Case study

Bench-top pill counting machine

  • Bench-top medical instrument.
  • Vibration motor to aid movement of pills through instrument pathways.
  • Kit of two long-life vibration motors with fittings and a resonance controller.
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Challenge

  • Our customer’s machines were being upgraded to handle larger quantities of pill and tablets.
  • In some climates the humidity would cause the tablets to temporarily block the internal pathways of the machine.

Solution

  • A kit of long lasting vibration motors that could be affixed to the machine hoppers in several locations.
  • We designed a long-life brushed motor with custom eccentric mass, to hit a target vibration frequency and amplitude, to induce resonance.

Results

  • We used a spot-welding manufacturing technique for the chassis, and added a PCB backpack onto the motor to include an X2Y EMI filter.
  • Provided an innovative solution and created an end-of-line testing station to ensure frequency and amplitude targets were met.

Project scope

Instrument upgrade

Vibration is not only used for haptic feedback, and user interface notifications. In this example our customer is a manufacturer of bench-top pill and tablet counters.

Some parts of their machines were being upgraded to handle larger quantities of pill and tablets, and in some climates the humidity would cause the tablets to temporarily block the internal pathways of the machine. 

The customer tasked us with designing and manufacturing a kit of long lasting vibration motors, that could be affixed to the machine hoppers in several locations.

This mechanically aided the pills in their journey through the machine, preventing blockages. The kit contained two durable vibration motors, fixing enclosures, mounting fasteners, flying leads, & an electronic motor driver.

Bench-top Pill Counting Instrument Mechanical Aid
Hopper Vibration Kit for Bench-top Pill Counting Instrument Mechanical Aid.

STAGE 1

Designing for application

  • The first technical job on this project was to understand the frequency and magnitude of vibration required to hit mechanical resonance, and dislodge blockages within the machine.
  • We had been given lifetime and environmental requirements, and after initial prototype testing our team designed a long-life brushed motor with eccentric mass that would hit the target vibration frequency and amplitude.

STAGE 2

Manufacturing and testing

  • The customer confirmed the preferred fixing points on their machine, and we designed a chassis enclosure that would secure the motor whilst protecting it from humidity and dust.
  • We used a spot-welding manufacturing technique for the chassis, and added a PCB backpack onto the motor to include a EMI filter.
  • The flying leads were secured with epoxy to the PCB backpack, for strain relief. The whole wiring harness was secured further with a spot-welded strain relief fixture onto the chassis.

STAGE 3

Precision delivery

  • The two motors, fixing components, wire sets and driver module, were all serialised, labelled and kitted together into a single carton package with protective foam and fitting instructions. 
  • PMD’s testing infrastructure allowed us to assure our client that the product was verified and reliable, managing their risk throughout.
  • Every production batch was delivered on time and to spec
  • Positive relationship, leading to follow-up collaborations.

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