February 17, 2021

EpsonNutecSyringe400x275Epson Robots and NuTec Tooling Systems have announced the development of a syringe coating machine that includes four cleanroom SCARA robots to help provide a precise, efficient, and cost-effective automation solution for a pharmaceutical OEM.

The concept phase of the project started in 2018, and the system was ready for operation in November 2020, Epson said, allowing the OEM to work with government agencies to develop a cost-effective process for manufacturing mass quantities of syringes to use in the fight against COVID-19. The OEM also asked NuTec to develop a new machine to automate syringe manufacturing using a proprietary coating process, which gives plastic syringes properties similar to glass. Historically, the OEM’s competitors produced syringes from glass, which is more costly than plastic. When automated, the process helps reduce costs and makes mass production feasible, Epson said.

“Epson’s high-speed G6-Series SCARA robots with Epson RC+ software enable precision processes with exceptional repeatability assembly pick and place capabilities,” said Brent Martz, director of sales and marketing at NuTec Tooling Systems. “The ease of use and application versatility within the Epson RC+ development environment plus an ISO-3 rating and compliance with cleanroom standards makes them ideal for this project and the medical sector in general, where speed and precision are vital to the manufacturing process.”

Epson SCARA Robot NuTec Syringe Line Within the solution, the first G6 Cleanroom SCARA robot removes syringes from a tub in preparation for the coating process. After the syringes are coated at a rate of 38 parts per minute, they pass through various inspection stations. Next, the syringes are siliconized, temporary caps are changed to final caps, and then an x-ray inspects the syringe before it is added back into a container by a second SCARA robot. A third robot picks up a full container of syringes, applies an inner and outer cover, and seals it before releasing it to the fourth Epson SCARA robot, which applies a label with a laser marker. NuTec said it chose to synchronize the third and fourth robots within the same envelope, reducing a production step and creating greater production efficiency.

“NuTec’s breadth of experience and talented staff help provide customers with a clear vision of custom automation projects,” said Scott Marsic, group product manager at Epson Robots. “Together, we deliver the perfect blend of innovative, high-performance solutions and design expertise for complex assembly applications in the medical sector, including COVID-19.”

More information on the robots can be found at the Epson Robots and NuTec Tooling Systems websites.