This project involved a collaboration with a US based global healthcare company employing approximately 94,000 staff worldwide and serving over 150 countries. The company boasts an impressive portfolio of leading, science based offerings in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritional and branded generic pharmaceuticals.

 

The Challenge

The specifications required the development of a production line that would automatically handle and leak decay test new products across a variety of their global sites. An essential requirement for this particular solution was the seamless integration with an already existing up/downstream standard equipment.

Our Approach

  • Product ranged from ∅10mm x 25mm high to rectangular 140mm high bottles.
  • The feeding mechanism required an infeed set-up to fill therefore a star wheel principle was incorporated.
  • Key to creating a buffer an accumulation set-up was designed – this allowed for downstream equipment downtime (20mins) before stopping the filling line.
  • A roof mounted Epson G10 SCARA was used with a purpose-built end effector to handle the various bottle configurations.
  • Integration of a Sciemetric vacuum decay set-up.
  • All materials used were fully traceable and suitable for a wet test environment. The leak test set-up was a bespoke configuration and tested 8 products in one cycle.
  • Start and end automatic calibrations ensured the process was in line with the product quality requirements.
  • Allen Bradley platform with Ethernet coms to all valve blocks and to the Inputs and Outputs needed to control external feed mechanisms.
  • Plc specification included a connection to upstream and downstream machines (via a network) and an Ethernet IP card was installed for connection to the plant system (MRP – database tracking).
  • A modem was installed for online PLC support. All servos were controlled from the PLC via a Servos network, this allowed far better control, feedback and status of the servos as it was integrated into the one software.

The Result

  • A new technology and process was developed opening up other ranges of devices.
  • A fully validated process.
  • Quality assured product outcome – full data product tracking.
  • Increase in productivity – Output rate of 70PPM.
  • Accreditation with a global, leading, manufacturing facility with future endeavours.
  • Full global service and support contracts in place.

All our solutions are tailored to our customers specific production requirements and manufactured to the highest quality. For a full portfolio of our standard offerings review our comprehensive Process Catalogue.

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