INNOVATIVE ROBOTIC SOLUTIONS FOR MEDICAL AND PHARMACEUTICAL APPLICATIONS
The integration of robotics in the fields of medicine and pharmaceuticals has ushered in a new era of precision, efficiency, and innovation. From pharmaceutical production to hospital automation, there are a range of applications that are benefitting from robots and automation systems.
Universal Robots Cobots Offer Helping Hand
In a sector where cleanliness and hygiene are of paramount importance, Universal Robots collaborative robots (cobots) are an intelligent, flexible automation solution for medical and pharmaceutical applications.
Cobots can help with a number of tasks from packaging pharmaceutical goods to assisting in surgeries, as well as mixing, counting, dispensing and inspecting. They are also ideal for sterile handling and assembly of small delicate parts used in prosthetics, implants and other medical devices.
In one case, two UR5e cobots were used by the Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark to automate the manual sorting of blood samples for four different pathways for further analysis. The robots handled approximately 3,000 samples per day, 7-8 tubes per minute.
Tray Palletisers for Pharmaceutical Packaging and Products
IEF Werner’s varioSTACK CF (Clean Factory) tray palletisers are used in the production of high quality, medical grade glass cartridges by Gerresheimer Medical Systems.
In a cleanroom environment, the varioSTACK CF is required to sort the cartridges into different containers to cost-effectively replace operators who previously had to pick cartridges from a tube and place them into polypropylene (PP) boxes. The investment now means operators are free to perform other, more valuable and rewarding tasks.
IEF Werner tray palletisers are available in the UK from RARUK Automation.
ER-FLEX Mobile Robot Used for Hospital Lab Automation
The ER-FLEX mobile robot from Enabled Robotics combines technology from Mobile Industrial Robots and Universal Robots to create and autonomous mobile robot with the flexibility of a 6-axis robotic arm.
The Hospital of South West Jutland in Denmark implemented an ER-FLEX to automate sample collection and transportation. Previously, staff would have had to run the samples to the lab themselves 35 – 40 times a day.
The ER-FLEX was the ideal “hospital helper” as its intelligent sensors allow for autonomous navigation, with the robot even being able to take elevators and open fridge doors on its own.
FlexiBowl ISO 5 Cleanroom Compatible Versions
FlexiBowl® is a flexible part feeding system from ARS Automation, which is compatible with a range of collaborative and industrial robots. The ISO 5 cleanroom compatible versions of FlexiBowl® are ideal for pharmaceutical, medtech and life science industrial production environments.
Whilst maintaining all features of the standard FlexiBowl®, the ISO 5 cleanroom compatible versions feature pneumatic components specific for cleanroom use, a perforated top screen to favour laminar flow and a suitable product contact surface.
Labman Collaborative Lab Solutions
Labman Automation specialise in creating world-leading custom laboratory automation products. Two of Labman’s recent innovations feature UR3e and UR5e Universal Robots cobots supplied by RARUK Automation.
MultiDose is an automated solid dosing system that combines an XPR balance and dosing module with a UR3e cobot arm. A key benefit of the solution is that it frees up workers to fulfil other tasks.
The MultiDose system frees up to 6 hours of lab technician time per day, which increases efficiency meaning that products can be brought to testing, trial and roll-out faster.
Another robotic system from Labman is The Collaborative Formulator. The system is an open platform collaborative system designed to intuitively formulate coloured products. Utilising a UR5e cobot to tend the formulating system, The Collaborative Formulator has an impressive dispensing accuracy of 2 mg and smart self-teaching algorithms.