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Spring Probes improve reliability of Ultrasound interconnect

One of the emerging leaders in Ultrasound diagnostic equipment approached Smiths Interconnect as they were witnessing field failures due to bent contacts during mating causing the expensive ultrasound systems to be line down in the hospitals. The systems were then sent back to the customer for repair which was a very expensive, inconvenient and costly affair to the end user. The connector that was used to mate the complex transducers to the Ultrasound system “cart” had cheap bifurcated contacts. With the excellent technical support provided by the Smiths’ team, the customer’s concerns were put to ease and the solution provided peace of mind to all the stakeholders.

Spring Probes improve reliability of Ultrasound interconnect
Spring Probes improve reliability

Solution: High Density Spring Probes

Smiths Interconnect designed and developed a custom 42 contact rectangular connector with very robust and high density medical grade probes. Compared to the cheap bifurcated contacts, the probes designed for this application were highly reliable and reduced the size of the connector by more than 30%. Spring probes provide a multi-directional connection and were recommended for the design due to their excellent tolerance to axial, rotational and angular misalignment. The probes mate to a PCB and are effectively damage resistant. The customer has never since seen a failure due to connectors and their Ultrasound system was never line down due to poor interconnects.

Customer Advantage:

  • Reliable: Medical spring probe contacts extend the Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) of the system with 100,000 mating cycle life
  • Rugged: Eliminates bent pin damage due to excellent tolerance absorption properties
  • Low Force: Easy and quick to mate and unmate in stressful situations