Iso-Fixu offers endless customisation possibilities

Anssi Vekkeli, NewIcon’s mechanical engineering team leader, has worked in the engineering team for the Iso-Fixu medicine storage robot since 2008. The best part of the job is finding technical solutions, solving problems and improving the competitive strength of the devices.

“It feels great that the product has achieved a good market position in Finland and also gained international recognition. We can use the work done on product development in practice. We’re actually working on a renewal project right now,” Vekkeli says, delighted.

At first, the device’s development progressed by leaps and bounds. The team listened to the customers carefully and developed the device according to the customers’ needs. The functions and form were changed “quite radically,” according to Vekkeli. The necessary measurements, options and connections also became clearer. After the significant changes made in the beginning, the functions have mostly stayed the same.

“The big updates included changing the robots and linear guide axels into the ones we’re currently using. In the last few years, we’ve made some small, less visible changes to improve the functions and the processibility of the parts.”

Deliveries from one floor to another

Vekkeli, who previously worked at Innocomp Automaatio, thinks the demands of pharmacies and hospitals are stricter than in other industries when it comes to the appearance and the noise levels of the devices.

The designers’ know-how of matters such as pharmacy processes, the processing of medicine packages and the location of devices has improved, which has made the design and production of devices easier. Vekkeli has noticed that it is now easier to anticipate problems, and he has even had some “eureka moments.”

“One of those was the idea about the current shelf structure with its dividers and the robot’s vacuum gripper. Another significant realisation we had at the beginning was the insulation of the frame sounds so that the sounds from the device’s functions are not conducted to the frame of the building.”

NewIcon is ready to go very far with customising the standard models. Delivering packages from another floor of the building to the device and onwards with various conveyor and package lift solutions is a good example of this, Vekkeli states. The systems are also available in many different sizes. The team has even designed four-metre-tall storage units for a shopping centre pharmacy.

“That way, floor space can be used more efficiently,” says Vekkeli.

More information

  • As many as 90 Iso-Fixu storage robots have been delivered to pharmacies in Finland, Russia and Israel.
  • The Iso-Fixu storage robots are customised according to the customer's needs.
  • For example, pharmacists can choose how rapidly and easily medicine packages are feeded into storage and how they are delivered to pharmacists.

    Pharmacists' choices
  • 70% Automatic input module
  • 30% Channel input module
  • 57% Medicine package delivery point on the side of Iso-Fixu
  • 43% Conveyers from Iso-Fixu to the counter

The article was originally published in the Icon News magazine in 2018.

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