MINMAX MKW15M/MKW20M Series: High Performance DC-DC Converters Designed for Medical/Healthcare Applications

By WPG AmericasOctober 12, 2017

Modern healthcare is no longer dependent on the traditional, hospital-based form of care. Thanks to the advancement in cloud technologies and growing demand for personalized, out-of-the-hospital care, newer medical applications with advanced functionalities are entering the market.

Doctors no longer need to physically check in on their patients at the hospital; the advanced applications collect information about patients’ vital statistics through sensors in real time, wherever they are. If any organ or bodily function doesn’t perform at normal standards, these applications intuitively send an alert to the doctor or caregiver so that proper medical care and treatment can be provided in a timely manner.

Regardless of the advancements in the field of new-age medical applications, there is one thing that remains constant – safety. All medical devices need to comply with the quality and safety requirements laid out by the Methods of Patient Protection (MOPP) and the Methods of Operator Protection (MOOP). Adherence to these safety measures ensures that power supply in medical devices remain unchanged and steady - even in faulty conditions.

Today’s original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have taken a stricter stance to ensure patient safety while using their devices. The special attention they provide guarantees safety under multiple faults or erroneous system conditions testify the paramount importance OEMs provide to ensure steady power supply in manufactured equipment.

The problem with traditional AC/DC converters in medical devices is that in case of multiple failures, the patient is entirely exposed to high voltage mains. DC/DC converters, on the other hand, offer safety isolation in both directions, which means if a leakage or multiple failures occur, the current will be earthed instead of jeopardizing the patient’s life.

Key Challenges in the Way of OEMs Developing Medical Applications

Guaranteeing performance reliability of medical applications is perhaps the greatest technical challenge medical OEMs continue to face, apart from maintaining consistency in determining adequate isolation strength in appliances that are compact, lightweight and fit for easy movement. Powered by advanced technologies, modern medical devices tend to feature complex product architecture. In several cases, manufacturers fail to confirm complete safety of the power supply system, used in devices. The result is low performance reliability and slow market adoption.

The MKW15M/MKW20M Series of DC/DC converters introduced by MINMAX aim to improve the reliability quotient in complex medical appliances by reducing the risk of current leakage and providing top-notch protection against the risks of short circuits. Owing to these aspects, MINMAX MKW15M/MKW20M Series of DC/DC converters enable OEMs to develop medical devices that are not only safe, but also continue delivering the best health diagnosis results despite rigorously daily use.

How MINMAX MKW15M/MKW20M Series of DC/DC Converters Help to Overcome the Challenges

The MINMAX MKW15M/MKW20M series of DC/DC converters are cost-effective and assure medical appliance manufacturers of high performance delivering capability. Comprising an array of 21 different models of converters, the MKW15M/MKW20M series of DC/DC converters have enabled OEMs to manufacture high performance, complex medical applications with 12, 24 and 48VDC input voltage. By including MINMAX’s 15 / 20-watt DC/DC converters in medical devices, OEMs can offer end-users cost-effective devices with '2:1 input range and tight output voltage.'

The essential features of MINMAX MKW15M/MKW20M series of DC/DC converters are:

