Melbourne Design Awards - City Design Awards

OPTILINE Sheep Drench

Melbourne Design Awards 2010 - Finalist

Project Overview

OPTILINE™ is unlike any product on the market. It is the only drencher created with both operator ergonomics and animal welfare in mind. It is not a modification of an existing drencher but an entirely different approach to drenching.

Project Team

Commissioner

Novartis Animal Health Inc

Creators

Simcro
Design + Industry

Project Brief

OPTILINE™ is a ground breaking oral drench gun developed specifically for administering Novartis Animal Health’s ZOLVIX ® (monepantel), a revolutionary sheep drench for the treatment of parasitic worms.

Sheep drenching systems have varied little in decades, until now. The radical design is an entirely new approach, making drenching easier, more efficient, and safer for both the operator and the animal being treated. Farmers can now drench more animals per hour with less operator stress and fatigue. This is thanks to the unique design providing superior control while drenching, a better balance, and heightened operator sensitivity throughout the job.

Project Innovation / Need

OPTILINE™ is unlike any product on the market. It is the only drencher created with both operator ergonomics and animal welfare in mind. It is not a modification of an existing drencher but an entirely different approach that required Simcro to think “outside the box”.

The Ergonomic design of the OPTILINE™ drencher enables the operator to drench more animals per hour with less operator stress and fatigue compared with current drenching equipment. This is thanks to a revolutionary design providing superior control while drenching, a better balance and heightened operator sensitivity throughout the job.

Throughout the research and development process, animal welfare was front of mind. The oral insertion process had to be tailored to minimise the chance of thrusting the nozzle too far down the animal’s throat (hence the mouth guard) allow left or right handed operators the same wide range of adjustment to ensure maximum comfort for both sheep and user (hence the fully rotating nozzle).

Comfortable, quick, accurate, animal-friendly and easy to use – not the words normally associated with drenching animals, but OPTILINE™ ergonomics, angle of approach and user-friendly design make it a breakthrough in drenching systems. Accurate dosing means accurate and efficient deployment of labour.

Design Challenge

Simcro challenged the design of the traditional pistol-grip style drench gun, a design which has not changed from its basic form since being introduced over 30 years ago. The inherent design flaw of the pistol-grip style drench gun is that the drench nozzle points away from the operator, requiring the operator to rotate their hand through 180 degrees to administer the drench into the sheep’s mouth. The resulting incompatible biomechanics results in significant operator fatigue and discomfort, and with sustained use, injury to the wrist, forearm and back.

OPTILINE™ has overcome these problems by having the drench nozzle protruding from the base of the operator’s hand, allowing for a natural presentation of the drench gun with precise control, thus minimising stress to the operator and animal.

The patented radical configuration of the ergonomic gun brought with it significant design challenges that needed to be resolved. By placing the nozzle at the base of the gun air bubbles were difficult to expel when priming so a patented valve was developed that cleverly directs the airflow out through the base. The patented valve allows the gun to be easily primed in just a few seconds and ensures no wasted product or air bubbles. Another significant design challenge was the patented auto-lock dose setting with variable dose adjustment feature. The dose guard was developed to prevent the dose dial moving or being knocked during operation preventing the possibility of the dosage changing throughout the day.

Sustainability

As a company, Simcro are sensitive to the environment and aim to minimise our carbon footprint.

Our high quality and precision engineered products last longer (up to 100,000 uses for an applicator) so we reduce material wastage.

OPTILINE™ patented value technology provides precise and accurate dosage readings ensuring the correct dose is delivered to the animal. The value technology doesn’t need to be primed meaning no wasted ZOLVIX® drench fluid.

OPTILINE™ is sold in environmentally friendly cardboard packaging that can easily be dissembled and flat packed for easy recycling.