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Syringe Tray Loadding

Product Used: TaskMate Robotic Systems(R) Pick and Place for Loading Trays

The Challenge: A manufacturer of pre-filledRobotic Tray Loader for Pre-filled Syringes syringes needed to automate a high-speed process to load thermoformed trays with pre-filled syringes and stack loaded trays for downstream packaging. The system needed to gently feed the glass syringes to the tray loading robot as well as press them into trays without breaking the fragile injectibles.

The Solution: ESS Technologies integrated threeStarwheel Infeed for Pre-filled Syringes (3) FANUC LRMate 200iD robots with custom, ESS-designed end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) to automate the high-speed syringe packaging line. Two of the robots utilized line tracking, which allowed them to locate the syringes and trays on the moving conveyor.

How it Works: Pre-filled syringes enter the robotic cell at a rateFANUC Robots for Tray and Syringe Pick-and-Place of up to 120-125 syringes per minute. The syringes transfer from the track to a starwheel that gently places them in the lugged infeed conveyor. As the syringes convey into the cell, the first robot picks thermoformed trays from the magazine and places them in the tray transport conveyor. The second robot uses line tracking to locate syringes on the conveyor, pick them, and place them in the tray. The robot picks three syringes and places them in the trays. The six-axis robot then picks two more syringes, rotates them and places them in the same tray to create a nested 5-count pattern.

Fully loaded trays pass through a tamping station that presses the syringes to fully seat them in tray. The third robot picks the filled trays, rotates and stacks them as in the correct pattern and places the stacked trays on the customer’s conveyor for further downstream packaging. A soft rework bin allows unpicked syringes to be reintroduced to the system without damaging the syringes. The cell is enclosed in PLe-rated gasketed and interlocked polycarbonate safety guarding. An Allen Bradley CompactLogix PLC and PanelView Plus 1000 color, touchscreen HMI provides easy-to-use operator controls. Changeover occurs in 15 minutes, typically.

The Results: The installed TaskMate(R) Robotic Syringe TrayTaskMate Tray Stacking and Discharge Robot Loading System yielded a production rate of the 25 fully loaded trays per minute, each tray with five syringes. This represented a significant increase in production capacity for the customer. The compact tray loader minimized the floor space requirements, and the three-robot system requires only one operator, allowing valuable human resources to be reassigned to processes that are not suited for automation.
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