As a leading global player in engineered access solutions, Southco is the preferred supplier to a wide range of industries where the supply partnership calls for a high level of technological innovation. This is particularly evident in the medical industry where the company is leading the way in latching and hinging, and increasing its presence in position control, having worked closely with leading global manufacturers in medical engineering for many years.

More recently, Southco has translated its proven hinging and positioning technology developed for such applications as laptop screens, flat panel TVs and process control equipment, to develop a wide range of specialist equipment for the medical industry to satisfy a growing need for innovative, accurate positioning technology – at the right cost - within this growing sector. Now, with the launch of a new dynamic mounting arm, Southco has enhanced its positioning control offering to medical engineering. Utilising all the company’s design, technological and manufacturing expertise in positioning control technology, the AV-D30 arm provides a class defining feature set which allows the user to achieve precise control over arm operating efforts whilst securing ‘no drift’ positioning even in applications with dynamic loading.

Offered in a range of standard configurations to suit the most common display sizes, the new AV series is designed to provide swing out extension and tilt and swivel monitor positioning for flat panel user interfaces in applications ranging from imaging equipment and patient monitoring, to patient information and entertainment systems. In fact, the arm can be used wherever screens need to be moved.

Ulrike Sturman, Industry Marketing Manger Distribution & Diversified Market explains: “The growing medical sector is making major advances in areas such as screening and early diagnosis and there is an increasing need for accurate positioning technology for a wide range of specialist equipment. The new mounting arm, which demonstrates perfectly the successful integration of positioning control technology into a high-tech product tailored for a specific industry, represents the next step in Southco’s positioning control technology specifically developed for the medical sector. With the addition of this product to the current positioning control range, we can now truly offer the medical industry a complete package of positioning control equipment unrivalled within the market place.”

“Following a successful pre-launch at a show in the US earlier this year, we are excited to be introducing it to the worldwide medical market at the world’s largest and most renowned trade fair for the medical industry in November. This will be at COMPAMED 2009 in Düsseldorf, Germany, as part of MEDICA 2009.”

The hinging and positioning technology developed by Southco is being very successfully transferred across the medical engineering market and is already proven on key application zones such as ultrasound, dialysis and heart machines, examination and treatment chairs and tables, lighting, and sterilisation equipment. The company can offer many major design advantages to those of its competitors, including products delivering the smoothest actions with no rebound and having low-maintenance designed in to minimise repair costs and downtime.

The integration of Southco’s position control technology into the AV-D30 brings the ability to precisely regulate the force required to move the arm. This precise control ensures that the display will hold its position, even when subject to user pressure in touchscreen applications, or the bumping mobile cart applications. Other key features include a modular design which allows operating efforts, range of motion, length, mounting method, and color to be easily customised to suit the application and installation. Because it folds to within 50mm of the wall, there is minimal protrusion in the stowed position. In addition, snap-open wire channels provide wire management without the need to ‘thread’ wiring and the arm allowing easy monitor installation and replacement.

Ulrike Sturman: “The medical industry is a demanding market which calls for products of the highest quality and precision which can address the challenges of aesthetics and ergonomics. A key advantage that Southco’s in-depth market knowledge confers is the ability to consider manufacturer and end-user requirements, even at the earliest developmental stages. Because we have teams of designers, engineers and technical sales experts dedicated to the medical industry, we work with market requirements at the forefront of the design and work closely with our customers to deliver the two key drivers for product development in the medical sector – innovation and cost containment.”

Southco will also use the platform of COMPAMED 2009 to demonstrate its ability to meet the medical industry’s design challenges of the future, many of which will be met by the company’s market-leading range of electronic access products and systems.

The security of medical products and equipment against unauthorised access is becoming a growing concern across the whole spectrum of medical establishments and Southco has identified three key concepts that will drive the development of engineered access solutions for medical engineering. Namely, access security, access control and access verification.

Primarily, its electronic access product range is being developed to cover applications where unauthorised access is becoming more and more important for the protection of both patients and staff. These include dispensing equipment containing medications and cabinets holding medical records or any other sensitive information, and even the control of access to certain rooms where patients need to be isolated.

Ulrike Sturman: “At Southco, we are ideally positioned to meet the medical sector’s future design challenges. We have built a solid base within the medical engineering industry and demonstrated our ability to respond to its access and positioning control requirements. In addition we have the global footprint to be able to match our customers’ design and production needs, wherever they are in the world.”

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