Robots lend a hand in secondary packaging

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Collaborative work in secondary packaging. Image credit: Vetter Pharma International GmbH)
(Collaborative work in secondary packaging. Image credit: Vetter Pharma International GmbH)

Related tags: vetter, CDMO

Vetter recently completed a successful pilot project to automate aspects of its secondary packaging series with the use of a dual-arm robot – which provides a high degree of continuity and precision, says CDMO.

Since 2018, the global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) has been using the collaborative dual-arm robot YuMi (You and Me) to support automated secondary packaging processes. Now, the company is planning to purchase additional robots.

Markus Kirchner, a corporate spokesperson for Vetter, said the aim is to meet two needs: Customers’ high-quality standards and a desire for increased flexibility.

As the name suggests, collaborative robots enable humans and machines to cooperate closely. “It realizes an important task with a high degree of continuity and precision,”​ said Kirchner, “and it offers excellent user-friendliness in the collaboration with our employees, who supply the robot‘s work station with the required material and define its specific sequence of moves.”

Kirchner said the company plans to continue its efforts and progress on collaborative work in the future.

“Following a successful pilot project which included the use of a dual-arm robot in secondary packaging, we are now planning the purchase of additional robots,” ​he told us.

“Beside a further model used also for secondary packaging tasks, another robot will be used for what is known as speed-bin-picking in aseptic production where prefilled syringes are placed into trays after terminal sterilization,”​ Kirchner added.

The German power and automation technology group, ABB, first unveiled YuMi at Hannover Messe in 2015. YuMi features a magnesium skeleton covered in floating plastic casing, which is then wrapped in padding for safety.

The collaborative dual-arm industrial robot was initially designed for the consumer electronics industry, but its use has expanded to help companies automate various processes – which, according to BCG Research, could reduce manufacturing labor costs by up to 30% by 2025.

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