In a fast-paced world, trusting business collaborations are rare. So how do you build and maintain a strong customer-supplier relationship over 30 years? One example of this is the successful cooperation between GE HealthCare and us, the KSG Group. We have been producing production-ready printed circuit boards for various industries for over 64 years. Our high-quality KSG circuit boards are used in GE HealthCare’s Voluson product family – an innovative line of ultrasound equipment. GE HealthCare is a global leader in medical technology. In the following interview, we talk to Mario Schwab, General Manager Technology Woman’s Health Ultrasound, and Gerald Seifriedsberger, General Manager Woman’s Health Ultrasound at GE HealthCare, about the successful collaboration and the role of KSG PCBs in ultrasound technology.
GE HealthCare and KSG Group have been working together successfully for more than three decades. How did it come about?
Schwab & G. Seifriedsberger: The cooperation originally started with the Häusermann company in Lower Austria and was successfully continued with KSG after the takeover in 2017. A key role in our success certainly lies in the short production times for our prototypes. In addition, the close cooperation between the development departments of GE HealthCare and KSG Group is a key factor. We strive to develop cost-effective products as early as the design phase, leveraging the synergies and expertise of both companies. This close cooperation has often enabled us to find innovative solutions and thus to respond quickly to our customers’ needs.
What do you consider to be the highlights of the joint development work so far?
M. Schwab & G. Seifriedsberger: Even in the initial phase, there was significant progress in development at that time, especially in the printed circuit boards for the RFM10 single-board beamerformer. In addition, technological innovations were implemented that led to a drastic reduction in board size. These achievements have had a great impact on our work and expanded our capabilities.
KSG PCBs can be found in the Voluson product family. What distinguishes this product line?
Schwab & G. Seifriedsberger: The Voluson product family already has a long tradition and has been a pioneer in the development of 3D and 4-D sonography. Ultrasound machines are the most widely used systems in gynecology and prenatal medicine. Through continuous and persistent development, we have managed to establish ourselves as the market leader in this segment. This fills us with great pride.
What is the role of electronics in ultrasonic equipment?
M. Schwab & G. Seifriedsberger: Electronics is the secret superstar in a medical ultrasound machine. On the one hand, it has to generate impressive pulses with kilowatt power, and on the other hand, it has to perform microvolt-precise voltage measurements. This is really an electronic magic! But here’s the trick: to make these magic powers work, we need the KSG PCBs, because they work reliably for many years and are of high quality.
What requirements must a KSG printed circuit board therefore meet?
Schwab & G. SeifriedsbergerWith the ever-increasing integration of functionalities in the smallest of spaces, the cooling of electronics is gaining in importance and represents an elementary requirement. In addition, the cost component plays a significant role and requires consistency.
Ultrasound equipment plays an important role in medicine. Is the circuit board here the heart or the brain?
Schwab & G. Seifriedsberger: If we think of the heart as analog circuitry and the brain as digital circuitry, I would say that the circuit board in an ultrasound machine is a combination of both. A high-quality ultrasound instrument uses both low-noise analog signals and intelligent digital algorithms to get the most out of these signals. The circuit board acts as both heart and brain and plays a crucial role in the quality and accuracy of ultrasound diagnostics.
In Interview: Mario Schwab - General Manager Technology Woman's Ultrasound at GE HealthCare.
Interview: Gerald Seifriedsberger - General Manager Woman's Health Ultrasound at GE HealthCare.
What do you think distinguishes our customer-supplier relationship?
Schwab & G. Seifriedsberger: KSG Group has proven itself over many years as a close and reliable development partner. Together, we have succeeded in developing a first-class medical ultrasound device. The basis for our long-standing partnership is undoubtedly clear and transparent communication and a shared passion for progress. We greatly appreciate the cooperation so far and look forward to continuing to work together on innovative projects in the future.
Let’s take a look into the future: What will be the next challenges in the development and production of ultrasonic equipment?
Schwab & G. Seifriedsberger: Improving image quality will continue to be an absolute top priority in the development of ultrasound equipment. We can also look forward to even more use of artificial intelligence, which will provide additional support for doctors during examinations. To realize all this, perfectly functioning printed circuit boards are required that are optimally suited for both analog and digital circuit technologies. We are excited to see what exciting innovations await us on this exciting journey.