Vial and syringe filling automated by robots and vision

Automated Systems of Tacoma contracted Olympus Controls to develop the system comprising an In-Sight Micro system from Cognex mounted on a Staubli TX-60 HE six-axis industrial robot.

Machines that are used to fill vials, syringes, and other containers for pharmaceutical manufacturers are typically dedicated to one task. However, Automated Systems of Tacoma (AST, Tacoma, WA, USA) was asked by a life science research company to develop an alternative to conventional pharmaceutical filling machinery having the capability to fill and finish all their small-scale clinical trial products with a single flexible platform. AST developed a vision-guided robotics system, the AsepticCell, with the flexibility to handle various sizes of prefilled syringes, vials, cartridges, and IV bags with minimal product changeover times.

AST contracted Olympus Controls (Beaverton, OR, USA) to develop the system, which comprises an In-Sight Micro system from Cognex (Natick, MA, USA) mounted on a Staubli TX-60 HE six-axis industrial robot. Two Staubli robots in the aseptic processing area contain all of the tooling required to fill containers, purge the containers of oxygen by filling it with nitrogen to avoid infiltration, apply stoppers, and heat seal an IV bag. The processing tasks can be apportioned between the two robots. The customer desired the system to have built in redundancy so if one robot should go down, the machine can still operate at 50% of its full capacity using the functional robot arm.

SOURCE: Cognex

Posted by Vision Systems Design

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