May 08, 2013
Our expertise in micro-automation is gaining attention in the medical industry. Read our latest case story on Product Design and Development.
Pharmaceutical companies often assemble medical syringes by hand. Manual assembly is time-consuming, potentially dangerous and lacks the repeatability and reliability of an automated solution.
Automation GT was asked by a leading pharmaceutical company to design and build a system to prepare needles for drug filling. This task was previously carried out by hand, completing only a few per batch.
But how do you automate a process that handles needles with a tip smaller than a pinpoint?
Specialists in the design of micro-automation, Automation GT provided a dramatic increase in productivity, with a state-of-the-art robot fed machine. To reduce the safety risk associated with manual handling of needles, the machine plugs the end of the needle to prepare it for backfilling with medicine.
The customer required an advanced pharmaceutical-grade system that would deliver an accurate throughput of twenty units per minute. Built using stainless steel for use in a class 10,000 (ISO 7) clean room, the machine is rapidly driven by a precision pick-and-place pharmaceutical grade robot.
The machine handles needles with tips smaller than a pinpoint. Each needle is covered by a sheath to protect the user from the sharp tip when manually handled during transport. The robot swiftly selects a needle from the pallet, removes the sheath and slides over to the orientator, which locates the bevel side of the needle by rotating it vertically.
With rapid, purposeful motion, the robot takes the needle to the dispensing station and a special biodegradable glue that is smaller than the ID of the recipient needle is applied.