Client Story

Hologic Fluoroscan

Improving reliability and usability for a mobile x-ray system

Hologic, a medical technology company focused on early detection and treatment, came to us with a number of technical challenges to improve product function as well as manufacturing processes of their Fluoroscan – a mobile X-ray system that provides flexible skeletal health imaging options. Hologic is known for exceptional quality so function and fabrication processes had to be carefully considered.

We were initially asked to redesign the C-arm dynamics so that its function was more consistent coming out of production. That work grew to include innovative motion control around the rotatable source and detector system, user interface, and system packaging.

The Fluoroscan’s C-Arm is used to scan extremities. Technicians manually position the device, so the arm needed to move easily and smoothly but remain motionless once positioned. This class of product is an exemplar of understanding how to integrate the challenges of making something functional with the challenges of making something remarkably insensitive to the variations one sees in the manufacturing realm.

Hologic Fluoroscan

We applied our expertise in Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA) to engineer a solution that accounted for all possible variations in the manufacturing process and functioned across a range of tolerances. Through this process, we ensured that the hundredth and thousandth units would function exactly the same way as the first unit.

We then worked closely with our vendors to ensure that the finished product would conform to our high standards. Ultimately, we delivered an improved, manufacturable device built to operate with perfect consistency.

Hologic Fluoroscan arm
Hologic Fluoroscan assembly

Based on our success with the C-arm, Hologic asked us to redesign the rest of the Fluoroscan, which required precise engineering to maintain safety while capturing a pristine image. To increase flexibility for the healthcare worker to capture an image, we designed a rotatable detector plate that was synchronised to the X-ray source within the head unit.

We redesigned the Fluoroscan, including the scanning and motion control systems, to improve safety and usability. It was critical the motion control system ensured that the detector rotated in unison with the source because failing to do so would result in stray X-ray emissions not terminating on the detector plane.

Hologic Fluoroscan

The updated Fluoroscan provides doctors with a reliable and accurate instrument for capturing skeletal images from all over the body. Finely tuned for functionality and manufacturing, the Fluoroscan has proved to be a valuable, effective tool that is easy for operators to use. In the years since this project, we have continued to partner with Hologic on many successful projects.

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