The four Epson Cleanroom SCARA robots for a pharmaceutical OEM are employed at various stations within the machine to offer automation to the customer’s syringe manufacturing process, according to a news release.
Carson, Calif.-based Epson Robots said the concept of the project came to light in 2018 and the machine was ready for operation in November 2020, allowing for the OEM to work with government agencies to develop a cost-effective process for manufacturing mass quantities of syringes for the worldwide COVID-19 vaccination effort.
NuTec’s machine automates syringe manufacturing with a proprietary coating process, giving plastic syringes properties similar to glass, rather than producing syringes with actual glass, which is more costly.
Epson’s G6 Cleanroom SCARA robot works within the machine to remove syringes from a tub in preparation for the coating process, which coats the syringes at a rate of 38 parts per minute. They then pass through inspection stations before they are siliconized, temporary caps are changed to final caps and then they are x-ray inspected before being added back into a container by a second SCARA robot.
A third SCARA robot then picks up a full container of syringes, applies an inner and outer cover and seals it before moving it along to the fourth robot, which applies a label. NuTec synchronized the third and fourth SCARA robots within the same envelope to reduce a production step.
“At Epson, we innovate to solve today’s challenging automation needs, and our partners play an instrumental role,” Epson Robots group product manager Scott Marsic said in the release. “NuTec’s breadth of experience and talented staff help provide customers with a clear vision of custom automation projects. Together, we deliver the perfect blend of innovative, high-performance solutions and design expertise for complex assembly applications in the medical sector, including COVID-19.”