Welcome to OMNInews from Omnica Corporation, a full-service product design and engineering firm located in Irvine, California.
Enjoy our selection of remarkable news, timely topics, and what's happening at Omnica.
Ron Sully - Director of Marketing
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Automated artificial pancreas -
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that affects the body's ability to use glucose as fuel. People with type 2 diabetes (the most common form) can usually control their high blood sugar with diet and lifestyle changes, but type 1 diabetes is a different story. People with this version have an auto immune condition that destroys insulin-producing cells, and they must replace the insulin in their bodies through multiple daily injections. Too much, or too little insulin can be dangerous. Until now patients have had to monitor their glucose levels with a continuous glucose monitor or a fingerstick meter, and dose insulin manually.
This automated insulin delivery system is the first of it's kind to be approved by the FDA.
FDA has approved the first "artificial pancreas"
. Medtronic MiniMed's automated 670G hybrid is a closed loop system that is attached to the body with a tube connected to an insulin pump. The device constantly not only measures blood sugar levels, like a continuous glucose monitor, it also provides correct dose of background insulin. Patients still need to follow their carbohydrate intake and enter that information into the system, but afterwards it's all automatic. If sugar levels are too low, the device is smart enough to shut down insulin delivery to prevent hypoglycemia.
This is great news for a number of reasons: 1) Patients with
continuous glucose monitoring fare better than those that monitor glucose levels themselves. 2) Hypoglycemia can be life threatening, and the pump's predictive algorithms can minimize the condition by up to 80%. 3) Perhaps most importantly, patients can sleep through the night worry free, knowing they will safely wake up with blood glucose levels within target range.
At right is the Paradigm insulin pump we developed for MiniMed.
Local Healthcare Event Update
Medical Device & Investor Forum -
MDIF is Southern California's largest two-day life science conference
focused on high growth and innovation technology investment. When you attend, you will have the opportunity to connect with industry leaders who have the resources and capital to drive the regional medtech ecosystem. We will be there, and you can connect with us in the display area both days, October 27 and 28 at the Hotel Irvine, at Jamboree and the 405.
Omnica News and Announcements . . .
Machining a miniscule miracle - Earlier this year I mentioned that we purchased a Haas Super Mini Mill for our machine shop, a place which conjures images of flying aluminum chips and the fragrance of cutting oil. I knew we machined plastics like Delrin and Ultem, but when I recently asked Jeff (a Principal Engineer at Omnica) what he was working on, I was surprised
to see we are using the machining center in a manner I thought was beyond our capabilities.
We're performing micro-machining, and these are not the
types of parts
you will see placed next to a penny for scale. This is a microfluidics project that requires machining channels narrower than a human hair. As part of the feasibility process, we began by cutting channels the width of hair, but soon realized that they were too wide for our purposes. Currently we are using even smaller 0.002" diameter end mills (the width of an eyelash), and milling at a depth of 0.00075 inches! It's incredible that such a massive machine can reliably produce parts in dimensions of thousandths of an inch.
A surgical scalpel is shown for scale above the machined micro channels.
The end mills themselves are miniscule: unless you're less
than 20 years
see the cutting tool tip without magnification. I asked Jeff how he set it up, and learned
that he uses a borescope to zero the distance between the acrylic part and the machine-mounted tool tip. They are fragile, too. Jeff
inspects the tool after each operation to be sure it's still intact. I asked for a closer view, but he wouldn't let me near it, fearing I might accidentally brush the tip and break it off. They are only available by special order, and they are not inexpensive.
If you look closely you can see the tiny cutting flutes on the tool tip.
Andy Boyce (left, standing) is a senior-level mechanical engineer and CAD expert who has worked in the medical device field for 20 years. His previous positions were with multi-disciplined teams - similar to the environment at Omnica. He is experienced with DFM (Design for Manufacture), and can perform FEA (Finite Element Analysis), plastic part design/selection, and has solid hand's on shop skills (somewhat of a requirement when working here).
Our workforce is complete - Our search for more Omnicans was successful. We searched for months, and finally located tw
a mechanical and an electrical engineer
to round-out our team to 29 full time employees.
Peter Kowtowski (at right)
from Cal State Long
Beach in 2007 and has since developed
EE experience in all aspects of circuit/system development including systems with sensors, data converters, and micro controllers. He is a mixed-mode electronics (analog and digital) circuit designer, capable of designing and testing hardware/firmware designs, and finding simple solutions to complex issues. Peter puts some of those talents to use when he designs and builds guitar amplifiers in his spare time.
Omnica Pumpkin Party - We always amped for the annual pumpkin party. If you have any doubts that we are an imaginative group, these are not your average pumpkins - some involve electricity, video, sound, and other fruits! The creations range from fun to fantastic and we expect nearly 100% participation - there will be 25-plus pumpkin or pumpkin-like contraptions on display. Come visit Thursday morning October 26 (before our 11:00 private party), vote for your favorites, and help us celebrate 32 years in the design and engineering business.
November coffee card quiz -
This will be our last OMNInews before the end of the year, and your final opportunity to be included on the 2017 Omnica calendar mailing list. If you've been receiving our desk calendar, you're good to go. If not, be sure to
your address so you won't be left out. They are extremely popular and I run out every year. Get your name in now.
The final 2016 calendar quiz question is, "How many bats are in the October calendar image?"
Email your answer
, and I'll send you a Starbuck's coffee card.
Read here to learn the benefits of a "coffee nap"
: better than coffee, and better than a nap.
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Ron Sully -
| We are different than other product developers. Omnica is a full service high-tech design and engineering firm in business for 32 years. We have 29 full-time employees, and perform all design and engineering services in house, at our Irvine facility. Our specialty is developing medical devices, IVD, and laboratory instrumentation for both start-up companies, large firms like Abbott, Alcon, ThermoFisher, Biosense Webster, Medtronic, and others.