Concept: American automation solutions developer NuTec Tooling Systems (NuTec) and Japanese electronics company Epson Robots have created a syringe coating machine to automate the final assembly of the syringes for OEMs. The partnership aims to formulate a process to coat the inside of a plastic syringe to give it a glass-like finish.

Nature of Disruption: NuTec has integrated four Epson G6 CleanRoom SCARA robots within the machine to provide OEM clients with an automated syringe assembly process. The SCARA robots are present across different stations within the NuTec syringe coating machine. Incorporated with the Epson RC+ software, the robots facilitate precision process along with pick and place capabilities with repeatability. The first robot removes the syringes from a tub to prepare them for the coating process. The syringes move through several inspection stations after they are coated. Subsequently, the syringes are siliconized, wherein temporary caps are replaced with permanent ones, and X-ray inspected before adding back to the container by the second SCARA robot. The third robot picks up the container to apply an inner and outer cover and seals it. The fourth Epson SCARA robot puts a label using a laser maker. The third and fourth robots are synchronized together to decrease the production step and increase productivity.

Outlook: Glass syringes are costlier than plastic ones. Therefore, NuTec intends to produce plastic syringes with properties like glass using its automated syringe coating process. The company claims that it can help to reduce production costs and increase the feasibility of mass production across the OEM industry. One of NuTec’s OEM clients has utilized the syringe coating machine to work with government agencies and produce large quantities of syringes for vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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