The Mega-Fixu automated dispensing system (ADS) creates a basis for efficient and safe medicine supply services by handling the shelving, retrieval, and crate packaging of medicine packages in a hospital pharmacy. One of the advanced properties of Mega-Fixu is its crate track, which marks, closes, and transports medicine crates heading to different delivery points. By using the crate track, the pharmacy staff is able to cut several routine steps.
The Mega-Fixu automated dispensing system (ADS) has been developed with the specific needs of hospitals in mind. The medicines are packed into crates in hospital pharmacies, from which they are transported to wards or to other hospitals and health centres. In addition to automating the shelving and retrieval of medicine, NewIcon wanted to automate the steps required in handling medicine crates.
‘The manual handling of crates requires a lot of time. The Mega-Fixu crate track and its various modules have been developed to respond to this particular issue. Several innovative Finnish hospital pharmacies have been involved in the development work, and they should be praised for this highly polished end result,’ NewIcon’s product manager, Antti Vesala, points out.
The functions of the crate track step by step
- A pharmacist or a pharmacy technician controls the medicine order via the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. If a hospital ward is using automated dispensing cabinets (ADC) with a real-time stock control for storing medicine, the ADC can formulate a medicine order automatically. Mega-Fixu receives a medicine order directly from the ERP and sends the number of crates required by the order directly from the crate stack.
- Crates are transported to a fulfilment point, from which the ADS robot fills them with medicine packages required by the order. A delivery list is printed for inclusion with the crate.
- The crate is then transferred to a marking point, where the ADS marks the crate with a label or an inking that contains information on the receiving ward or hospital.
- The crate track’s automatic lid closer closes the lid of the crate. Additionally, the crate can be sealed in the automatic sealing machine.
- The finished crate then travels on the crate track to the chosen delivery point. There can be several delivery points, for example, for those crates that remain inside the hospital and for those that are sent out of the hospital. If the delivery points are located on various levels, a crate lift can be used. In addition the crate track has a validation point where the contents of the crates are checked or where those medicines that are not stored in the ADS are added.