Giving Perspectives Together

Innovative Processes for Deep Insights

Imaging processes show what is hidden underneath the skin. Unconventional layout and connection technology is opening up new opportunities for computer tomography.

When a large medical technology manufacturer approached First Sensor nearly ten years ago, the market launch of computer tomographs was planned with a new generation of high-resolution radiation sensors. Despite the lower radiation dose, these scanners were designed to achieve a better resolution than previous devices and thus be less harmful to patients. In medical technology, innovations such as these have a long lead time in order to ensure the quality and reliability of the products. When the new device was introduced, the challenge was the layout and connection technology of the detector arrays. The medical technology manufacturer was looking for a solution to attach its sensor chips to a specific backing material and achieve greater scalability than with the method previously used.

Innovative Prozesse für tiefe Einblicke
The layout and connection technology associated with this requirement cannot be produced by every provider. The development team at the site in the Weissensee district of Berlin embraced this challenge. The experts had to find a solution to get around the fact that the requisite material could only be produced very imprecisely at this point, but the computer tomography required maximum precision with more than 1,000 connections on one board.

Even the smallest fault is visible

In the tubes, the detector arrays consisting of several sensor elements detect the individual X-ray signals, from which the computer compiles the sectional images. Any fault is thus visible and renders the device unusable. First Sensor therefore started by developing an unconventional coating procedure to precisely position the connections and finalized the prototype in 2011. The customer was extremely pleased with this solution and the finished solution opened doors for the group.

Assembly of Arrays
Assembly of Arrays

When building large detector arrays, we mount sensor chips on a backing using state-of-the-art flip chip technology to achieve the best possible fitting accuracy with this solution. 
Once a suitable backing material with a higher degree of precision was finally available, the Berlin-Weissensee site independently handled the approval of a coating-free process and the design of the new printed circuit board. Again, the medical technology manufacturer had been won over, given that the costs would be further reduced.

Strategic supplier since series production

First Sensor is currently assembling thousands of detector arrays on this basis and has been the strategic supplier since the array was released for series production in 2013. A distinction of which the Berlin-based sensor technology specialists are proud. It means that First Sensor is regarded as a solid supplier and is also a reliable assistant for troubleshooting. The trust thus built up over the years is a recommendation for further projects within the group.

At the heart of collaboration for the medical technology manufacturer are openness and working together on innovations. At the start of the collaboration, daily updates on the current progress of the project were supplemented with weekly visits. Even today, experts from First Sensor still talk regularly to the customer about future issues or subtle improvements that could be made to Integrated Manufacturing Services (IMS). This partnership is proven by the fact that the medical technology company also wishes to join forces with First Sensor to produce the new generation of detector arrays.

$50.3 billion

Global sales in imaging diagnostic equipment (EvaluateMedTech) 

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