Norgren components help Spacelab create new anaesthesia machine

ARKON system delivers maximum functionality, comfort and control

Components designed by pneumatic motion and fluid control company, Norgren, have been instrumental in the design of a new anaesthesia machine.

Designed by Spacelabs from the point of view of an anaesthesiologist, the new ARKON system is intuitive to use, easily accommodating user preferences to provide maximum functionality, comfort and control, all of which requires precise fluid control.

Norgren supplied nearly 20 components for the ARKON system, most of which were individually configured or modified to Spacelabs’ very specific functional specifications. Additionally many were designed for integration into sub-assembly manifolds for simpler installation and a smaller footprint.

The ARKON system

“We needed components to be compact, highly reliable and capable of being used across a wide span of functions,” said Bruce Dammann, director of perioperative solutions for Spacelabs.

For example, Spacelabs wanted to reduce waste from discarded anaesthesia gas bottles that were not completely exhausted. Frequently anaesthesiologists must use three or four different gases for any given operation, so using more of the gas in each bottle would significantly improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the machine. Norgren modified a pressure regulator that allowed the gases to continue to flow at a lower pressure so more gas could be used before the operator has to discard the bottle.

Norgren also supplied multiple components used in the ARKON’s electronic fresh gas mixer, including a core precision proportional valve from Norgren FAS that controls the gases into the breathing circuit and a secondary precision regulator to help improve repeatability. The Norgren FAS Microsol latching valve, positioned by an electrical signal, is used for the oxygen bypass in the mixer, where it can remain without additional power until a change in position is required. Since this can be several hours, eliminating the need for constant power allowed Spacelabs to reduce the size of the power pack giving greater design flexibility.

Spacelabs also integrated Norgren components into the inlet gas selection manifold and used a high-flow piloted cartridge to maintain pressure in the ventilator’s oxygen drive gas selector valve with low pressure drop.

“Norgren not only provided us with a great variety of components that fit very well into our anesthesia business,” said Andy Levi, lead system architect for Spacelabs, “but they also carried out levels of customisation and component testing that really saved us time and helped our decision making process.”