The pneumatic tube system is very important for the transportation of test tubes from the nursing departments to the central laboratory of the University Hospital Groningen, the Netherlands. Safe and easy packing of the material is a requirement. The test tubes are packed in leak-proof bags combined with an absorbent cloth.
Around 2005 we were looking for an alternative to transport more tubes at once. I browsed the web, contacted suppliers all over the world but couldn't find what we needed. Perhaps develop something ourselves? At home I started playing with some electricity tube and tape.
I started cutting a few tubes where I could put the test tubes in. Pretty soon I got a useful shape and in combination with a Telecom carrier I could pack 24 test tubes in one carrier. The simple shape of the insert and the carrier with two lids made it very promising.
The laboratory staff liked the design very much and we started talking to Telecom in the Netherlands, who is the manufacturer of our pneumatic tube carriers. They made a second design and two prototypes. The initial design was still the best to use and it best meets the requirements. In the end the company took the carrier inserts in production for us, and other customers!
Here you can follow the process from the initial design to the final product.