Despite all the unforeseeable obstacles brought over the past year by COVID-19, the new developments at medifa did not stop. After only 11 months of development with great internal and external efforts, analyses, simulations, prototypes and fine-tuning, the first medifa H!Light surgical lights were installed and put into operation in the first week of December at Siloah St. Trudpert Klinikum Pforzheim.
After a successful development start at the beginning of last year when we started with light technical analyses and scientific calculations, no one anticipated the additional challenges that this development of an operating light for the highest light technical requirements would cause. In addition to minor barriers and improvements, which are common with innovations of this size, the development work was challenged by travel restrictions, long delivery times and interrupted supply chains, short-time work and workshops in video conferences. This was compensated by a highly motivated development team with high internal value creation and a trusting cooperation with external partners in Germany and Austria.
After some basic decisions regarding the design of the surgical light were already made, we started with the mechanical and lighting concept. The light housing is made of milled cast aluminium without corners and edges in order to enable easy cleaning and disinfection as well as to ensure a long service life of the LEDs through very good heat dissipation. For safety reasons and good disinfection possibilities a VSG safety glass was chosen for the window of the operating light. This makes the light low-maintenance and durable.
Based on the specifications, the team developed the first lighting and mechanical concepts in on-site workshops. Fortunately, before Corona, many different solution approaches could be discussed and directly tested in these first rounds. Because of that the initial phase of the Corona restrictions could be used efficiently to carry out the individual analyses, calculations and simulations in a targeted manner, to put them together and thus to define the functionalities of the operating light.
Thanks to medifa's own in-house production, the first tests and measurements of the prototypes could be carried out starting in April. The prototypes still consisted of milled components and outsourced electronics, but helped to validate and define the final mechanics and and thereby the forms and tools for the production of the surgical light.
Another milestone was the photometric analysis and the release of the optics from the series tools. In course of this release of the optics, the final cast aluminium housing and the laminated safety glass screen were also tested and released for series production.
In parallel, a contemporary, ergonomic control concept was developed. Thanks to modern simulations, the operating display could be tested and optimised remotely via the screen during the Corona restrictions. The operating lights are controlled via a 5-inch touch display attached to the cardanic suspension of the light head. This ensures future-proofing, as the operating concept can easily be adapted to future requirements.
At the same time, a production and assembly concept with a testing and validation station was created and set up at the Finnentrop site to ensure consistently high production quality. Since the beginning of December, the series production has started and first orders have already been received from many European and Asian countries.
Together, the entire medifa team is now very proud of the medifa H!Light surgical light, which is ready for series production. It is manufactured with a high level of manufacturing expertise and a great in-house added value in the production facilities in Rastatt and Finnentrop and is installed from there in operating theatres all over the world.
We would like to thank our motivated team and our partners for this innovative result as well as the fast and efficient development.