SonixEmbrace Ultrasound

Challenge

Ultrasonix was developing a new system, replacement for the traditional mammogram, a new more comfortable and dignified method for early detection. The system used Full Field Digital Ultrasound and gives the operator the ability to view the breast in a full 3-dimensional environment. The system utilized stepper motors for the high torque available in a small package. The stepper controller however produced a significant amount of electrical noise, interfering with the ultrasound images. System noise needed to be reduced while still delivering adequate power to the stepper motor.

Solution

Trust Automation two-axis linear stepper drive/controller. The 2271 is a dual axis TA305 class linear drive and controller in a single package. The unit is UL/CE certified and full RoHS compliant, all features needed for the medical device industry.

The system uses two axes of linear drive to control the stepper motor, completely eliminating electrical noise generated by the controller. Initially to work around the issue the stepper controller was switched off prior to ultrasound being used, then switched back on to make the next move. The 2271 allowed the system to be on continuously considerably reducing the time required to take the series of ultrasound images.

Results

With the unique use of linear amplifier technology to drive a stepper motor, Ultrasonix was able to reduce the time required to take an examination, helping both the patient and the doctor.