  • Industrial Standard 2" X 1" Package: The miniaturized MKW15M/MKW20M series come in industry standard 2" X 1" package. The small form factor of these products helps medical device manufacturers maintain compact shape of equipment without compromising their efficiency and mobility requirements in the right situations.
  • Wide 2:1 Input Voltage Range: The wide 2:1 input voltage range of these converters ensures that stability of output voltage is strictly maintained. Medical devices that incorporate MINMAX MKW15M/MKW20M series guarantee better safety and more reliability while diagnosing patients’ health condition.
  • Fully Regulated Output Voltage: Fully regulated voltage output feature of MINMAX MKW15M/MKW20M series ensures that output voltage does not fluctuate, even if the input voltage differs. Because of this, medical devices using these converters ensure end-users a constant output current, which implies superior reliability over traditional use of only AC/DC converters.
  • Specific Input-Output (I/O) Isolation: The I/O isolation of MKW15M/MKW20M series is strictly specified at 4200VAC with reinforced insulation. It implies that devices that use MKW15M/MKW20M series converters are rated for 300Vrms working voltage. If the working voltage fluctuates, performance integrity of the device will be maintained.
  • Low Leakage Current < 5µA: MINMAX MKW15M/MKW20M series guarantee that the leakage current, produced from medical devices, already in operation, is as low as 5µA. Owing to this feature, users of medical devices are assured of the best safety. Such low power of leakage current doesn’t pose any threat to human lives even in case patients or users come directly in contact with the ground-connected wire.
  • Operating Ambient Temp. Range -40 to +85: The wide range of operating ambient temperature from -40 ℃ to +85℃ indicates that MINMAX MKW15M/MKW20M series can reliably be used in dynamic temperature environment. Medical devices, using these converters, can safely be used in extremely low to extremely high temperature operational environments. Even if temperature fluctuates in operational environment, the devices will produce reliable results without disrupting quality of the diagnosis output.
  • No Minimum Load Requirement: No minimum load requirement is another important feature that set the MINMAX MKW15M/MKW20M series apart from traditional AC/DC converters. Without a specific load value, it is impossible to regulate power supply in medical devices. If the power supply constantly fluctuates, the device in operation may generate erroneous results and physician fail to prescribe the right treatment procedure. The no load requirement feature of MINMAX MKW15M/MKW20M converters ensures users that power supply to the device doesn’t require any specific value. And, without such efforts, devices using MKW15M DC/DC converters will guarantee reliable results.
  • Protection Against Voltage Overload and Shot Circuit: The problem with medical devices using low accuracy AC/DC converters is that there is no guarantee when voltage overload may occur. Therefore, while at the production stage, OEMs are not only required to carefully regulate the system circuitry but also users require maintaining medical devices regularly. The risk of voltage overload and short circuit not only impose grievous threat to patients’ health, but also frequent system maintenance leads to operational downtime.

    The completely regulated MINMAX MKW15M/MKW20M series assure customers that no such unfortunate incidents occur. Unlike medical applications that use only AC/DC converters, systems based on DC/DC are safe for rigorous usage on daily basis. Owing to this facility, not only they reduce customers’ maintenance cost but also optimize system up time. Due to this, customers enjoy high return on investment and offer superior patient satisfaction, which translates into robust brand value.
  • Designed-in EMI Emission meets EN55011 Class A and FCC Level A: MINMAX’s strict compliance with electromagnetic interference (EMI) standard is an important reason that its DC/DC converters for medical applications stand ahead of offerings from other competitors. Because of their inherent designing features, DC/DC converters create EMI zone which might interfere with performance stability of other devices within vicinity.

    The compliance of its MKW15M/MKW20M series indicate that medical applications that incorporate these converters can safely be used for commercial purposes at establishments. However, compliance of these converters with EN55011 Class A also prohibits use of devices based on MKW15M/MKW20M DC/DC converters in domestic environment. Moreover, FCC Level A compliance of these converters also indicates that patients, exposed to radiofrequency (RF) energy, would be safe owing to standard Specific Absorption Rate (SAR).

MINMAX’s MKW15M/MKW20M series also comply with Medical EMC Standard. The company’s resolve to meet safe usage regulatory needs is also demonstrated through adherence to the 4th Edition of EMI EN55011 and EMS EN60601-1-2 standards. Furthermore, in terms of medical safety, MINMAX’s DC/DC converters match 2xMOPP requirements, as elaborated under the 3rd Edition of IEC/EN 60601-1. The products also comply with ANSI/AAMI ES60601-1(Pending) regulatory needs and come with CE Marking.

Advantage of MINMAX MKW15M / MKW20M series of 15W / 20W DC-DC Converters

The rate of adoption of DC/DC converters is quite low in complex medical applications as the high cost of these items often discourages OEMs from using them in their product offerings because of an increased cost of production.

Considering these aspects, MINMAX is offering these converters at a competitive price and, by using these DC/DC converters in their systems, OEMs will introduce technologically advanced, safer and more reliable medical devices to the market compared to competing products that use only AC/DC converters.

MINMAX MKW15M / MKW20M series of converters not only help in improving the adoption rate of DC/DC converters but also guarantees more value to customers than traditional AC/DC converters in terms of system stability, reliable performance, and safe usage of complex medical appliances.

For more information and product queries about MINMAX MKW15M / MKW20M series of converters, contact a WPG Americas Power specialist.