that the standard arc surface should be used as much as possible when designing the sheet metal, because the data is not easy to control during bending, generally cutting cylinder welding is adopted. As far as welding is concerned, designers should not think of this welding as a panacea. Some designers like to cut a bevel on a single arc and use a straight surface to cover. From this perspective, the welding accuracy is not easy to control, and the sheet metal fabrication parts with this treatment method are with bad appearance.


Due to the modeling constraints caused by sheet metal fabrication attributes, in the process of medical device appearance design, designers generally use the following methods:


1. Mondrian cutting method. This method is widely used in design, which requires designers to have a certain skill in plane composition.


2. The lamination method. When using the lamination method, we have to combine it according to the Mondrian method. Through the lamination process, the product looks breathable and has a three-dimensional effect.


3. Inclined cutting and splicing method. This method uses straight oblique cutting to take advantage. This method often makes the product appear exaggerated.


The color matching of the appearance design of medical equipment is also a key consideration for designers. In fact, the matching of silver and gold colors is a bit close to that of medical products.


Generally speaking, the product is only three-color. It may be more mean for sheet metal fabrication products, almost all products are embellished with one color, especially black and white is not a color. And when matching silver and gold colors, designers should use less methods of large-area application, and the colors of medical equipment products are generally used with low purity, while the colors of industrial equipment are generally used with low purity and low brightness.


In particular, this refers to most of them, because some can also be matched with light colors, and sometimes such a match will be very good.


Ⅲ. Structural design of sheet metal fabrication parts


In medical equipment products, the internal support of the product is basically sheet metal parts. The sheet metal part of the main structure is mainly divided into load-bearing parts, connecting parts, outer frame and auxiliary parts. Among these structural parts, except that the connecting parts are mostly medium-thick plates, the rest are mainly thin plates. Its materials are mainly stainless steel plates and aluminum plates, and some aluminum-zinc plates and cold-rolled steel plates.


Sheet metal parts account for about 10% to 15% of medical equipment. Nevertheless, sheet metal parts still play a decisive role in terms of function and appearance of sheet metal fabrication technology. Sometimes the cost in the production process of medical equipment can be greatly reduced.


The product structure design of sheet metal fabrication parts mainly plays three roles:


1. The load-bearing parts of the equipment need to bear the gravity of the main body (including the force generated during the movement);


2. The movable connectors of the equipment need to be coordinated and consistent operation according to the requirements of the application software;


3. The outer frame of the main body needs to reflect the characteristics of flexible hardware.


Therefore, the sheet metal parts of medical equipment need to be combined with materials, mechanics, mechanical engineering, industrial design and other disciplines for comprehensive design in order to meet its functional and appearance process requirements.


Ⅳ. Surface treatment process design of sheet metal fabrication parts


Product design is important, but to truly reflect the characteristics of the flexible hardware of medical equipment, it must rely on sheet metal fabrication technology. Therefore, medical equipment has relatively high technical requirements for sheet metal parts, which are specifically reflected in:


1. The precision requirements of movable connectors: especially the connectors after welding and splicing


2. The surface appearance process requirements of the outer frame: profiled appearance, welding and polishing consistency


3. Surface treatment requirements of sheet metal fabrication technology: In addition to the galvanized or blackened internal connections, electrostatic spraying or baking paint is generally used (currently replaced by the former), requiring uniform and soft color, strong bonding force, and no surface blemishes, and the color is mainly light tones. All these need to be carefully considered by the designer in the actual medical equipment design work.

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