Fully Automatic Collaborative Robots Checking Cartridges

ProInvent has developed a system of clean room robots, performing challenging inspection tasks with 3D coordinated movements.

ProInvent has in the current project, to our best knowledge, developed the foremost robot and vision technology in the world for glass handling and inspection for “chips and cracks”.

It involves a production system to investigate 400 small vials for a medical drug, so called “cartridges”, for chips and cracks all at once. The cartridges arrive from the glass manufacturers in standardized boxes on pallets and the heavy and monotonous workflows now switch from manual to robotized processes.

Today the collaboration between man and robot is typically that man performs the heaviest and most difficult tasks. But in this project robots collaborate with other robots in 3D coordinated movements and vision guidance enables the robots to solve the task so that everything works fully automatically.

Among other things it is all about creating high productivity, a healthy working environment as well as freeing employees to more valuable work.

The robots are designed and certified to work in clean rooms which means that they are extremely hygienic in their structure and mechanics, they do not emit dust or bacteria and they are easy to clean using disinfectants, enabling the robots and machines to work undisturbed with a minimal of external influences.

ProInvent is currently working on many projects within this category, so some of the solutions used, have already been validated and approved by customers and authorities.

To solve this task ProInvent has developed a unique gripper that is able to handle all 400 vials at once. Two robots from Japanese Fanuc work together to respectively grab the many vials and remove the boxes. A vision system is used to determine the position of the boxes, while a more advanced QC-vision system is investigating every single vial for chips and cracks. The strict rules for medico- and pharma products cause all 400 vials to be discarded, if chips are found in just one single vial. At the same time, it is very urgent to send the vials onwards to the in-feeder for next step in the process, where the vials are washed and filled.

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