The right-angle connector makes the device slimmer for optimised rescue operations.
The intelligent design of the 90° connector saved an ambitious customer project.
One-of-a-kind development and manufacturing expertise in the field of medical cables and connectors.

mini7 and mini12 right-angle connector systems for the Jenny Critical Care System from MS Westfalia

The right angle at the right time. We saved a project so that others can save lives.

Safe rescue operations thanks to Great Performance Engineering: The angled mini7 and mini12 connector system from NICOLAY for MS Westfalia, Jenny optimizes emergency care. The compact 90 ° plug makes the device slim and has the necessary robustness. High protection classes, easy locking and individual connector coding make it quick and safe to use. Thanks to our specialization in cable and connector systems for non-invasive patient monitoring, we were able to deliver where others had previously rejected.

The Task

The development of a right-angle connector system based on the mini7 and mini12 for the Jenny Critical Care System from MS Westfalia. The specific requirements: IP64 protection from dust ingress and water spray. The selected connector should, if possible, be able to cover a cable diameter of approx. 3 mm to 6 mm and be designed variably with regard to the cable ends. Robustness was another essential criterion for the angled connector – in order to meet the requirements in the critical care sector.

The challenges

The previous supplier of the straight connector systems did not consider the desired 90° angle feasible; moreover, they only agreed to deliver the first prototypes after approx. 12 months, which threatened to significantly delay the customer’s further product development process. This is how NICOLAY, thanks to its specialisation in cable and connector systems for non-invasive patient monitoring, came into play and was able to deliver demo samples for functional testing shortly after the first meeting. A jointly approved concept was in place only a short time later. The main challenges were the very tight timeframe and the design of a 90° connector that has a compact, angled design and at the same time possesses the robustness necessary for rescue operations. Further requirements included the ability to use the connector with different cable diameters and compliance with the required IP protection class.

The solution and the added value

Angled, individually coded connectors
The successful production of a compact, angled and yet robust connector was based on the design of the injection mould for the soft component, because, among other things, the filling behaviour and the pressure distribution in it had to be exactly right. Since the customer required versions with different diameters at the cable end, the finished 90° connectors are based on mini7 and mini12, a connector system that NICOLAY developed especially for medical applications. The reduced size follows the trend towards ever smaller devices. The plug connectors for the right-angle connector system are individually coded – not only in terms of colour; instead, they have also been designed so that only matching plugs and sockets can be connected. This represents a clear advantage when it comes to safety.

IPX protection class verifies high level of impermeability
The right-angle connector system complies with IPX protection classes IP64 and IP67, meaning it is protected from total dust ingress, from water spray from any direction and from temporary immersion in water. These high protection classes qualify it for use in rescue services. This means that the connector systems can be cleaned or disinfected with a damp cloth, which ensures a high level of safety in everyday clinical and non-clinical use. When it comes to the design, there are no moving parts on the connector side at all, which means that the connector systems are better protected against germs. The thread used to attach and tightly screw the connector system onto the front panel has a hard front ring. This is overmoulded with a soft TPE component designed as a seal. Firmly bonded, it reliably seals the connection.

No locking mechanism for a more reliable application
Because any locking mechanism can potentially open a pathway for liquids to enter the interior of the system, NICOLAY decided to forgo it altogether. Instead, the connector systems were designed to lock and unlock by means of a precisely defined push-on and pull-off force. The user is aware that the connector is automatically and securely locked into the socket after overcoming a certain resistance. Apart from the improved seal, this mechanism proves its worth in everyday use – above a certain pulling force, the right-angle connector releases by itself and prevents the cable from being damaged by strong pulling or, in the worst case, the entire unit from being pulled to the floor.

The application

Thanks to the angled connector, the unit can be kept “slim”; the reduced width improves use in narrow stairwells, especially in the critical care sector. In addition, a more compact device reduces the risk of the connectors and cables snagging while on the move. Finally, the individual connector coding eliminates the risk of a connector being plugged into the unit incorrectly. Additional colour coding also saves time, which can be life-saving in the event of an emergency.

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