It was important for the bed’s action to be smooth, reliable, and able to operate without lubrication. It was also crucial for it to meet infection control protocols. The linear transfer device needed to operate under tight spatial constraints to ensure maximum space was left for neonatal care.
Transport incubators have changed little since the 1950s, meaning they are typically heavy, difficult to use, and offer little protection to a baby from the noise, vibration and potential road traffic collisions sometimes experienced during transportation. These were the additional challenges faced by Lightweight Medical when redesigning the product.
The company chose the DryLin® W linear guide system from igus®, because they discovered the guide’s lubrication-free, dirt and dust resistant properties exceeded infection control protocol and fitted with the clean aesthetic of the Neo-Capsul. The linear slide is an almost silent-running, cost effective and lightweight solution. The compact nature of the rail design also ensures maximum space is provided for the baby.
Rory Wilkinson, Director and Design Engineer at Lightweight Medical, says, “igus linear rails were the key component helping us to solve a critically important design challenge and which will help save the lives of very sick babies.”
The DryLin W linear guide runs on the polymer iglidur® J, which has been extensively tested by igus and is proven to have a low coefficient of friction for all loads when running dry, a low stick-slip tendency and an excellent wear rate. It also requires zero lubrication and is therefore completely maintenance-free, as with all iglidur polymer bearings from igus.
igus now also offers DryLin W Stainless for the food processing and packaging industries and for chemically exposed or underwater applications. The rails are made of V4A high-grade steel (316 Ti), which means the guides offer maximum corrosion resistance and withstand chemicals and temperatures up to 250 °C.