Filling, Capping & Labelling

There are many wastes within a manufacturing process and time is a waste which crops up over and over again. Labour is a big issue which affects this. Some tasks can be extremely laborious resulting in inaccuracies and a reduction in quality.

 

SP Automation & Robotics were approached by a high profile pharmaceutical company who were looking to reduce the amount of labour involved in their current process to increase throughput, repeatability, robustness and improve quality. This involved medical vials being filled with a liquid, screw capped and labelled. Due to the class of cleanroom that was being used for the filling process, the labelling was done outside of the cleanroom.

The Challenge

 

The challenge was to provide a system to increase output of completed devices from 5 per minute to a rate of 35parts/min, along with fully checking all parts/assemblies for dispensed liquid weight and labelling.

 

  • Automatic infeed of vials from trays
  • Automatic filling, weighing and off-loading of devices
  • Labelling outside of cleanroom conditions.
  • Accurately weighing/dispensing to +/-20mg
  • Fitting within tight constraints of a cleanroom environment

Solution

 

Manually loaded trays of vials are picked and placed by a robotic system and automatically transfers the vials from the trays on to a bespoke indexing table which presents them to each of the stations for weighing, filling, check weighing and capping before removal onto an output conveyor for transition through the clean room partition wall via a dedicated conveyor to a labelling.

 

After the initial loading, the vial is presented at the first of the weigh station, picked from the indexer and placed on a scale to obtain a tare weight. The weighed vial is then indexed for filling at the dispense station and once filled, is then indexed to the second weigh station where it is check weighed.

 

A bowl feed system then feeds caps to an escapement, where a dual capping head then removes the leading cap, and transfers it on to the vial and screwed to a fixed position using a predefined torque.

 

Finished assemblies are picked from the indexing table and placed onto the output conveyor. From here they are transported out of the clean room and into a labelling module for a wraparound label to be applied using an SP designed labelling system.

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