NuTec automates syringe manufacturing with Epson SCARA robots

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Automation solutions provider NuTec Tooling Systems has harnessed Epson cleanroom SCARA robots in its syringe coating machine.

The solution will enable a pharmaceutical original equipment manufacturer to develop a cost-effective process for manufacturing mass quantities of syringes to use in the fight against Covid-19.

NuTec’s said its syringe-coating machine employs four Epson G6 cleanroom SCARA robots at various stations to handle the parts efficiently and cost-effectively.

The G6 SCARA has a reach of 450 to 650mm and can carry a payload of up 6kg. The robot can complete a round-trip arch motion, 300mm horizontally and 25mm vertically, in 0.38 seconds.

“Epson’s high-speed G6 SCARA robots with RC+ software enable precision processes with exceptional repeatability and reliability,” said Brent Martz, director of sales and marketing at NuTec.

Epson SCARA robot in NuTec syringe line

In NuTec’s machine, the first SCARA removes syringes from a tub in preparation for the coating process.

After the syringes are coated at a rate of 38 parts per minute, they pass through various inspection stations. The syringes are also siliconised, and temporary caps are changed to final caps.

The syringes are X-ray inspected before they are added back into a plastic container by a second SCARA robot.

Depending on production requirements, each container may contain 100 to 160 syringes.

A third SCARA robot picks up a full container, applies an inner and outer cover, and seals it before releasing it to the fourth SCARA robot, which applies a label with a laser marker.

NuTec said it chose to synchronise the third and fourth SCARAs within the same envelope, reducing a production step and creating greater production efficiency.

Bruce Courtney, managing director of NuTec, added: “Epson’s partnership with NuTec represents the perfect blend of high-performance product and design expertise, which benefits OEMs requiring complex assembly applications in the health and life sciences sector.”

The syringe coating machine has been in operation since November 2020.

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