Positioning Hinge Selection in Medical Equipment Applications

Constant torque hinges use engineered friction systems to provide continuous resistance against motion. Southco’s line of constant torque hinges is ideal for applications where it is necessary to easily hold open and position doors and panels, such as wall charting stations, medical cabinets and diagnostic equipment with heavy lids.

When opening a wall charting station housing a computer, for example, it is important that the panel remain in the appropriate position, without the need for continuous readjustment. Constant torque hinges provide resistance throughout the entire range of motion, keeping the panel of a wall charting station from falling down once it has been opened or allowing the user to easily adjust the angle of a keyboarding rest.

There are a variety of hinge options that can improve ergonomics in medical equipment applications. Southco’s counterbalanced hinges for example, allow the weight of an object such as a heavy tray or lid, to fold up easily. Counterbalanced hinges provide lift assistance, making it possible to raise heavy objects with minimal force, reducing back and shoulder strain. These hinges feature improved, long-term reliability when compared with gas struts, which may fail due to a loss of pressure.

Another positioning option is detent hinges, which provide positive retention at predetermined points, such as fully open or fully closed positions. This allows healthcare workers to hold panels open, providing rapid access while keeping both hands free.

When selecting a hinge for a medical equipment application, designers should choose hinges that offer operating efforts that can be customized to the demands of the application, thus making the object easier to position. Additionally, because medical equipment is often used by healthcare facilities for years, hinging technology should never require adjustment for the life of the equipment.

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