MRI Coil Repair Can Get Really Twisted

Unless you know what to look for in an MRI coil repair, you can get a lot of really twisted results. With just a little knowledge about the process, you can ask all the right questions to assure you are getting a sustainable MRI coil repair you can count on.

  1. Cable harnesses:  Question: Are raw cables replaced or are they spliced? Replacing costs more,however the longevity of the repair and life extension of the coil more than compensate for the extra money and help to lower overall cost of ownership.Spliced cables can fail more often as they can separate over time,  meaning more frequent repairs, more downtime, and potentially more performance issues. Sustainable processes  replace all raw cable harnesses vs.splicing which results in higher first time fix rates.  
  2. Testing methods: Question: What testing methods are used? And are they capable of finding potential hidden electrical issues? Simplistic testing often fails to find additional issues affecting coil performance. Look for modular testing methods which breakdown the system and test each section to the component level assuring the whole system is functioning optimally.
  3. Mechanical Parts: Question:  What is the source of mechanical parts used in the repair? Are they sourced from soft molding and machining or 3D printing? While 3D printing can increase speed and accessibility, this method does not always hold up as effectively as molding and machining. Its critical to know how parts are sourced for your repairs as they can affect the longevity,  value of ownership and future downtime.
  4.  Inspection processes: Question:  Does the supplier tear apart the cable or use a less or non-invasive method to inspect the quality and condition of each coil? You should insist on procedures such as those used at the Innovatus MRI Center of Excellence that use an x-ray device to view cabling structures and avoid unnecessary disassembly which can increase the risk of other failures,and extend the time for triage and repair.
  5. Qualifications: Question: What experience, research and processes are behind the repair? This is perhaps the biggest difference in suppliers. Do the technicians have decades of experience vs. basic skills, and what testing processes, protocols and simulators are used for quality assurance regarding the repair? With more than 20 years of manufacturing experience and research to identify best-in-class methodology and testing, Innovatus applies some of the most proven processes available

More details about these issues and other considerations for optimizing MRI repair outcomes for your inventory can be found in our report titled Why Centers of Excellence for Imaging Device Repairs Matter, listed under Resources on our site.

About the Author: Joseph Habovick is Vice President of MRI for Innovatus Imaging MRI Center of Excellence in Pittsburgh, PA In this role, he advances programs and processes for elevating the sustainability and efficiencies of coil repair processes and programs. His expertise spans more than 20 years in medical device repair and management and includes experience as a clinical professional in radiation oncology. He can be reached at joseph.habovick@innovatusimaging.com.