Pick and Place For the Medical Field
Robotics and automation technology can be applied to any marketplace, but we wanted to draft an article that explains some of the terminology associated with choosing a robot and some applications we’ve seen in the medical field.
What is Pick and Place Robotics
Pick and Place is an important and widely used industrial process in the manufacturing industry. It is a robotic system that is used to quickly and accurately move objects from one location to another.
Pick and Place systems are automated with the help of sensors, cameras, grippers, and controllers that work together to complete the task at hand quickly.
Examples of Pick and Place in the Medical Field
There are multiple implementations of pick and Place in the medical field, and to cover them all would be exhaustive:
Lab Automation – The handling of test tubes between racks, shakers, and carts can be seamlessly automated with the help of machine vision and robotic arms.
Medical Device Assembly: Leveraging cleanroom-certified parts, we can assemble different components to create medical devices ranging from hearing aids to pacemakers.
Pharma Sorting – Sorting, counting, and weighing pharmaceutical supplements have never been easier than with conveyors and specific end-of-arm tooling.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Pick and Place Robot
How dynamic does the robot need to be?
The number of axes and movement of the robot dictates the system’s speed. If you’re picking dozens of pieces off a conveyor, you might want a delta robot instead of a six-axis or a SCARA.
How far does the Robot Need to Reach?
Relatively self-explanatory. If we are working with a SCARA, they have ranges of 225mm to 850mm in reach, depending on the robot and application.
What are the Actions Per Minute (APM) of the robot?
This has to do with the speed and repeatability of the robot. How many units does it need to interact with, and how consistent is the flow of units that merit that speed?
Our Medical Field Pick and Place Starting Points
Omron TM Series
The Omron TM is typically our starting point. It is a fully collaborative robot that ships with machine vision which makes it almost completely out-of-the-box accessible for any lab automation.
The other add-on we typically feature is the Omron Area Scanner, which helps make the device have better proximity control if there are any lab techs nearby who might collaborate with the workspace.
If you would like to read more about Omron’s TM series, click here.
The Omron i4H
The Omron i4H is a top-of-the-line SCARA. This robot has ranged from 650 to 850mm (25.5in to 33.4in) in length with payloads of up to 15kg (33lb.)
This device is not collaborative, so we advise this utilization in mass production and a tight form factor.
However, there are still safety features, such as light curtains, that would create a semi-interfaceable environment.
If you would like to read more about the i4H SCARA, click here.
Where To Begin?
Mechatronic Solutions prides itself on our support and service. We have a team of technical experts on staff to help select the right automation products for your application. If you have any questions or would like to speak with a member of our team, contact us at (763) 447-3407 or fill in the Contact Form.