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Robotics Case Studies

Suture Needle Winding and Package

Lanco Integrated

Client

A Medical Device Manufacturer that develops and produces devices and medical instruments for global Medical customers.

Application  

Lanco Integrated developed A fully automated process to produce a Suture and Needle assembly and Package. The initial processes developed by Lanco Integrated required a system to produce a complete Surgical Needle and Suture every 4.0 seconds. Sequences included automated feeding of Packaging materials, unique identification and 2D Matrix marking product type.  Automatic feeding of Suture, confirming product type (Length, Diameter and quality). Automatic feeding of Needles with vision guided technology and automatic Suture insertion, Crimp and monitoring of Crimp quality. Automatic transfer of Needle and Winding of Suture in a figure 8 format into Packaging, monitoring position of final tail position and final verification of Product presence and confirmation of Package closure. Automatic transfer of final product to magazines for post processes.

Challenge

The client challenged Lanco Integrated to increase existing production rates, improve OEE and implement current technologies available.  The existing Winding system integrated automated transfer systems to transfer the Needle and Suture from a Lanco pallet transfer system into an X-Y system with coordinated motions to produce the figure 8 Wind format in the packaging.

Execute implementation without increasing footprint of existing systems and integrate with minimal production downtime. Upgrade safety systems to current standards. Align validation requirement to execute efficiently.

Lanco Integrated Solution

Lanco Integrated reviewed existing systems production, quality, downtime and ascertained critical objectives.  These included improved positioning of the Tail position of the Suture.  Minimize transfer motions, improved vision technologies with the current Vision systems available, improve lighting, implemented robotic technology with precision coordinated motions and faster cycle, confirmation of Needle position in packaging and Suture presence.

The developed solution implemented a Scara robot with 4-up tooling. Pallet automatically transfers to position; packaging component presence is confirmed. Tooling captures the Needle and Suture (4) and transfer directly into the Packaging on the pallet.  System confirms presence of the Needle and Suture in the Tooling and final position after Wind.

Outcome

Overall cycle time has been improved by approximately 25%.

Quality and Inspection – 100% inspection is completed for the Suture Presence, Suture Wind Configuration, Tail final position and Needle presence.

OEE – Improved by 10-15%. 

  • Additional mechanical tooling alignment captures Suture Tail.
  • Verification of Tail position prior to vacuum tooling engagement.
  • End of Arm tooling simplified and weight reduction.
  • Process change reduced actuations to transfer Base support.
  • Independent tooling completes transfer of Cover to Base support.
  • Simplified coordinated motions
  • PLC controls includes updated Safety
  • Included Data Collection system which provides OEE and events
  • RFID Badge Access
  • Improved tooling and service access

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