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Tray Loader and Unloader for Solution Bags

challenge

A medical company wanted to automate the process of loading bags of saline solution onto trays for sterilization and then unloading them back on to the production line for packaging.
 
The machine needed to have the flexibility to handle different models of the saline bags while ensuring that they were arranged in the desired orientation. It also had to fit into the existing tight space. In addition, the system had to handle the wet saline bags after they emerged from the sterilization chamber.

solution

Working closely with the customer’s technical team, our team resolved the challenges and delivered the first loader and unloader system in 2008. This was followed by a second and third system in 2012 and 2015, which can handle a higher throughput.

  • Throughput of up to 90 bags/min for bags of various sizes & configurations
  • Able to arrange the bags of saline in a preferred orientation for optimal sterilization in the sterilizing chamber
  • Able to lift and stack trays of saline, each weighing at least 100kg with the use of heavy duty robotic arms, thus eliminating the need of human labor
  • Inline vision system included to ensure that the correct product is handled and loaded in the correct orientation
  • Robot end effector is designed to handle both individual bag and the tray carrying the bags

outcomes and benefits

Our team developed a robotic system capable of exactly what the customer wanted. The tray loader and unloader system transfers and arranges solution bags from production line to customized truck for sterilization. After the sterilization process, it then transfers the sterilized bags back on to the production line for final packaging.
 
The system enabled the customer to improve its productivity by replacing at least 20 operators over three shifts for manual handling of the bags. At the same time, since the system ensured the bags are arranged on the tray in the preferred orientation for sterilization, it also enabled the customer to improve its yield as a result of reduction in number of rejects arising from mishandling of bags by hand.
Robots Handle Trays of Sterilized Saline Bags for Increased Productivity
Industry
Life Sciences
Technical Capabilities
Material Handling Solutions Robotics Integration Vision Applications
Region
Door Hinge Robots 2

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