New Standard in Patient Repositioning
The Hercules Patient Repositioning System was the winner of the ET Foundation 2014 Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition in the Professional Category and it is proving to be as much of a success in the healthcare market. According to Sheila Palmer, RN at Christ Hospital, "... Hercules will become the 'standard of care' in all hospitals..."
Aluminum extrusion plays a part in many advanced healthcare technologies, but Hercules is one of the best examples demonstrating the variety of ways in which aluminum extrusion can be utilized in this growing industry. Competition judge Joseph Benedyk, Editor of Light Metal Age magazine and Research Professor at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, said of the design, "This entry is truly an engineered product made of multiple extruded components engineered to work together to solve a real world problem in the medical field. It's a great example of how extrusions can save time and money."
Why Extruded Aluminum?
Extruded aluminum's many advantages provided the designer with a clear material process choice. "Creating a chassis that can handle the 600 in/lbs. of torque and still be small enough to fit under a cutout in the mattress made aluminum the natural choice." Other advantages included extruded aluminum's recyclability, strength-to-weight ratio, low tool cost, reduced parts, and more. Explaining the creative geometry that the extrusion design process affords, Hornbach noted, "The external shapes of some of the components (mainly the waterfall edge) are precise and are integral to the efficiency of the system. This geometry would be difficult to produce with other processes." In addition, using extrusions for this design saved the company money.