Inspection Machine for the CNTO Vial
Case: Our customer, a major Pharmaceutical supplier, was launching a medication. This product would be filled into vials and contained live cells which needed to be inspected and cryogenically frozen within 90 minutes of vials being filled. The products was going to be produced in batched of 5000 vials, and each vial needed to be manually inspected for particulates. Read more
The inspection of each vial was estimated to take an operator between 15 and 30 seconds, which would require up to 24 operators to complete their task within the 90 minute time limit. The challenge was how to distribute the vials to 24 operators within the given time constraint.
Solution: Tri-Power Design (TPD) designed a sophisticated automated conveyor system to distribute the vials, group in “pucks”, to the 24 inspectors and return them to an off-loading robot that would place the vials into dedicated freezing trays. As part of the system, TPD designed and built 24 individual inspection stations with custom MIH’s (Manual Inspection Hood) with integrated HMI’s and bar code readers.
Design Challenges: The vial distribution conveyor needed to be capable of distributing vials on an “on demand” basis because each operator would be allowed to work at their own pace to ensure the best results. This meant that the system needed to anticipate when an operator completed inspecting a current batch of vials and needed another batch. TPD designed the distribution conveyor to handle “pucks” that held 7 vials in a linear array. The quantity of 7 vials and pitch per puck was chosen to match freezing trays which contained 49 vials in a 7 by 7 array that would be used at the end of the line. TPD was able to pick up 7 vials at a time from another manufacture’s machine and load the vials into pucks using a SCARA robot. The pucks would then be circulated around a “racetrack” shaped conveyor and be pushed off onto an accumulating conveyor which feed the individual operator stations. The operators would scan a vial’s barcode, inspect the vial, and then enter a Pass or Fail decision on the HMI screen. Failed vials would be accumulated at the inspection stations. Passed vials would be loaded into a puck and returned to the conveyor and routed to another SCARA robot which would unload the puck and place 7 vials at a time into a freezer tray. When the freezer tray was full, the 49 vials were scanned to ensure that only “passes” vials were in the tray and that the count was correct.
Call 973.227.8214 or email us today to learn more about the Inspection Machine for the CNTO Vial.