Assembly and packaging of cryogas cartridges
The CryoPen is considered to be an innovative alternative to the scalpel in the removal of skin blemishes. To meet increasing global demand for gas cartridges to be used with the CryoPen, the manufacturer has opted for a pioneering automated solution, in which two Stäubli robots operate in tandem.
CryoPen from H&O Equipment’s offers dermatologists a patient-friendly treatment. Stringent quality standards apply in the production and packaging of the cartridges.
Each cartridge has a tiny outlet with a diameter of around four millimeters, which opens the cartridge in a controlled manner as it is screwed into the CryoPen and is also equipped with a filter.
The cartridges are produced in large quantities and therefore, H&O set out at an early stage to automate the assembly of the filter and the packaging of the cartridges.
Division of labor between a SCARA and a six-axis robot
The systems engineers designed a cell in which two Stäubli robots share the work. A TS60 SCARA is mainly responsible for the assembly of the openers. The constituent parts are picked by the four-axis machine at three feeder points. The even distribution of these tiny components takes place by means of vibration platforms, above these are stationary cameras which relay precise positional data enabling the robot to pick out the parts.
The fast TS60 handles a complex task profile: it takes the main body of the opener from the feed system and places it on an assembly rig. The TS60 then attaches the filter and the upper element which it has fetched from the other two feeder stations. The fully assembled openers are then deposited on a tray.
While the SCARA is assembling the openers, a six-axis Stäubli TX90 robot, also assisted by a camera, picks up the cartridges from a container and places twelve of them in a blister pack. Once this is done, the SCARA interrupts its assembly work and fills the blister pack with twelve openers. A camera then scans the blister pack for completion; the TX90 changes its gripper and pushes the tray into the blister sealing device. In performing the various tasks, which include the interim stacking of trays with finished openers, the automatic gripper exchange function on the TX90 really comes into its own.
Ultra-efficient assembly and packaging in a single cell
System provider Axymatic chose Stäubli robots for multiple reasons, not merely on the basis that they have virtually become the industry standard in the life sciences. Axymatic CEO Werner Geeroms: “With their hygienic design, Stäubli robots are the benchmark in the medical and pharmaceutical industry. For our application, we also had specific demands in terms of precision. Stäubli robots have set the standard with their patented drive technology which enables them to fulfill all specifications required.”
H&O and Axymatic have achieved a highly sophisticated concept. The work is shared efficiently between two robots, with space-saving assembly and packaging in a single cell, reliable feeding of unsorted small parts and high cycle rate. The plant has been in operation since January 2018. It runs 20 hours a day and operates to the full satisfaction of senior management.