If you’ve witnessed any type medical procedure or even had a simple blood test you have seen sterilized supplies and instruments removed from packages. These could be items as simple as bandages and swabs or as complex as surgical kits, drug coated stents or heart bypass valves. There are a variety of ways those items became sterile. One possibility is that they were processed through an Ethylene Oxide Sterilizer designed and manufactured by Getinge UK. In such a system, items are placed in a sterilization chamber after they are manufactured, packaged and palletized. Inside the chamber, ethylene oxide gas penetrates the paper or plastic packaging and chemically sterilizes the items.
Getinge engineer, Simon Butler, contacted Mach III Clutch, Inc. in search of a brake to hold the drive shaft in place on the automated shuttles that load and unload pallets into and out of the sterilization chamber. His working design called for a disc brake but due to design constraints on a specific project, he was seeking something more compact. After reviewing the application thoroughly with Mach III’s engineering department, a B3F2R-STH air engaged friction brake was selected. With a torque rating of 267 pound inches versus the 177 pound inches delivered by the disc brake, the B3F2R-STH provided an improvement in stopping time and holding capacity. When air is exhausted from the system, the Mach III brake also gives the user the ability to manually move the shuttle without causing any back drive against the motor which is useful during maintenance.
The Ethylene Oxide Sterilizer systems are manufactured in the United Kingdom. Since Mach III bores all catalogue products to customer specifications, B3F2R-STH brakes are shipped to Getinge finished with 20 mm H7 Class bores with 6 mm keyways. Systems using Mach III brakes are in operation in Finland and West Virginia. Two systems in progress are destined for Mexico and the UK. During a follow up to see how the brakes were performing, Simon Butler stated,
“As system designer I’ve been pleased with the performance of the brake - it’s compact size has also been a benefit to our system, allowing a greatly reduced overall system height.”
Mach III is pleased to have Getinge UK as a customer and we thank Simon Butler for providing photos and participating in this story.