Early October’s Healthcare Estates 2022 exhibition saw Bender UK highlight its recently introduced COMTRAXX CP9 24” glass theatre control panel, ‘a sleek and sophisticated method of controlling the entire operating theatre from a central location’.
Head of Healthcare Sales, Daniel Snowden, gave a live demonstration of the new panel; its design incorporates a human machine interface and programmable logic controller for integrating connected systems such as lighting, temperature and humidity, ventilation, and other critical alarms controls. The standardised control panel comes in grey and white, is easy to clean and disinfect, and has a screwless mount front plate.
Daniel Snowden explained: “One of the big differences over earlier models is the 24 inch glass monitor. We have moved away from membrane touchscreens and having the screen, separate timer, and the PLC controls in the back. We have also taken the main control element – the PLC interface box – away from the theatre environment, which means we can now mount the panel in areas such as the plant room, or the switchroom outside theatre corridors. Staff can thus access the panel when the theatre is in use.”
Daniel Snowden next ran through various control screens – firstly showing the ‘home’ screen, with two main optional layouts, and a sub-menu on the left-hand side for lighting and ventilation, and coloured warning indicators, which, for instance, show green if all is running well. The panel also incorporates a clock, with time of day and time elapsed, and theatre humidity and temperature shown at the bottom. To facilitate cleaning, a special button disables all the touchscreen controls to allow wiping down of the screen. After a set period of the panel not being touched, the controls are automatically reactivated.
Simple touch controls activate / deactivate the theatre lighting, and allow dimming, while the new panel links to ‘in-use’ indicators outside the theatre to highlight, for example, that it is in use, or that X-rays are in progress. A dedicated ventilation control screen incorporates controls and indicators for conventional and UCV operation, with a blue light to indicate when HEPA filters need changing. New HTM requirements stipulate that theatre control panels must show a blue square to indicate that the theatre is in use, but that its HEPA filters require servicing. On the same ‘page’ are the temperature and humidity controls, while on the next are the operating light controls, which ‘mimic’ those on the touchpad of Bender’s Merivaara Q-Flow theatre lights.
After this comprehensive run-down, Daniel Snowden ran some faults through the panel, simulating a real-world scenario, and in the process highlighted Bender’s new CP 305 remote alarm panel, with its glass touchscreen and additional features – including the ability to make the text display ‘bespoke’ to the user.