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Injection Moulded Trays for Pick & Place Robots in Pharmaceutical Operations

A leading and one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, was looking for a solution to replace trays for ‘pick and place’ with a ‘full-functional’ plastic tray, capable of keeping syringes in place while using a ‘pick and place’ robot for packaging their product.

The one-way tray previously used for this operation, didn’t match the exact positions required by the high-speed tray loading systems and filling equipment. This issue led to high set-up times, low productivity, and associated operations costs.

The client’s requirements included a tray that is reusable, with high tolerances and stability capable of reducing setup times and increasing overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

The Challenge

The pharmaceutical company provided DS Smith Plastics’, Injection Moulding business with the opportunity to develop a tray that could place their product in-place consistently to be able to reduce their OEE. To meet these requirements, trays needed to be 100% consistent in size tolerances and thus compatible with the advanced robot systems that performed their pick, place & fill operations.

Our Approach

After actively listening to customer requirements, Plastics’, Injection Moulded Products designed an ergonomically designed tray capable of increasing the OEE of this particular operation by being capable of retaining the syringes in place during the automatic ‘pick, place and fill’ operations consistently.

Results:

The final product delivered consists of injection moulded trays that are easy to use thanks to their ergonomic design; meet the strict tolerances and precision consistency required by their advanced robotic systems that performed their pick, place & fill operations. All of the above allowed for a considerable reduction in set-up times.

In addition to meeting stringent tolerances for product consistency, the quality of the plastic material utilized in the manufacturing of this tray, complies with the strict requirements of the pharmaceutical industry that addresses precision, sterility, traceability and safety. Trays can be sterilized and material lots used in its manufacturing traced with different identification systems such as RFID, QR or an individual code. In addition, to the material, each tray is traceable by production date, manufacturing location and number of rotations used during its manufacturing process.

Furthermore, the tray’s ergonomic design, allows for a stable and safe stacking, thus ensuring an optimal transport-load and minimum storage costs. The trays are durable, sustainable and 100% recyclable.