Trackwise’s flexible printed circuits respond to medical sector demands for increased functionality in smaller and lighter packages

Trackwise, an innovative manufacturer of specialist products using printed circuit technology, announces its intent to address the growing market for advanced medical technology.

A global leader in flexible printed circuit (FPC) manufacture, with its patented Improved Harness Technology™ (IHT), Trackwise is responding to a cross-industry requirement for greater functionality in smaller and lighter package spaces. Medical instrumentation is a clear example of this trend with increased use of robotics in surgery, rapid growth in medical wearables and the growing range of applications for medical catheters.

Key tools in modern hospitals, catheters are used in a growing number of procedures, including treatment of life-threatening lesions, plaque removal from arteries, structural heart procedures, delivery of artificial valves and prevention of potentially fatal brain aneurysms. To address such a diverse and sophisticated range of applications the original, simple, catheter has evolved into a complex instrument, incorporating electronic components such as microchips, storage devices and cameras.

Advanced FPCs are ideal for catheter construction with their ability to be fed inside a catheter without introducing bulges, along with their flexing characteristics and their significant weight, size and mechanical strength advantages when compared with traditional wiring techniques.

“Medical technology is undergoing a fundamental transformation, driven by the IoT and ongoing miniaturization of electronics,” said Trackwise CEO, Philip Johnston. “Advanced medical instruments such as catheters and scanners require a wide range of high precision, lightweight and cost-effective FPCs. Our ultra-thin FPCs have a unique combination of very fine traces – less than 50μm – but they can be manufactured to any required length. Our commitment to the medical instruments sector is highlighted by our ongoing investments in an upgraded clean room and also in a reel-to-reel direct imaging process which is capable of supporting the very high-resolution demands of medical devices”.

With over 30 years of experience in the industry, Trackwise is a global leader in FPC manufacture and, with its patented IHT, is one of the first to break through the length limitations of traditional FPC manufacture. With other capabilities, including a recently commissioned Vertical Plating Line using state-of-the-art Industry 4.0 machinery, Trackwise is equipped to deliver flexible and rigid printed circuit boards of any length with industry-leading levels of quality, precision and consistency.

Combining world-class PCB expertise with an extensive range of laminates in stock, Trackwise has earned a global reputation for short lead times and delivery of high-quality products into multiple industries.

For further information and reader enquiries:
Trackwise Design Plc
Phone: +44 1684 299930          Email: info@trackwise.co.uk

About Trackwise
Trackwise manufactures to customer specification, specialist products using printed circuit technology.

Its radio frequency (RF) division is primarily focused on the manufacture of printed antennas for communications infrastructure and other high-precision printed circuit products. Here, Trackwise’s materials expertise, particularly in RF and microwave laminates, enables it to optimise the performance of its customers’ products.

The Improved Harness Technology™ (IHT) division employs a patented process to manufacture multilayer flexible printed circuits of unlimited length. IHT overcomes the previous length constraints of conventional FPCs manufacture (typically 610mm) and facilitates the replacement of conventional wire harnesses in a diverse range of applications, particularly in the aerospace and automotive sectors.

FPC benefits over traditional wiring harnesses include substantial reductions in weight, size and installation time. In addition, the consistency, reliability and performance of system interconnect are improved.  Their planar nature also makes them entirely suited to embedding into composites.

Trackwise serves customers in Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America from its headquarters in Tewkesbury, UK. More information can be found at: trackwise.co.uk.