© Photo | TRUMPF

A table for every position

An operating table is more than a couch. It is a complex medical system that has to be versatile, stable and easy to operate. It helps here to have the right drives


Every day in modern operating rooms, surgeons are performing ever more complex medical procedures. In doing so, they also trust in state-of-the-art technology at the operating table. It has to be reliable, stable and flexible so that the surgeons can fully concentrate on their true job. For in modern medicine, the table is far more than a mere surface for the patient to lie on. It has to be adjustable to the most diverse operation scenarios – accurately and quickly at that. This is a challenge that was encountered by the medical technology experts of Trumpf and the drive specialists of ebm-papst when developing the TruSystem 7500 operating table. The first contact between the two companies took place already in the 1990s. Since 2005 the two sides have combined their expertise in a co-operation.

The table these experts developed is flexible, reliable and user-friendly, thereby fulfilling the stringent requirements of real-world applications. It can be conveniently controlled by remote, and table positions configured once can be saved and called up again. “Achieving the desired performance data for the gearbox and control system while taking into consideration cost-effectiveness was one of the greatest challenges”, explains Philipp Rauch, the person responsible for the sales of drive technology in the medical and laboratory technology segment at ebm-papst St. Georgen. The installed brushless internal rotor direct current motors enable fast and smooth acceleration and braking. This way the digital inputs can be implemented with mechanical reliability. The modular design of the ECI 63 drives used permits various modifications. Thus gearboxes, drive motors, sensors and brakes can be configured for their individual planned use. The drives are particularly reliable, since even power failures and technical defects do not impair their function.

Moreover, the compact components enable the base and table column to be built in a way that saves an extreme amount of space. That guarantees the surgeons a great amount of legroom and thereby also makes their work easier. The heart of the table control system is the compact drive system networked via CAN bus. This bus solution provides for fast and efficient communication of the control electronics. Moreover, the control system is in contact with other devices and thereby prevents collisions when the table is moving. Along with this, however, the installed drives fulfil all criteria concerning electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). This means that, unlike mobile telephones, which are undesirable in hospitals, they do not have a negative impact on other electronic devices – a criterion that is potentially of vital importance.

The design of the table follows the human anatomy; the table is segmented in accordance with the body’s shape. By means of its stability and design, the table can literally put every patient in the right position. The table can carry up to 360 kilograms and move into any position. Thus it also safely brings patients into positions in which either the head or the legs have to be the highest point of the body. The customers are satisfied, as Philipp Rauch knows: “Feedback has been entirely positive due to the high adjustment speed and the many flexible configuration options.” The table successfully holds its ground in real-world applications and is on duty in hospitals all around the globe.

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