Electromechanical Drawer Locking System for Medication Carts

Photo of Max Darnell, Kyle Frennea, Jason Gerencser, Marc McClendon Students: Max Darnell, Kyle Frennea, Jason Gerencser, Marc McClendon

Sponsor: Rubbermaid Medical Solutions

Date: Fall 2010

Requirements:
The locking system must add no more than $75 to the manufacturing cost of the product. A visual indicator must show the lock status to the user. The drawers must resist 90 lb of pull force and support at least 1 lb of static weight. The system must be expected to survive an 80,000 cycle life cycle test.

Problem:
Rubbermaid Medical Solutions currently manufactures medication carts used to ferry medication from a pharmacy and deliver it to multiple patients. The previous generation product line features medication carts for which all drawers are either locked or unlocked. In order to increase security and decrease medication errors, the sponsor has proposed that the drawers selectable such that they can individually be opened or all drawers can simultaneously be opened.

Solution:
The solution consists of an X-Y elevator device that has unique horizontal positions for each of the drawers yet relies on a single vertical motion to actuate the locks. A hanging vertical plate with four distinct notches moves into position, aligning one of the notches with a lock mechanism, and then proceeds to move down in the prescribed manner. The team used many parts found on the original product in order to stay within budget. A working prototype was built and demonstrated for the sponsor. The picture below shows the prototype mounted on the rear side of an existing shelf unit.

Images related to the project:

Photo related to Electromechanical Drawer Locking System for Medication Carts project
Photo related to Electromechanical Drawer Locking System for Medication Carts project
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