Robots increase in the pharmaceutical industry

Dec 17, 2013

The pharmaceutical industry is helping to advance the speeds and efficiency on the production line while also reducing the typical errors. Robots also help to meet the very strict hygiene regulations, keeping the health industry safe and affordable.


The use of robot­ics will con­tin­ue to increase in the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal indus­try because of its effi­cien­cy, high speed, and reduc­tion in errors as com­pared with man­u­al work­ers. Fur­ther, robots can meet the demand for com­ply­ing with strict hygiene regulations. 

Robot automa­tion ensures reduced patient wait­ing times for out­pa­tients and dis­charge patients and time­ly stock deliv­er­ies. The use of robots also allows staff to enhance time spent with patients while dis­pens­ing time is reduced. Final­ly, pre­ven­tion is key: dis­pens­ing errors are reduced, and staff slack­ing” is reduced, which increas­es the pharmacy’s efficiency.

The key ben­e­fits of using a dis­pens­ing robot in the phar­ma­cy include time sav­ings, since the robot can input and out­put mul­ti­ple packs in one move­ment, patient wait­ing times are decreased, and staff can spend time on oth­er tasks. Anoth­er ben­e­fit is sav­ing space. Robots can stock a shelf four times more effi­cient­ly than in the past. Final­ly, accu­ra­cy is enhanced, includ­ing stock con­trol accu­ra­cy and bar­code stock iden­ti­fi­ca­tion check. 

In the past, robot­ic pick­ing, pack­ing, and pal­letiz­ing have been proven to reduce man­u­al labor. How­ev­er, oth­er fac­tors are now increas­ing in impor­tance in the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal indus­try. Easy-to-use hygien­ic pick­ing and pack­ing robots with inte­grat­ed vision sys­tems has helped place empha­sis on high­er out­puts and effi­cien­cy, as well as con­sis­tent qual­i­ty and hygiene.

ABB offers a trio of robots that can cope with the demands of vac­cine han­dling and its pack­ag­ing. They are designed specif­i­cal­ly for pick­ing, pack­ing, and pal­letiz­ing. Vac­cines require spe­cif­ic types of pack­ag­ing that demand spe­cial han­dling. The ABB IRB 660 Flex Pal­letiz­er has two built-in scan­ners to con­sign box­es onto a pal­let for ship­ping. Then, the ABB Flex­Pick­er pack­ages oral vac­cines for polio, using vision-aid­ed con­vey­or track­ing to aid the pack­ing motion. Final­ly, the ABB IRB 260 anchors a pack­ag­ing line for flu and menin­gi­tis vac­cines, with up to 500 syringes a minute. 

Robot­ic infeeds ensure that in drug deliv­ery device assem­bly pack­ag­ing lines, effi­cien­cy is achieved. A phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal man­u­fac­tur­er need­ed an auto­mat­ed high-speed sys­tem for assem­bling and pack­ag­ing a drug deliv­ery device. The sys­tem inte­grat­ed feed­ing and pack­ag­ing equip­ment, includ­ing Fanuc LR Mate 200iB robots with ESS-designed end-of-arm tool­ing to han­dle the assem­bly, col­lat­ing, and load­ing of the drug deliv­ery devices. The robots were able to main­tain the required infeed speeds, and these infeed cells also served as dis­charge and inspect­ing sys­tems. This allowed a high-speed, high per­for­mance, high­ly flex­i­ble pack­ag­ing line.

Robots​.com sup­plies a large vari­ety of robots that can be used in the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal indus­try. Con­tact us today for a free quote or dis­cuss what you are look­ing to inte­grate at 8777626881 or reach us online.

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