The machine, which was built with stainless steel for use in a class 10,000 (ISO 7) cleanroom, is driven by a pick-and-place pharmaceutical grade robot, according to Design World. Needles are put onto a pallet with sheath covers to protect the tip during manually-handled transport, and the robot selects needles from the pallet, removes the sheath, and slides over to the orientator, which locates the bevel side of the needle by rotating it.
From there, the robot moves the needle to the dispensing station where it is plugged and sealed with glue. The safety sheath is then replaced back onto the need tip following the dispensing process.
The robot features a vision system with two cameras—one for the x-axis and one for the Y-axis— which direct the robot during the dispensing process. The machine itself is controlled by a PLC multi-axis control system, which networks with the human machine interface, vision inspection system, and the robot.
With the idea that the machine would improve productivity and allow human workers to focus on less hazardous tasks, the pharmaceutical company seamlessly integrated Automation GT’s system at their facility. The machine was supported by FDA documentation while also meeting all applicable UL inspection and certification standards.
View the Design World article.
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