Pneumatic Tube Transport – Top Design Issues While Creating Them with Their Solutions!

Pneumatic Tube Systems (PTS) have been around since quite some time. Their cost effectiveness and high efficiency makes them ideal solution to most of the transportation issues especially in the health care premises or medical facilities. While it is true that successful installation can be ensured if the design is according to the needs of the users, sometimes the specifications of PTS described by the potential users focus on just inappropriate features instead of overall performance and network layout.

Therefore, better understanding of design issues that can impact hospital pneumatic tubes system can lead towards specified systems delivering high performance level and high levels of user satisfaction in terms of the equipment. Read on to know more about them.

Criteria for design

If a successful PTS network is to be designed, there are some issues that require being resolved. They are as follows.

  • Designing proper network for handling predicted traffic.
  • Determining what objects a PTS is going to transport.
  • Checking out the working practices and evaluating how system will be used by the hospital staff.

Potential payloads

The potential materials that require to be transported through pneumatic tubes can include laboratory samples along with blood products, pharmacy items, documentation, and so forth. Some of the important questions you must ask yourself are the following.

  • How many urgent samples are there?
  • Where do all of these originate from?
  • How many of them come from the outpatient clinics?


A well-designed PTS system has capability of delivering every transaction within 10 minutes. However, in case of priorities, some of them can also be delivered faster. This performance is achievable, but for some of the installation, this performance is sacrificed for cost savings. Well, this is not at all an informed decision. With the increasing complexity and size of PTS networks, inefficiencies resulting from poor design even increases.

Volume of traffic

The ultimate aim of design exercise is to determine or predict volume of the carrier traffic on every section of network during peak periods activity. Each section of PTS network has the maximum throughput capacity as function of the carrier speed and tube length. It is not just enough to design a network that has sufficient capacity to deliver, but to design one that can do it efficiently!

Work practices

Once the potential materials to be transported are decided, then it is time to consider the associated work practices. It cannot be done without proper planning. The method or manner in which PTS network is used will greatly reflect the kind of samples that are being transported.

Therefore, categorization here is required. While considering work practices, one of the major factors to consider is what will happen when numerous samples are to be taken from same patient. So, here the workable model is the one where all the samples can go to either clearing area or central reception where they are sent after re-batching.

Overall, pneumatic tube systems are ideal for large institutions that aim to deliver the best service and ensure best care of their patients. To ensure getting its best performance, proper care should be taken right at design stage.

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