Manufacturing of medical devices

In terms of deburring and polishing the surfaces of orthopedic implants or injection molding of medical components stringent safety and quality standards plus maximum precision and productivity are called for. Therefor robots from Stäubli are the first choice.

Applications

Premier at K 2013: TX90 cr, production of three-component-drip chambers in just one work step.
TX90 cr robot
Process integration with a peak of perfection: manufacturing of drip chambers with an integrated filter.
While placing the inserts the robot is picking a set of prepared drip chambers.
In the manufacture of disposable needles for insulin pens, the six-axis cleanroom robot TX90 shows sensitivity.

Injection molding of medical devices

In the medical device manufacturing industry, suppliers of plastic injection molding machines are increasingly relying on Stäubli robots. Such machines generally have to be approved for use in cleanroom environments, where Stäubli robots are suited to perform all precisely controlled applications. There is a broad spectrum of concerns regarding single-use medical parts from syringes, infusion sets, dialysis equipment and apparatus, diabetes care products up to surgery implants.

Video

TX90, polishing artificial knee joints.

Surface treatment of implants

The polishing of orthopedic implants is one of many high-precision applications in robotics. Established providers rely on six-axis robots from Stäubli which, thanks to their outstanding accuracy, are ideal for high-precision machining to tight tolerances of three hundredths of a millimeter. For example, the TX90 polishes free-form parts with incredible precision and excellent surface quality.

TX60L, skillfully handling a range of inspection tasks in the mass production of metered-dose inhalers.
TX60L cleanroom robot, ceiling mounted, testing the quality of soft inhalers to destruction.
A TX60L, fast, precise and reliable handling of parts inside a compact robot cell.
The automation system ensures low cycle times and low energy consumption.

Testing inhalers to destruction

Inside a compact robot cell, a Stäubli TX60L is in charge of testing different components for metered-dose inhalers. When production runs are in the millions of units, the most stringent safety and quality standards apply. Tensile and high-pressure testing operates in parallel with production under cleanroom conditions.
The handling of the parts to be tested is performed by a cleanroom Stäubli TX60L. This automation of testing represents a quantum leap. In addition to a significant increase in productivity, the system facilitates adherence to the highest quality standards under reliably reproducible conditions.

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TX60 HE, wet chemical handling of implants, stents and syringes.

Wet chemical treatments in a cleanroom

The cleanroom compatibility, compact design and enclosed structure of Stäubli robots make them ideally suited for integration into production facilities with wet chemical treatment processes.
They have proven their worth in all manner of wet chemical applications such as cleaning, rinsing and coating, as well as electroplating, conditioning and electro polishing of medical products. The high-performance, high-precision six-axis TX series ensures maximum availability and output in sensitive production facilities.

TX40 plays the central role in the selection and placement of artificial teeth in denture sets.
Nine cameras provide in parallel signals for the real-time robot programming.
Tray with opposite molds in which the single teeth are put in an arbitrarily defined position.
Large scale of bulk teeth.
Bulk dentured teeth filling.
End effector when placing a tooth in end position.
Finally pressed teeth on wax strips.
The teeth are separated into eight chambers from where they will be picked.
The geometrical data of the artificial teeth provides information about the best approach angle for the robot gripper.
Start and end position are calculated in real time and communicated to the robot control unit.

Packaging of denture teeth

Stäubli TX40 robots form the core of the system for fully automatic detection and manipulation of organically shaped denture teeth due to their high precision. Loose theeth from a large variety of types are detected, manipulated and placed on blank wax strips. The system calculates and detects any three-dimensional position of the parts and calculates in real time without pre-teaching the collision-free robot path. The robot picks up the teeth, puts them in an arbitrarily defined end position. From there, teeth are fully automatically pressed on wax strips.

VideoPDF (success story)

Primary grinding the hip stems on belt conveyor by Stäubli TX90 robot arm.
Sanding and polishing the hip stems on the radial module.

Processing of hip stems

Quality expectations in the manufacture of medical implants are constantly rising. This calls for manual processes to be automated, wherever possible, to ensure consistent product quality. In the machining center, a Stäubli TX90 robot conveys the implants to the relevant processing stations. The high rigidity of the robot guarantees accurate and reproducible results. After leaving the belt module, the products are sanded and polished on the radial module and then deposited in the logistics module. The latter is adapted to suit customer needs, allowing the system to operate unmanned. Optimized machining strategies for different product variants, has considerably increased system throughput. Cell footprint has been kept to an absolute minimum thanks to the modular and compact design.