Drives for surgical systems

Efficient surgery.

Surgical tools must be highly precise, reliable, and able to withstand many sterilization cycles. Our drive systems guarantee optimum performance as well as increased durability and service life, to maximize the potential of powered surgical hand tools. 

Surgical Systems

Medical innovation – designed in Switzerland.

maxon offers an extensive range of standard technical solutions as well as completely individual customer solutions in the area of surgical systems.

Our medical business unit develops customized drives and can draw on many years of industry knowledge – both from a technical and regulatory point of view.

Sterilizability (can withstand more than 1000 autoclave cycles)

Absolute reliability

High performance and excellent power density

Highly efficient motors with low heat build-up

Precise control

Low vibration

Low noise emissions


maxon has SN EN ISO 13485 certification.

Our drive solutions for surgical systems can be implemented based on customer specifications in accordance with the requirements of ISO 13485. Production sites selected for this market segment also have SN EN ISO 13485 certification.

Manufacture of medical devices minimizes potential risks to patients

Traceability of processes and raw materials is guaranteed

Motors and drives can be certified in accordance with UL or CSA standards

Progress made by maxon:

The first sterilizable drive system.

Like all surgical instruments, electrical surgical tools have to be sterile. Sterilization normally takes place in a moist heat autoclave. The devices are heated to over 130 °C under high pressure and 100% humidity. This presents an enormous challenge for all electrical components. 

maxon was the first company to bring a fully sterilizable drive system onto the market – with a sterilizable encoder and a hermetically sealed rotor. Our drives with sensors withstand more than 1000 sterilization cycles in the autoclave, and without sensors up to 2000 cycles.


Our drive solutions for surgery.

Surgical robots

Operating, assisting, positioning: Robots already support surgeons in many difficult procedures. To accurately transmit the movements of the surgeon to the robot via console and have the robot execute them, several dozen motors are needed. Our drive solutions have no cogging torque and with their exceptional haptic feedback are ideal for use in surgical robots.


    Dental surgery

    Dental surgery requires highly efficient, small instruments for drilling, milling, and screwing. The corresponding electromechanical hand tools must be light, quiet, sterilizable and have a high torque. In contrast to drives powered by compressed air, our electric drive systems can be optimally controlled in terms of torque and torque limiting.


      Surgical power tools

      During many surgical procedures in the operating room, the surgeon relies on battery-operated power tools. They are used when it is necessary to saw through bone or drill holes. For this purpose, maxon offers tailor-made, autoclavable drive technology and can also develop and produce complete solutions for gearhead engineering and power tool attachments.

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        Our product recommendations.

        Our motors, deliver a particularly high power density and high torque. This makes them ideal for use in surgical power tools and surgical robots. Thanks to flexible configuration, we can always find the optimal drive solution.


        EC frameless DT platform


        • ∅42 ... 90 mm
        • up to 15`000 rpm
        • up to 2900 mNm
        ECX_Speed_16L_Ster_9 (1)

        ECX SPEED platform


        • ∅4 ... 22 mm
        • up to 120`000 rpm
        • up to 34 mNm

        EC-4pole platform


        • ∅22 ... 32 mm
        • up to 25`000 rpm
        • up to 95 mNm


        Every project needs new ideas.

        That’s why maxon drives are configurable. Our drive technology is used successfully worldwide in demanding surgical applications. Our range includes standard solutions for medical technology, which can also be adapted to the requirements of specific projects.

        Drive solutions for medical technology

        Download brochure now.

        Get an initial overview of the possible applications in medical technology and learn more about our key product series for devices such as shavers, bone saws, and drills.

        Corporate Blog

        Success stories

        High-tech has arrived in the operating room: Surgeons use highly complex power tools or are supported by robots during minimally invasive procedures. maxon drive systems make many of these advances in medical technology possible.
        Go to the blog
        maxon Story

        Bioreactor Cell Culture Systems for High Cell Density Processes.

        A high precision motor and gearhead are used to control impeller speeds that help to maintain proper oxygen levels inside this highly versatile bioreactor.
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        Battling COVID-19 One Pump at a Time.

        In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Winnipeg Ventilator project had to make some critical choices in design and component selection, particularly for the motor used in the mechanical pump design.
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        Beauty through technology.

        For the past three decades, French company LPG has been offering a special treatment for tightening skin and tissue, using mechanical stimulation powered by maxon motors.
        Learn more
        Go to the blog

        Frequently asked questions

        • Are brushed maxon motors autoclavable?

          No. Our brushed motors are not suitable for the autoclave on account of their design. Specially designated brushless motors are marked as “sterilizable” in the catalog. These drives are designed for the autoclave process at 134 °C +/-4 °C, 100% relative humidity, 2.3 bar pressure, and a cycle time of 18 minutes. They are typically designed for around 1000 cycles. Sterilization procedures based on ETO are possible without restrictions for all catalog products.

        • What is the service life of the motors and gearheads?

          This cannot be answered in general terms and must be tested for each specific application. Temperature, humidity, load, and load cycles, etc. have a significant impact on the service life of the components.

        • According to which quality standard are maxon drives certified?

          The basic certification of all catalog products is ISO 9001. For customer-specific applications, ISO 13485 requirements can be implemented by arrangement.


        Any more questions?

        Our medical expert team will be happy to assist you.