Medical Manufacturing Automation

Sep 15, 2023

The medical industry is using robots for surgical applications and medical-device manufacturing, and also within pharmaceutical and hospital settings. The manufacturers really like the flexibility that robots offer during continuously changing operations while also tackling the rapid pace of new product development.


Robots have recent­ly been recruit­ed to work on sur­gi­cal appli­ca­tions, but they are also more com­mon­ly used for automat­ing oper­a­tions in med­ical-device man­u­fac­tur­ing, as well as phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and hos­pi­tal set­tings. Med­ical man­u­fac­tur­ers need to have the flex­i­bil­i­ty to adapt to con­tin­u­ous change, and automa­tion sys­tems must help them respond to the rapid pace of new prod­uct development.

A mod­u­lar, auto­mat­ed trans­port sys­tem to assem­ble and move med­ical device mod­els is essen­tial. Mod­u­lar motion con­trol pro­motes lay­out flex­i­bil­i­ty to max­i­mize space and foot­prints while sav­ing mon­ey. Because of the line changes and recon­fig­u­ra­tion required to han­dle med­ical device prod­ucts, the mod­u­lar motion con­trol pro­motes opti­mized workflows.

Force-con­trol sens­ing and vision-guid­ed sys­tems rep­re­sent advan­tages for med­ical automa­tion. Fanucs iRVi­sion allows users to check the integri­ty of the process with ver­i­fi­ca­tion and trace­abil­i­ty. A robot equipped with iRVi­sion can not only grab a part and put it in a box, but present it to a cam­era and read the bar code as well, which ensures prod­uct safe­ty. Force-con­trol sens­ing enables the robot to feel” and to assem­ble with high­er pro­cess­ing power.

Lab­o­ra­to­ry automa­tion is anoth­er large part of robot­ic med­ical appli­ca­tions, like drug dis­cov­ery. This requires robots to load com­po­nents into microtiter plates to come up with a com­pound to kill bugs. ABBs IRB 20 6‑axis mod­el is well-suit­ed for these oper­a­tions, as are Carte­sian robots with SCARA.

Acme Man­u­fac­tur­ing Co. spe­cial­izes in man­u­fac­tur­ing turnkey robot­ic fin­ish­ing sys­tems. For these appli­ca­tions, Acme uses Fanuc robots. The sys­tems designed and built by Acme are for cen­ter­less grind­ing, robot­ic fin­ish­ing, flat-stock grind­ing, and cus­tom turnkey solu­tions. They pol­ish and fin­ish med­ical implants such as knees, hip stems, cups, balls, and shells, tib­ia trays, bone plates, and nails. Fin­ish­ing appli­ca­tions such as these can be very dan­ger­ous for a human, so a robot is an ide­al solu­tion. Acme devel­oped an Ultra-Light Float­ing Head for med­ical part fin­ish­ing. It uses auto­mat­ic force con­trol for the fin­ish­ing heads for opti­mal com­pli­ance. This pro­duces greater repeata­bil­i­ty and improved prod­uct quality. 

ABB Robot­ics uses many of their med­ical robots for high-speed pick-and-place appli­ca­tions. Their Flex­Pick­er robots can kit prod­ucts like blis­ter packs and can also pol­ish hip and knee replace­ments. The Flex­Pick­er is also use­ful in large drug man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies since they are built for speed 

Robot­ic automa­tion also aids phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies with their work on assays. There is an abun­dance of test­ing occur­ring in order to shrink the field. These com­pa­nies are dis­cov­er­ing that robots can deliv­er bet­ter process con­sis­ten­cy. Adept Tech­nol­o­gy Inc. recent­ly signed an agree­ment to be the exclu­sive provider of robots to Swiss­log Health­care Solu­tions for use in hos­pi­tals, labs, and clin­ics. Their robots will trans­port spec­i­mens, lab sam­ples, and pharmaceuticals.

Robots​.com can eas­i­ly help you auto­mate the pro­duc­tion or pack­ag­ing of med­ical instru­ments. Con­tact us today online or at 8777626881 for help on which med­ical robot is best for you.

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