Robotic System Loads Trays for Prefilled Syringes

Published on: 
Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology-12-02-2018, Volume 42, Issue 12
Pages: 12

A robotic tray-loading system from ESS Technologies gently handles glass prefilled syringes.

ESS Technologies, an authorized system integrator for FANUC America, has designed a robotic tray-loading system that gently handles glass prefilled syringes. The high-speed pick-and-place system integrates three FANUC LR Mate 200iD robots with ESS-designed end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) to automate loading five-count thermoformed trays at a rate of up to 25 trays per minute.

The operator manually loads thermoformed trays into high-capacity tray magazines. Syringes enter the starwheel infeed via an infeed track that connects to the syringe-filling equipment at a rate of 125 syringes per minute. A starwheel picks syringes and lays them in carriers on the infeed conveyor. The first FANUC robot uses vacuum EOAT to pick a tray and, with the help of line tracking, places it on the lugged tray transport conveyor. A second robot, also equipped with line tracking, picks five syringes from the syringe infeed conveyor, loads three in the tray, and rotates the remaining two syringes 180-degrees before placing them to complete the tray. Any missed syringes fall into a soft discharge bin to be manually re-introduced into the robotic tray-loading cell.


Loaded trays convey to a tamping station that gently presses all five syringes into their locking cavities. At the discharge, a third FANUC robot uses a hybrid vacuum/gripper EOAT to rotate a tray and stack it on the tray that follows. The robot then picks both trays and places them on a discharge conveyor for downstream inspection and cartoning. 

Source: ESS Technologies