Moving the needles
ESS Technologies introduces three FANUC LR Mate 200iD robots
Incorporating three FANUC LR Mate 200iD robots with custom-designed end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) for gentle handling of fragile, pre-filled glass syringes, the new robotic tray-loading system from ESS Technologies is designed to automate the loading fivecount thermoformed trays at rates of up to 25 trays per minute. After the operator manually loads thermoformed trays into dual-powered, high-capacity tray magazines, the syringes enter the starwheel infeed via an infeed track that connects to the syringe filling equipment at a rate of 125 syringes per minute. At this point, the starwheel picks syringes and lays them in carriers on the infeed conveyor. From there, 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, will then pick five syringes from the syringe infeed conveyor, load three in the tray, and rotate 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. At the discharge point, the third FANUC robot uses a hybrid vacuum/gripper EOAT to rotate a tray and stack it on the next tray that follows, after which it then picks both trays and places them on a discharge conveyor for downstream inspection and cartoning.