Staying Connected - November 2007

Cable and Wire Labeling and Marking Options


Custom nameplate permanently
attached into cable yoke

Medical cables and wires require labeling and marking for identification and to comply with regulatory standards.  Many labeling and marking options are available.  At Affinity we work with our customers to establish and document labeling requirements and objectives early in the design process.  Some of the various marking and labeling options are:

Nameplate and Inserts – Nameplates are typically designed to fit into pockets molded into the cable yoke or connector.  Nameplate labels are printed on a durable material such as polycarbonate which resists scratching.  When attached using an adhesive specially formulated to adhere to TPE or TPU the nameplate is permanent.

One of the advantages of a nameplate system is the ability to print logos and intricate detail in multiple colors.  The material and process used to produce nameplates lends itself to high quality printing.  A well designed nameplate can not only convey necessary information, but can improve the look of medical cables.


Preprinted nameplates with durable
stain textured polycarbonate surface


AHA and IEC designations
on cable yoke

Color coded, pre-printed inserts
comply with AHA and IEC labeling
requirements for patient leads

One of the methods that Affinity uses to label leadwires is to use a pre-printed insert, similar to a nameplate.  These colorful labels are inserted into pockets molded into snap or banana plug connectors using a permanent adhesive.  Affinity’s proprietary inserts offer a convenient path to AHA and IEC labeling requirements.



Example of AHA lead designation
molded into leadwire snap

Molded – Lead markings, logos, and other designations can be molded into a finished part.  This type of marking is most commonly used on leadwire snaps but is also used on cable connectors and yokes.  Leadwires can conform to AAMI EC53 labeling requirements by molding lead designations into appropriately colored leadwire snaps.

One advantage of molding a logo or designation into a cable or leadwire is that it is permanent and adds no cost to the product.  One disadvantage is that molded printing is not as easy to see due to it being the same color as the material it is molded into.


Color coded bead markers
permanently attached to leadwires
conform to AHA marking requirements



Bead Markers
– Bead markers are typically attached to individual lead wires.  These are color coded and printed to conform to AHA and IEC marking requirements.  Bead markers are attached using a specially formulated adhesive and are permanent.





Flag Label
– Flag labels can be printed on-demand on blank label stock or date codes, lot numbers and serial numbers can be added to pre printed labels.  Flag labels typically wrap around the cable and extend one-half inch or more to offer a larger printable area than a wrap-around label.  Flag labels are available in a variety of sizes and if pre-printed, can include complex graphics and multiple colors.


Pre-printed flag label with
date of manufacture added


Flag label printed on-demand with
customer specified information

Brady label – Brady is a large label manufacturer.  They produce a variety of high-performance labels designed for cable identification.  This type of label features an aggressive adhesive on a printable polypropylene carrier making it virtually permanent.

At Affinity we often use printable Brady labels for marking round and flat cable.  Printed on demand, these labels provide whatever information is specified by the customer.  Due to size constraints, Brady labels typically only offer room to print part number and lot number.  Occasionally more than one label is used on a single cable in order to include additional information.


Brady label on cable

Close-up of Brady label wrapped
around cable showing Lot Number

Summary – A wide variety of options is available for medical cable and wire labeling.  Establishing and documenting labeling and marking requirements early in the design process can save time and speed products to market.

Whatever your cable labeling and marking requirements are, we can help.  One of our areas of expertise is medical cable marking and labeling.  Let Affinity Medical Technologies become part of your design team.  Contact Affinity Customer Care at
949-477-9495 or email to customercare2@affinitymed.com.

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MEET ERIC SCHNITZLER – Affinity’s Production Supervisor


Eric “oversees” every aspect
of Affinity cable production

If you are looking for the Production Supervisor at Affinity Medical Technologies, chances are he will not be sitting at his desk; more likely he is somewhere on the production floor.  Eric Schnitzler joined the Affinity team as Production Supervisor in 2006 and “hit the ground running.”   If you need to find him, you probably should have him paged.

