The purchasing customer expressed the desire to expand its assembly operations for COVID test kit packaging. This presented an opportunity to automate the packaging line, ensuring a more consistent outcome by accurately regulating variability and improving processes while generating cost savings. The former antiquated process was slower using unpredictable equipment with slow output rates.
OPPORTUNITY & IMPLEMENTATION
The project requirements included the machine being completely autonomous aside from the operator loading parts into the large capacity feeding systems, and emptying the parts reject bins. At its core, the requirements of this project required a part output of 70 parts per minute with minimal rejected parts.
The proposed and final stations include:
Thermoform In-Feed Conveyor- The thermoforms are supplied to the denester station by the thermoform in-feed conveyor.
Tube & Funnel Placer- The tube and funnel placer picks the tube from the tube & funnel indexer and places the parts in the thermoform on the main blister indexer.
Tube Rotate Overview- The tube rotate station makes contact with the tube part, the tube part is rotated until the label is in the proper position.
Cap Placer- The cap picks parts from the cap indexer. The caps are placed into the thermoforms on the main blister indexer.
IFU Placer- The IFU placer picks IFUs (instructions For Use) from the IFU indexer.
Unload/Reject-The EOAT picks and places the good parts into the good parts reject chute. The reject EOAT picks and places rejected parts and places them into the reject chute.
DESIGN FEATURES & SPECIFICATIONS
- Four integrated feeder bowl systems to provide Tube, Funnel, Cap, and IFU parts to the machine.
- Integrated labeling system that places the label on the Tube Part.
- Vacuum heads and EOAT (End of Arm Tooling) pick and place the components from the cap indexers and place them on the main blister indexer.
- The machine features reject and overflow bins positioned on the exterior of the machine.
- Class 3 guard enclosure.
- Output is 72.5 PPM.
- Stack Light Indicators and audible alarms display the current machine state.
- Allen-Bradley 10” PanelView HMI
- The machine HMI uses customary pictures & buttons for control overrides. All machine sequences can be operated in manual mode on the HMI. Current cycle rates and station information is displayed on the main screen display.
Approximate Machine Dimensions: 275”L x 338”W x 117”H
Power Requirements: 480VAC, 3 Phase, 60A
Pneumatic Requirements: 80PSI – 20 SCF