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Pharma 3D Line Liquid Production grey robots

Automation solutions for all GMP grades

MOVE on with your automation upgrade

“While robots installed within isolators are now a must, many tasks are still performed by operators. Automation upgrades are a key trend with various objectives: aligning current production with Annex 1, eliminating manual tasks with high risk of musculoskeletal problems, or simply compensating for a lack of resources in specific areas. Mobile robotics will bring a new wave of automation upgrades with these same goals, as well as adding data collection to optimize workflows. With pharma offerings that include products for each grade of the pharma environment, global system integrator expertise on key applications, and a dedicated Mobile Robotics team, Stäubli Robotics stays attuned to customer issues as they arise.” 


Sébastien Lagarde | Global Pharma & Medical Market Leader

No fear of upgrades: Automate with the right partner

Range, payload capacity, speed, cleanability, compatibility with decontamination agents and processes, as well as particle emissions in accordance with cleanroom classes: all these are factors that define the degree of automation in the pharmaceutical environment and thus the achievement of the desired cycle times. And this at very different levels of requirement: There is work in the isolator (Class A). For example, Class A/B allows limited manual interventions in RABS. Class C is characterized by handling in inspection and secondary packaging. And even in final packaging and logistics, automation is essential. Statistics show that the trend is clearly towards automating existing plants. How we meet our customers' automation challenges, you will discover at ACHEMA.

Flexible Manufacturing Processes from automatic to autonomous

Manufacturing processes are nowadays fully automated – industry trends nevertheless require the next step: Less and less manual operations are requested due to labour shortages, lack of experience, commercial aspects and others. Automatic process equipments are forced to move into autonomous systems to create holistic valuable solutions for highly demanding manufacturing processes under extremely regulated circumstances. Process equipment together with stationary and mobile robotics need to form a completely new bound of trust between humans and machines in manufacturing concept designs. 

Enjoy the fully autonomous pharma factory of the future in collaboration with our partner Harro Höfliger, Germany.

We see four distinct levels of requirements for pharmaceutical production equipment, including robots, in different production areas. The first and most restrictive area, namely closed environments within isolators, is critical and reserved for highly aseptic needs. Here automation equipment and robots that comply with VHP decontamination procedures have been the norm for decades. The second area, also considered sterile, allows limited manual interventions inside RABs or Grade A/B, where product containers are still open and the risk of cross-contamination remains high. H2O2 is used to mitigate this risk and all equipment must be selected accordingly.

In the third area, typically Grade C, robots handle closed containers for inspection and secondary packaging. Cleaning with alcohol wipes is employed here, and limited human intervention is allowed. In the fourth area, dedicated to final packaging and logistics, the environment is comparable to that of a standard factory, although appropriate cleaning measures must still be taken in pharma.

More Information

Robot sales data reveal some eye-opening trends.

We have seen marked growth in the number of pharmaceutical robots – about 70 % - deployed in the third and fourth areas, with the remaining 30 % in the sterile area.

The same growth pattern is expected in the coming year. And, in a comparison of robots procured for existing plants versus new ones, we see a clear trend in favor of upgrading automation in existing production lines.