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Novel Combination Locking Cap for Prescription Drugs

Novel Combination Locking Cap for Prescription Drugs

New plastic locking cap uses Dukane’s ultrasonic welding system for speed, accuracy, and precision manufacturing

Cap-N-Lock LLC, Lincoln, Calif., has developed the industry’s first combination locking cap offering maximum security against unauthorized use of prescription medications. The plastic locking cap is claimed to be the safest child-proof cap, provides maximum protection against teen prescription use, and is a senior-friendly packaging option. The device uses precision ultrasonic welding technology from Dukane’s Intelligent Assembly Solutions (IAS) Division for speed, accuracy, and precision manufacturing.  At the February 2011 Medical Design and Manufacturing West show Dukane demonstrated welding the cap on its new iQ servo welder in its Lean Manufacturing Cell .

The locking cap has combination dials which create a barrier to entry for young children and teens, according to Joseph Simpson, president of Cap-N-Lock LLC. The company produces the cap and two adapters which fit a wide range of the most common prescription bottles. The locking cap components, molded by Henry Plastics, Fremont, Calif., consist of eight injection molded parts made of lightweight, strong acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) plastic. Assembly and manufacturing is done by Cap-N-Lock LLC.

The locking cap unit is assembled from the bottom up with the locking mechanism (dial numbers included) dropped in first, followed by a tension plate and then the lower twist-on cap. The lower housing ring is then ultrasonically welded to the main housing to complete the assembly.

The speed, accuracy, and precision of the ultrasonic welding process are critical in the production of the locking cap, according to Simpson. “The weld needs to be perfect every time to ensure a high level of quality control,” says Simpson.

Dukane worked with Cap-N-Lock from the concept stage and provided feasibility studies, design assistance, tooling, and on-site support. Dukane ultimately provided a turnkey assembly system which included custom tooling (horn), a custom nesting (holding) fixture, and a press system.

The locking cap is sold as an aftermarket product for $9.99 at Save Mart and Ralph’s supermarkets on the West Coast. It is also available at and will soon be offered at pharmacies.