Breath Actuated Inhaler
Vortran Medical Technology was in the middle of designing a breath actuated inhaler for asthmatics. They were experiencing problems with the mechanism and came to DT Engineering for help. After reviewing the design, the engineers determined there were two factors contributing to the reliability of the mechanism:
- The design had structural issues. Because parts were deflecting too much under the spring loads, some of the internal parts were, therefore, deflecting too much.
- Some tolerance "stack up" problems existed within the design.
Using COSMOWorks, DT Engineering simulated the loads on the assembly and confirmed the deflection issues. The engineers then modified the design with the aid of COSMOSWorks to keep the deflections within a range that ensured reliable operation of the device.
To solve the "stack up" issues, DT Engineering performed a detailed tolerance analysis of the mechanism and discovered fabrication tolerances were also contributing to the reliability of the device. They were able to make design change recommendations that minimized or eliminated these tolerance variation effects.
After all the major problems had been corrected, Vortran asked DT Engineering to design an integrated dose counting mechanism so that the asthma patients would be able to keep track of how much of the medication was being administered. Using the same concept as a click-style pen, the engineers designed a disc that translated a typically-linear action into a rotational motion. With each click, the disc would rotate, showing the number through a lens. This method of counting was an accurate, effective, and easy way for the inhaler users to track their doses of medication.
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