Shortly after completing his duty in the United States Army as a helicopter crew chief and co-pilot, Eric began a twenty-five year career with a major aerospace manufacturer.   During this time his primary focus was team leadership and supervision but Eric also was an active participant in manufacturing projects such as “Value Stream”, “Lean Manufacturing” and ISO certification.

On a daily basis, Eric supervises the Affinity production team, overseeing all aspects of cable assembly and molding.  To complete orders on-time, Eric works closely with the Managers of Manufacturing, Quality, Planning, Engineering and Sales.  “We all work hard to assure shipments to Affinity Medical customers are on-time” said Eric.

When asked what he likes most about his job at Affinity, Eric said, “The challenge of producing quality products in a positive, productive manufacturing environment resulting in complete customer satisfaction.” 


Eric Schnitzler supervises all aspects
of Affinity Medical production

With so many years of manufacturing experience, Eric has accumulated extensive job knowledge and has encountered some interesting people along the way.  However, he admits that since joining Affinity Medical he is “very pleased and excited by the accomplishments of the production team related to several new and demanding projects.  Team members have set up their production cells with a high level of efficiency and enthusiasm.”  As Affinity Medical Technologies continues to grow and expand into new markets, Eric is committed to support and motivate Affinity’s production team.

Eric received his BA in Business Management from the University of Phoenix and also holds an Associates Degree in Aircraft Technology.  During his time away from Affinity, Eric relaxes by playing and “wrestling” with his two puppies; a miniature schnauzer named “Baby” and a Scottish terrier, “McDuff.”  He enjoys cooking and shopping with his wife Kelly and the entire family cheers for their daughter Cassandra at her soccer games.   In addition, Eric and his son Garrett spend many hours working together restoring Garrett’s first car to “mint condition.”

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Low Profile, Compact Medical Connectors


One example of a compact,
low profile connector with
positive latching mechanism

As the size of medical devices continue to shrink, so does the need for compact or low-profile connectors.

While reduced size is desirable, medical connectors must also be easily connected and disconnected, often by users with reduced dexterity or in emergency situations.  Functionality typically limits the minimum size of medical connectors more than design or manufacturing considerations.


Very compact medical connector
designed to plug into circuit board


Besides functionality, one of the limiting factors when trying to design a compact medical connector is the number, size and spacing required for pins and sockets.  Another factor to be considered as part of the design process is whether a latching mechanism will be used or not and if so, how it will function.

 


Low profile, compact medical
connector without locking mechanism

Affinity Medical has expertise and experience in designing and manufacturing compact, low profile medical connectors.  If you would like to see examples of some of our unique designs, contact Affinity Medical Customer Care at 949-477-9495 or email to customercare2@affinitymed.com

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Announcements and Information

Visit Affinity at MEDICA 2007

Affinity Medical Technologies will be exhibiting at MEDICA 2007, The 39th World Forum for Medicine International Trade Fair with Congress November 14 – 17, 2007 in Dusseldorf, Germany.  Visit us in Hall 9, Row C, Stand 74.

 

THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY SCHEDULE


Affinity Medical Technologies will be closed Thursday, November 22nd and Friday, November 23rd to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Modern Thanksgiving feasts have changed little since Puritan colonists first celebrated the holiday in 1621. Families and friends gather on Thanksgiving Day to give thanks for their good fortune and to feast on such traditional dishes as turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes, and pumpkin pie.  

We extend our best wishes to you and your family for a Very Happy and Bountiful Thanksgiving! 



Suzann Sitka and Candy Golding
the Affinity Customer Care team

Affinity Customer Care - Hours of Operation

Affinity Medical Technologies customer care specialists are available from 7:00 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. Pacific time.

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Affinity Medical Technologies

1732 Reynolds Ave
Irvine, CA 92614  USA
Phone: 949-477-9495
Fax: 949-477-9499
Contact Us