The medical industry requires fast-paced, highly accurate solutions, all while keeping costs in mind. A recent client reached out to TriMech’s Project Engineering Group (PEG) to find a solution to a new medical device design they were developing. This device would be used to extract fluids from a surgical site, but due to the design of the device and the specific requirements it needed to meet, the client was faced challenges that required resources beyond their bandwidth. TriMech’s PEG group helps bridge gaps where internal resources and capabilities are insufficient. In this project, TriMech engineers used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to meet the client’s requirements, shortening the design process by weeks and providing a more thoroughly vetted design for the next phase of their product development.
The Challenge in Creating a New Medical Device Design
The client was creating a device used to extract fluids from a surgical site; it needed to be shaped such that the suction port was on the side of a long cylinder. This design parameter created challenges, as it required the fluid to make a sharp turn as it enters the device; the device needed to remove the fluid at a specific rate, while minimizing suction pressure of the pump. These specifications create consistency while also reducing noise, power consumption, and the overall physical footprint of the pump.
The client needed to understand the flow patterns within their design and make any changes possible to the design to reduce the suction pressure while maintaining sufficient flow rates. The challenge that the client faced is that building and testing multiple prototype designs would be costly and would add weeks to their design timeline. Additionally, physical testing wouldn’t provide any insight into why one design was better than another because flow patterns would not be visible.
Working With TriMech’s Project Engineering Group
Every project with the PEG team begins with an initial meeting to ensure that the team understands the client’s timelines and goals – whether it be re-engineering existing products or facilities, preliminary design considerations, or anything in between. CFD projects with PEG are highly interactive – the client and PEG team members bring their expertise together for multiple live, online review meetings to allow the client to see the results of different design changes and provide feedback.
For this specific project, PEG engineers provided insight to the flow patterns around critical areas and helped the client to understand why different design options produced better or worse results. Like all engineering endeavors, trade-offs are inevitable. The PEG team worked to balance structural needs and manufacturability of the product with the changes necessary to improve the flow performance. TriMech’s engineers worked with the client to communicate the implications of each design tradeoff, enabling the client to make the most optimal choices.
The PEG team design services include preparing the client’s CAD model for CFD simulation, and then ran baseline simulations and error-checked the model to make sure the team provided the most accurate results possible. The images and commentary were documented to explain the findings, and those results were shared with the client. Model changes were implemented with the client’s feedback, and further simulations and adaptations were conducted until a viable solution was produced.
The client’s choice to utilize TriMech’s Project Engineering Group allowed for significant cost savings through reduced design time and a more thoroughly processed solution. This success is no novel story for the PEG group – the PEG team’s extensive capabilities and resources provide efficient solutions for many clients in many industries.
Learn more about how working with TriMech’s engineering and design services can help your business save on costs and reduce design time.