II-VI: Reliable and Robust Thermoelectric Cooling Solutions
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Peter Townsend, General Manager
Developments in thermoelectric and biomedical engineering have drawn renewed interest from the medical community, especially in enhancing life sciences research. Advances in the fields of molecular biology, hematology, and microbiology continue to drive requirements for higher-performing analytical instruments. Environmental circumstances and recent developments in detector technology require reliable thermal management solutions to allow equipment operation at extreme temperatures. To this end, II-VI Incorporated (pronounced “two-six”) designs and manufactures tailor-made solutions and services for customers looking to solve their complex thermal challenges while delivering best-in-class quality, performance, and low-cost efficiency. II-VI offers thermoelectric coolers (TECs) that are customized for each client’s application size, weight, and electrical power requirements while providing reliable thermal performance. The company has specifically formulated and developed a family of thermoelectric materials to address new demands in key scientific fields, such as biotechnology and medical instrumentation.
Today, II-VI’s solutions are integrated into platforms that address life sciences research, genetic analysis, immunoassays, pharmaceutical development, clinical diagnostics, medical laser treatments, food analysis, agricultural development, and environmental analysis, to name a few. “We are an ISO 9001-13485-14001-45001 and IATF 16949 certified company with an experienced technical team that can perform extensive thermal and electrical modeling and analysis hand-in-hand with our customers, said Peter Townsend, General Manager, II-VI Marlow. “We have a long history of working closely with world-class life sciences and medical equipment manufacturers to provide exceptional system performance.” The company’s extensive TEC product line is foundational to and integrated into many of these life sciences and medical equipment platforms, providing reliable temperature cycling for applications such as PCR and genome sequencing. II-VI designs and delivers the entire thermal engine, including cold plates or well blocks, heat sinks, thermal interface materials, sensors, thermoelectric modules, and fans.
The Extended Life Tec(XLT) series of thermoelectric coolers is the building block for demanding thermocycling applications, providing the precise temperature control, cycling speed, thermal uniformity, and unmatched reliability that are often required for molecular diagnostic applications. “Our TECs are ideally suited for rapid temperature cycling from 40°C to 90°C, with the longest cycling life on the market, thereby enabling our customers to provide reliable test results, day in and day out,” said Townsend.
The quality and longevity of life for humans critically depends on early disease detection, diagnosis, monitoring, and prognosis. As part of these processes, precise temperature control of specimen samples and reagents ensures specimen quality and thereby allows for accurate clinical testing results.
We are an ISO 9001-13485-14001-45001 and IATF 16949 certified company with a very experienced, outstanding technical team that can do extensive thermal and electrical modeling and analysis hand-in-hand with our customers
II-VI’s thermoelectrics for air-to-air or air-to-cold-plate heat exchanger systems allow for immunoassay reagent cooling, in vitro diagnostic specimen temperature control, genome sequencing reagent cooling, genome sequencing temperature cycling of sample slides, DNA fluidic sample temperature cycling, and general cooling units for the storage and transportation of insulin, tissue, and human organs. The TECs are quiet, with no moving parts; operate on low-voltage DC; and can be sealed to meet required sanitary specifications. This versatility enables precise temperature control of the cold plate or cold-side air stream and can provide both heating and cooling by simply switching the polarity of the DC voltage.
II-VI’s ability to design complete liquid- or air-cooled TEC assemblies that are optimized for available space, power, and thermal/electrical performance requirements including transient and temperature uniformity enables customers to develop world-class molecular diagnostic instrument platforms that are used for disease detection, including COVID-19. “Our long-term market experience allows us to understand our customers’ challenges and address them from day one of our working relationship, allowing for rapid and synchronized product development and enabling our customers to meet key scheduled milestones,” Townsend explained.
For medical applications, II-VI’s thermoelectrics are integrated into air-to-liquid heat exchangers to provide temperature-controlled fluids for several applications including blood/plasma transport or storage, laser cooling systems, physical rehabilitation pads, patient whole-body cooling/heating blankets, and burn trauma treatment systems. The TECs are integrated into systems that sandwich the TEC with a heat sink on one side and a liquid-filled exchanger on the other, allowing for precise temperature control of the fluid. A customer control scheme can be programmed to provide infinite fluid temperature control across the system’s entire heating and cooling range.
With nearly 50 years of business expertise and more than 30 years of experience in the life sciences and medical industries, II-VI recognizes that reliability and performance are critical aspects for the development of world-class instrumentation. With manufacturing options in the U.S. and Asia (Vietnam) along with a global supply chain reach, II-VI is uniquely able to optimize and reduce supply chain and production costs for its customers.
“Our extensive experience in developing and integrating reliable thermoelectric devices into life sciences and medical equipment applications remains a valued advantage for our customers,” said Townsend. During the current COVID-19 situation, for example, many companies are struggling to keep up with current market demands. II-VI is continuously developing and expanding its manufacturing capacity to support a customer base that is delivering analytic tools to support the pandemic. “We are working closely with our customers to ramp production and supply chain to meet the rapidly increasing demand for PCR and sequencing equipment to support COVID-19 testing. Our global operations, sales, and engineering teams are committed to delivering solutions that address COVID-19. Such engagement supports our corporate mission of enabling the world to be safer, healthier, closer, and more efficient,” concluded Townsend.
Description II-VI Incorporated (pronounced “two-six”) designs and manufactures tailor-made solutions and services for customers looking to solve their complex thermal challenges while delivering best-in-class quality, performance, and low-cost efficiency. II-VI offers thermoelectric coolers (TECs) that are customized for each client’s application size, weight, and electrical power requirements while providing reliable thermal performance. The company has specifically formulated and developed a family of thermoelectric materials to address new demands in key scientific fields, such as biotechnology and medical instrumentation
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