Life sciences Success story

Outstanding solution for the pharmaceutical industry

Customer benefits
  • Significant improvement in system flexibility
  • Greater productivity
  • Extremely short cycle times with maximum process reliability
  • Safety with highly accurate dosing
A-pack
Manual loading of nests on the rotary table.

Challenge

Filling and closing syringes

A-Pack Technologies SA has in its range an outstanding solution for filling and closing syringes: the 535. This innovative system includes a Stäubli Cleanroom robot TX60 CR and achieves maximum output of up to 4000 syringes per hour.

A-Pack Technologies is a company in the Bausch Advanced Technology Group which is made up of separate companies in Switzerland, Germany, the USA and Brazil. With over 20 years in the design and manufacture of machines for the pharmaceutical industry, the group has acquired a wealth of experience. It offers solutions for complete pharmaceutical packaging lines to process syringes, carpoules, vials, bottles, ampoules and IV bags.

The company is setting process standards for dosing and closing syringes and similar objects with its 535 machine. It is intended to be used for any application involving the automation and/or validation of filling procedures. The manufacturer chose a design conducive to laminar flow and high-quality stainless steel for its machine, plus a fast and accurate six-axis TX60 CR robot from Stäubli.

 

Solution

Robots contribute flexibility to any process

At A-Pack Technologies, it is hoped that the use of a robot will result in a significantly more flexible standard system: “We are increasing the options offered by our standard machine substantially with the robot. The TX60 Cleanroom robot contributes a great deal of flexibility to the handling, dosing and closing processes. Thanks to the robot, it is also possible to integrate additional tasks in the cell. All in all, we are able to process a much wider range of products on the system, with enhanced work content if necessary,” said Jean-Luc Muller, CEO at A-Pack Technologies.

However, maximizing the flexibility of the system on its own is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the customers in the pharmaceutical industry completely. The productivity of the systems is also important. In this respect, the bar is constantly being set higher. With around 4000 syringes per hour, the output of the dosing and closing machine is top-class.

 

Customer benefits

Short cycle times with maximum process reliability

Cycle times of less than a second can only be achieved with innovative system and processing technology and with very fast and highly accurate robots. The Stäubli TX60 CR was designed for precisely these situations. The highly rigid, encapsulated mechanical structure and the compact direct-drive JCM geared motors, developed in-house by Stäubli, permit extremely fast acceleration in every axis.

The system is designed throughout for high output with maximum process reliability with an eye to impressive innovation and attention to detail. The TX60 CR automatically fills and closes syringes quickly, accurately and reliably, even under cleanroom conditions. It is equipped with a pioneering gripper system designed with the benefit of long term experience. One essential feature is that it is used simultaneously for filling and closing the syringes, drastically reducing the system’s cycle times.

Safety with accurate dosing

Accurate dosing of medication plays an essential part in filling the syringes. To ensure a precise dose, the machine has a valve-free dosing unit which achieves filling accuracy of up to ± 0.05 %. To prevent contamination and the formation of bubbles, filling and closing takes place in a vacuum. Thanks to its performance the 535 is setting standards in automatic filling and closing of syringes.

Jean-Luc Muller sums up why the company chose Stäubli robots: “We endeavor not only to fulfill the expectations of our customers in the pharmaceutical industry, but to surpass them. We achieve this with fast, economical and reliable systems in which we use only the best components available on the market. Stäubli was chosen to supply the robots, because in terms of cleanroom suitability, precision, speed and reliability, Stäubli robots are state-of-the-art in pharmaceutical and medical technology.