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PRESS RELEASE – GENEActiv A Watching Brief – Engineering Capacity Magazine – April 2011

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A watching brief
06 Apr 2011

The GENEActiv device records information both on physical activity undertaken by a person and their environment (light and temperature) up to 100 times a second for over a week

Rapid prototyping and plastic parts production specialist CRDM has helped to develop a body-worn accelerometer that tracks and measures everyday physical activity.

In 2010 designer and manufacturer of health and wellness equipment Activinsights started working on development of GENEActiv, a device which records information both on physical activity undertaken by a person and their environment (light and temperature) up to 100 times a second for over a week. The data can be interpreted by software to provide information about sleep, activity levels, calories burned, posture, activity type, steps taken and biomechanics.

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The GENEActiv device records information both on physical activity undertaken by a person and their environment (light and temperature) up to 100 times a second for over a week

This information, in turn, can be used by researchers and health practitioners to determine population-level trends, monitor clinical trials and to assist in advising individuals on health, body fitness and wellbeing. The ergonomic design and waterproofing of the device make it acceptable for medium to long term wear, so GENEActiv is able to provide new health insights in this area.

The project consisted of the design, prototyping and production stages and involved a number of subcontractors, including Tata Elxsi, SMS Electronics and Warwick Laser Systems. CRDM won the contract to produce the tooling for the plastics that house the instrument as well as the charge cradle. In addition to this, CRDM was responsible for a significant part of the assembly process.

In order to build the GENEActiv monitor, CRDM worked with its Far East suppliers to ensure production quality tooling for the three main case parts. The lens was ultrasonically welded into the top cover and then had a further assembly stage where O-rings and contact pins were fitted. This subassembly was then fully leak tested before being shipped off for the next stage of assembly in bespoke packaging sourced especially for the project.

The charge cradle not envisaged to be required in high volume, so the aluminium tooling was manufactured in CRDM’s in-house facility. A total of six moulded parts housed a printed circuit board which had to be carefully soldered to delicate contact pins. This assembly was fully tested, finished and once approved with a serial number applied, the unit was ready to ship.

CRDM’s dedicated team project managed and sourced the production tooling. The company worked with an external design house and provided CAD services where appropriate. During the product development process, CRDM to assisted with stereolithography (SLA) and selective laser sintering (SLS) technologies for prototypes and additional needs. SLA assembly jigs are now in place at SMS Electronics, who manufacture the electronics, and at Warwick Laser Systems, who laser weld the case halves together and laser mark the serial numbers. CRDM was required to source a number of standard components, as well as custom materials (such as serial number labels) and use the services of subcontractors such as ultra sonic welding.

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