The great survivors

2 min read

Take an electric motor. Place it in an autoclave sterilising system. Subject it to saturated water vapour at a temperature of 134 °C, under a pressure of 2.3 bar, for at least four minutes.

The great survivors

maxon sterilisable motors now last even longer

Take an electric motor.  Place it in an autoclave sterilising system.  Subject it to saturated water vapour at a temperature of 134 °C, under a pressure of 2.3 bar, for at least four minutes.  The result?  A motor that no longer works.  Unless, that is, you are using one of the latest sterilisable drive units from maxon motor – which now survive even longer than their pioneering predecessors.

What’s more, these 6, 16 and 22 mm diameter electronically commutated (brushless) motors can now be coupled with a sterilisable maxon GP 22M gearhead for applications requiring greater torque and lower speed.  The gearhead offers 55 different reduction ratios, from 3.8 : 1 to 4592 : 1, and gives a maximum torque of up to 2 Nm.  In combination with the sterilisable EC 22 motor it delivers a dynamic 50 W unit suitable for a variety of medical devices.  For even greater versatility, the motors can be supplied with internal Hall sensors, allowing the creation of highly dynamic servo drives when linked up with appropriate electronics.

The design of sterilisable motors and gearheads is a highly specialised area in which maxon has few, if any, serious competitors.  These components are proving to be particularly attractive to designers of hand tools for dentistry and bone surgery, to name just two examples.  High-powered, but small and light, they can be incorporated easily into conveniently compact tool designs.

Compared to traditional hand tools, which use compressed air drives, they are more flexible to use (powered by batteries or via electric cables, rather than cumbersome air lines), easier to regulate and more hygienic.  Better still, they don’t make the shrill noise that many patients find so terrifying!

The ability of these motors and gearheads to withstand sterilisation also makes them ideal for use in many other types of medical equipment, including infusion pumps, endoscopes and dialysis systems, as well as collimators used in radiation treatment and analytical devices. 

“What we are offering designers of medical equipment today is a range of ‘off-the-shelf’ sterilisable motors which have already proved themselves through many thousands of hours’ operation in harsh environments,” says Keith Ellenden, CEO of maxon motor uk.  “With the benefit of further development, they are now capable of surviving even more sterilising cycles – and of course, like every maxon motor, they come with maxon’s reputation for total reliability.”

For further information on maxon’s products and services, contact maxon motor uk ltd, Maxon House, Hogwood Lane, Finchampstead, Berks, RG40 4QW.  Tel: 01189 733337.  Fax: 01189 737472. 

Email:  Further technical details are also available from the maxon website at

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