A cabinet consisting of six locked drawers is shown from the front and side views.

High-Speed Pill Dispenser

We provided full industrial design, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering services in the development of a pharmaceutical dispensing cabinet that features high-speed, precision counting of prescription drug capsules and tablets. These cabinets are found in large pharmacies where they are linked together and communicate via a central computer operated by pharmacists. At the time, it was the largest project we had ever undertaken and fit perfectly the merger earlier that year of our separate design and engineering companies. Since this time, we have completed many large projects.

Using our client’s core pill counting technology, we created a system with a smaller footprint and greatly increased capacity compared to the previous generation cabinet. Each cabinet consists of six drawers holding three pill hoppers each. The drawers are standalone units operated by a microcontroller and held in place by a secure drawer interlock system. When a pharmacist commands a drawer to open, it does so at a downward angle thus improving user reach for filling of the uppermost drawers’ pill hoppers. A counterbalance system prevents more than one drawer opening at a time.

Pills are held within and dispensed from the patented injection molded hopper and counted as they move down a chute that leads to an empty patient prescription bottle. We designed the hopper to keep pills secure, even during a drop. Other innovations include a hopper lid that acts as a funnel for easy filling from a bulk container and a chute with a patented flex gate that controls the flow of pills. The contour of the chute and the flex gate were specially designed to regulate the flow of pills and to prevent them from over-shooting the prescription bottle.

The cabinet’s contemporary styling with customizable color configurations appealed to new and upgrading customers.

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