Mobile Cleaning for Drug Dissolution Machines
VanKel Technology Group, a subsidiary of Agilent Technologies, designs and manufactures drug test equipment for the pharmaceutical industry. VanKel's specialty is drug dissolution machines, a multi-vessel device that records how fast a time-released drug dissolves into a liquid. A pain point for laboratory technicians is the task of cleaning the 8, 2-liter vessels after each test. Each vessel must be removed from the basin and carried to the sink for washing.
The VK900 Wash Station is a mobile apparatus that can roll around the lab and clean vessels in place. After securing the cleaning head onto a dirty vessel, a press of the button on the head begins the cleaning cycle:
• Old test liquid is removed and sent to a waste chamber
• High-pressure wash cycle with rotating spray nozzle blasts vessel interior with rinse media
• Rinse media evacuated into waste chamber
The vessel is left nearly dry, ready for the next test with minimal effort. No broken glass or pruney fingers!
My contribution was the mechanical engineering, industrial design, prototypes, documentation, and Parallax microcontroller programming. My colleague, Paul Shoytush, Electrical Engineer, designed the pcba and wiring diagrams.