Swisslog Celebrates 60 Years of Innovation in Hospital Pneumatic Tube Systems

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Swisslog’s market-leading products and services have set the standard for pneumatic transport in hospitals over the past six decades.

Swisslog is the leading provider of hospital pneumatic tube systems because our systems are the most reliable and technologically advanced in the world.

Swisslog Healthcare Solutions, the market leader for hospital pneumatic tube systems, today announced the 60-year anniversary of its first healthcare installation. Unique at the time, pneumatic tube systems now are considered standard equipment in modern hospitals for supporting rapid diagnosis and ensuring fast and secure deliveries of medications, specimens and other small payloads. In the decades since that first installation, Swisslog has led innovation in pneumatic tube systems for hospital applications, as demonstrated through its 10 published and 12 pending patents for method and technology.

Examples of critical Swisslog innovations and patents to advance the state of the art include:

  • First computerized pneumatic tube system (1972)
  • Air-cushioned delivery to protect transport of fragile items (1980)
  • System control center to ensure carriers move the shortest distance between source and destination stations (1980)
  • First sealed carrier to protect hazardous materials from leakage in transport (1995)
  • Enhanced wear band for smooth carrier transport, reducing stress on carrier contents and promoting longer carrier life (1996)
  • First system designed to manage high-speed, high-volume transactions (2005)
  • Radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking for dynamic identification and monitoring of carriers and their contents (2007, 2011)
  • First high-speed transport of radiopharmaceuticals (2007)
  • Automated system recovery to reduce downtime (2010)
  • Variable speed drive for selecting transport speed based on carrier contents (2011)
  • First “slam-to-seal,” leak-resistant carrier (2012)
  • Secure deliveries (1990), delivery confirmation and automated chain-of-custody solutions (2012, 2013)
  • Dynamic carrier re-routing to support high traffic volumes and ensure delivery (2013)

“Swisslog is the leading provider of hospital pneumatic tube systems because our systems are the most reliable and technologically advanced in the world,” notes Mike Hoganson, president of Swisslog Healthcare Solutions North America. “Our customers see the positive impact of these systems in their daily transaction throughput from the day they admit their first patient until the day their hospital is torn down.”

Pneumatic tube systems were not new technology even in the 1950’s. First proposed in 1812, pneumatic transport became viable with the invention of the capsule in 1936, and became mainstream by the early 20th century when the North American manufacturer now owned by Swisslog was founded. It was through the efforts of this pioneering (1910) company that pneumatic tube systems – widely used for cash handling, retail and library applications – crossed over to hospital usage where fast and reliable deliveries save lives.

Swisslog will present its latest products at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting December 8 – 11, 2013 in Orlando.

Swisslog Healthcare Solutions (HCS) is the leading supplier of automation and software solutions for material transport and medication management in healthcare facilities. Swisslog has installed facility-wide and pharmacy automation systems in more than 3,000 hospitals worldwide, including more than 2,000 in North America. Denver-based Swisslog Healthcare Solutions offers total system design, manufacturing, installation and customer support – providing an integrated solution for lean workflow and operations that enhances information access, patient safety and cost efficiency.

About Swisslog
Swisslog is a global provider of integrated logistics solutions for warehouses, distribution centers and hospitals. Its comprehensive services portfolio ranges from building complex warehouses and distribution centers to implementing proprietary software for intra-company and hospital logistics solutions.

Swisslog solutions optimize customers’ production, logistics and distribution processes in order to increase flexibility, responsiveness and quality of service while minimizing logistics costs. With years of experience in the development and implementation of integrated logistics solutions, Swisslog provides the expertise that customers in more than 50 countries rely on.

Headquartered in Buchs/Aarau, Switzerland, Swisslog currently employs over 2,000 staff in 20 countries worldwide. The group’s parent company, Swisslog Holding AG, is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (security number: 1232462, Telekurs: SLOG, Reuters: SLOG.S). For more information, visit

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Marian Robinson
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