Jaco News and Events

Cart electronics and fire safety: Smart design makes a difference

By Matt Rossini on Sep 26, 2017 2:56:15 PM |

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Medical computer cart fires are top-of-mind with our customers these days. What’s the simplest check you can make to determine risk of fire in your powered carts?

Check the location of your cart electronics.

If the cart’s inverter/charger is located in the base of the cart, the unit’s cooling fan can easily clog with dust and dirt from your hospital floor – and increase your potential risk of cart fires.

How pervasive is the problem? One IT director we spoke with referred to some of his hospital’s old powered carts as ‘vacuum cleaners’. More ominously, power system dust contamination was one potential cause of cart fires cited in a recent FDA letter on the topic.

Design for convenience, reliability

In 2012, Jaco engineers repositioned the inverter/chargers in all our Jaco powered carts from the cart base, to a location under the electronics bay – more than two feet above the floor.

Our customers saw immediate benefits from this design. Jaco inverter/charger fans stay cleaner, and require far fewer inspections (we recommend just once per year). Plus, maintenance no longer brings customers to their knees: It can be performed from a comfortable, seated position.

A more dramatic benefit of the design has emerged in the years since: Jaco customer records indicate problems in fewer than 1% of these power systems, per year. That’s over 99% reliability!

JacoOne-InverterDesign.pngJaco One: Even simpler, even smarter. In addition to being mounted high on the cart, the Jaco One inverter/charter is enclosed in an easy-access cabinet (inset). A quarter-turn of the thumbscrew opens the drop-down door.

Big savings, too

Since 2011, Jaco has used lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries in its powered carts. LiFePO4 is not prone to thermal runaway, the chain reaction that can cause other types of lithium batteries to overheat or catch fire.

Our batteries are engineered to last, and we warranty them for 3 years or 4,000 recharge cycles. That’s 65-75% longer than other types of lithium cells. Just as important, our power system is engineered to minimize stress on the batteries – so you get the shift-long power and fast charging you need, plus longer battery life that lowers your cost of ownership. In fact, a recent review of our customer records revealed that 99.9% of our LiFePO4 batteries sold up to 6 years ago are still in use today. Depending on the size of your cart fleet, this kind of long battery life could save your hospital thousands – or even millions – in supply chain costs over the life of your carts.

See – and calculate – the difference

The best way to understand the difference our powered carts can make is to see a Jaco powered cart, in person and hands-on. Contact us at 800-649-2278 to schedule a free, hands-on demo at your location. A Jaco representative will walk you through the features of our power system – and can help you project how much Jaco’s intelligent power system design and LiFePO4 batteries can save your hospital over time compared to other power sources. We’re sure you’ll agree: It’s time well spent.

Matt Rossini is Vice President of Marketing at Jaco, Inc.

JacoOne JacoOne-10 JacoOne-20 UL500 UL300 LiFePO4 Lithium Iron Phosphate Reliability

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