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Joining the fight against cancer

An intelligent integrated motor/actuator is playing a major role in the fight against prostate cancer in a new non-invasive treatment

by far the most common form of cancer affecting men today. In what has been described as a ‘paradigm shift’ in the treatment of prostate cancer, the French company EDAP TMS, in collaboration with Inserm (French Institute of Medical Research), has developed the Ablatherm High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), which enables a non-invasive treatment for prostate cancer. Unlike conventional methods, this procedure is free from any major side effects and studies have shown that 95% of men make a full recovery within a twelve month period. Contributing to Ablatherm’s efficient system


performance is the Reliance Cool Muscle intelligent actuator: an integrated drive and control instrument supplied by Reliance Precision Mechatronics. The Reliance Cool Muscle actuator enables the Ablatherm probe to create a 3D image of the prostate. Urologists then use a PC to identify the area damaged by lesions, and ultrasound waves destroy the affected area. Unlike radiation treat- ment,

this procedure

focuses specifically on the area concerned leaving surrounding tissue healthy and undamaged. The probe is guided by Cool Muscle technology and

ith one in eight men affected before the age of seventy five, and 37,000 cases diagnosed in the UK each year, prostate cancer is

effects micron-point accuracy. Closed-loop control and a 50,000 count encoder facilitate precise execution of movement, torque and velocity. Reliability in positional accuracy and force are essential requirements for the Ablatherm probe, and the constant feedback data provided

by the Cool Muscle helps ensure the probe is positioned carefully and effectively during patient treatment. The level of integration of the Reliance Cool Muscle

actuator, incorporating motor, encoder, driver, controller and slide assembly, has also helped simplify the design and manufacture of the Ablatherm instrument, enabling EDAP to focus resources on the development of their innovative ultrasound medical solution. EDAP’s mechanical design manager stressed the

importance not just of the functionality of the product, but of the design support provided by Reliance, remarking: “They always help us with our selection of mechatronic components and their early involvement in the design stage is greatly appreciated.” Reliance strives to provide in-depth technical support in

the context of its customers’ applications and engineering constraints, working responsively to adapt its products to suit individual requirements. This has led to a strong technical relationship between the companies with Reliance working closely with EDAP on the next generation of the groundbreaking Ablatherm instrument.

reasons or to prevent equipment damage. If there is no backup power system available to re-start the motor and deactivate the brake all systems are ‘stop’. This situation means everything is frozen. Doors cannot be shut/opened, loads are stuck in potentially precarious situations, machines are stopped with work pieces locked part way through operations, etc. A motor option offered by Lafert can help prevent

these predicaments – a brake motor with a double ended shaft and a brake release lever. Like any brake motor, these Lafert machines ensure safe, secure braking but they also offer the additional facility to both release the brake and then manually turn the shaft using an appropriate device attached to the non-drive end of the shaft. These functions permit equipment to be returned to a safe status or fulfil essential duties, protecting machinery and helping to ensure personnel safety. These

features are

available as options across the entire Lafert IE2 brake motor range, which are available as high torque AC or DC units, and low torque DC machines. Frame sizes range from 63 to 160.


Brake motor solution for power failure situations

reciprocal actions. That is to say such items as winched loads moving vertically or doors laterally would typically have to travel in opposite directions to fulfil their duties. But what happens if there is a power failure resulting in them being stuck either part way through a duty or unable to complete an operational cycle? In such situations where a brake motor is


employed the brake would be activated automatically locking the drive shaft for safety

hat goes up must go down and what moves to the left should be able to go right – and vice versa. Motor driven applications

frequently require

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