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Pneumatic tube systems and transport robots

Your competent partner for pneumatic tube solutions

Pneumatic tube systems from Sumetzberger guarantee the fastest, most reliable and least staffed spontaneous and emergency transport of all objects that fit into a transport carrier. Since 1964, thousands of satisfied customers from healthcare, industry, retail, wholesale and administration worldwide have benefited from our efficient, durable, user-friendly and attractive pneumatic tube systems.

Whilst in the 70s it was largely a matter of simple transport from point A to point B, pneumatic tube systems from Sumetzberger have evolved to be ultra-modern, computer-controlled systems with interfaces to automation robots and software systems such as HIS, ERP, etc. In particular, the collaboration of systems to achieve full automation in intralogistics (e.g. with industrial robots or components for storage and sorting), is  Sumetzberger’s core competence and can be seen in areas such as central laboratory’s or pharmacies. Well planned, integrated and field-tested systems, thus provide the opportunity in many cases to increase quality, whilst also reducing costs, through more efficient time management and personnel allocation planning.


Your competent partner for transport automation

Whether driverless transport systems (AGVs) or autonomous mobile transport robots: Flexible transport solutions from Sumetzberger optimize your internal logistics!

Sumetzberger develops customer-specific transport solutions ranging from rail-bound small goods conveyor systems to driverless transport systems (AGVs) and mobile autonomous transport robots. These state-of-the-art automated transport solutions are particularly suitable for tailor-made requirements and tasks, thanks to the flexible adaptability to any customer requirements such as loads, transfer heights, aisle widths, transfer points, degree of automation, interfaces, transfer points, software.


What is PTS?

Pneumatic tube systems are regarded as a logistics solution for fast and reliable spontaneous and emergency transport. It can be used for a wide range of customised transport solution in the healthcare sector, industry, retail, wholesale and administration. Various items including laboratory and blood samples, blood preserves, instantaneous section, drugs, documents and money and any other small parts can be transported by the transport medium pneumatic tube.

Special cylindrical means of transportations are used for in-house and across sites. These so-called carriers are used for the safe and gentle transport of objects through a network of tubes, diverter and stations.   The carriers are transported between the sending and receiving stations by means of pressure or suction, which can reach speeds of up to 15 m/s, depending on the object being transported. Depending on the size of the pneumatic tube system, the total length of the tube network can be several kilometres and can link several hundred sending and receiving stations through the branches. The pneumatic tube system is divided into several independent lines, comparable to that of a subway or underground transport network. Depending on the nature of the line, either one or multiple carriers can be transported simultaneously. Analogous to a modular system, the system consists of the basic components - sending and receiving stations, diverter and blowers - and the tube network for connecting all these modules. A central control system regulates and monitors all of the pneumatic tube components as well as the transports throughout the overall system.

To perform a transaction, the destination address is selected, and the carrier is inserted into the station. Depending on the transport object, the carrier is gently accelerated to the transport speed and then gently decelerated when received at the destination station, after which it can be removed from the basket. The sending and receiving stations are designed in such a way that a carrier can be inserted into the station regardless of the system status. As soon as the destination station and the lines are ready for the new transport, the automated sending process starts. In order to prevent infiltration of foreign objects, the carrier is recognized at the sending station using standardized RFID technology, read and then introduced into the pneumatic tube system. The user can freely select the reception destination of the shipment using the control element on the sending station or scroll through the address directory for the designated receiving station.

Sumetzberger pneumatic tube carriers are custom designed with an attractive and user-friendly finish. Depending on the pneumatic tube system size, transmission frequency and personnel availability, either manual carriers or AutoLoad/AutoUnload (automated) carriers are used. Depending on the required loading volume, a distinction is usually made between the two standard sizes 110/4" or 160/6" carriers.

Antimicrobial carriers from Sumetzberger are the right choice in areas where hygiene

is of paramount importance. Silver ion technology is used in carriers where the growth of micro-organisms must be inhibited and destroyed (especially pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria, germs or mould.

Furthermore, the intelligent carriers from Sumetzberger are equipped with RFID Technology "code tag" (RFID transponder, EU directive 2011/65/EU). The data transmission and power supply is battery-free, by means of magnetic components. The EEPROM data memory is characterised by its 10-year data retention memory, simple programming and more than 100,000 erase/write cycles. 

Sumetzberger PowerControl is an advanced, integrated software that controls and monitors the smooth running of your pneumatic tube system. Speeds can be individually defined between 2m/s and 15m/s. Shipments are easily and conveniently monitored in real time, with every transport documented and traceable, with the option to intervene with critical situations.

Transactions with hazardous or restricted contents - such as controlled drugs or hazardous goods - can be shipped under controllable conditions. Access control systems can protect transported goods from unauthorised access and unambiguously assigns them to the relevant personnel. As with any means of transport, carriers and stations require regular servicing and inspections and with the help of Sumetzberger's PowerControl, maintenance and service times are determined automatically. Carriers can thus be removed from the system and issued in a service station if a certain distance is exceeded. By using Sumetzberger PowerControl you can always rely on the support of our technical specialists, including the provision of remote maintenance, providing additional safe and efficient control measures. Thanks to PowerControl, the system can be expanded at any time. Advancing new technologies in the hospital sector are integrated cost-efficiently. For example, fully laboratory  stations with direct connection to laboratory roads are not only resource-saving, but also guarantee fast and reliable distribution of the desired goods.

Blower motors generate the necessary airflow to transport the shipping carrier from the starting point to the destination address. Depending on the direction of transport, the system switches between vacuum or overpressure operation.

Transfer units are  considered to be the central crossing units and the heart of multi line pneumatic tube systems. They connect all independent lines to each other, forming a network and making the transfer of consignments possible. Thus, every station is quickly accessible from every other station in the system.

Diverters are used for branching within a pneumatic tube system, whereby an incoming tube is extended to up to three outgoing tubes. Carriers can be transported in both directions.

In modern logistics and transport systems, there is an increasing trend for machine solutions within work processes, with automation and industry 4.0, no longer foreign to our technology driven world, with the pneumatic tube product no exception to this.   

The AutoUnload receiving station and the AutoLoad sending station, respond exactly to these new requirements and demand, enabling automatic unloading or loading of the carrier and fully automated interaction with other systems, without any manual intervention. The AutoUnload and AutoLoad functions streamline the unloading and loading processes of the carrier, whilst also eliminating time consuming handling and risk of manual handling errors, guaranteeing an increase in productivity and improved hygiene safety. The entire transaction of receiving and unloading or loading and sending of the carrier, is fully automated and without the involvement of the user.

The AutoUnload station is mostly used in central hospital laboratories for the receiving of frequent blood samples, forming the link to the fully automated preanalytical line. The automated system interface thus enables the direct transfer of blood samples by pneumatic tube system to the laboratory line. In the industrial sector, this solution is often found in laboratories for product samples or production samples.

The AutoLoad pneumatic tube station type is often used in hospital central pharmacies for the shipping of medicines and drugs. The AutoLoad station, integrated in the pharmaceutical storage robot cabinets forms the link to the fully automatic pharmacy system. In industry, such automation solutions are often developed tailor-made for specific goods receiving processes. These stations are also often used for the transport of hazardous goods to increase employee safety.

Pneumatic tube systems for hospitals

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