Reimagining & Engineering a Robotic Packaging Cell

Machine DesignManufacturing

Problem Statement

An innovative packaging supplier in the healthcare industry came to DISHER for a better system for packaging Tyvek lids. The current packaging cell needed quality and efficiency improvements. A material-handling robot was picking a bundle of lids, placing the bundle in plastic bag, and vacuum sealing the bundle in the bag. The vacuum sealed bundle was then placed in a second bag and vacuum sealed a second time.

A manufacturing engineer talks to a group of people in a meeting

Ideate & Design

Due to bundle variation and lack of a vision system, the process of vacuum sealing the bundle in the cell required reimagining. DISHER facilitated a Whiteboard Wednesday with our client and Subject Matter Experts. Many unique ideas were generated and built upon around a better process. The team decided that operators would inspect the bundle, and the palletizing robot would be removed

The final robot and sealers would continue to be used for the end process, and a chute was incorporated to decrease the cycle time of the robot. A new packaging cell layout was developed by DISHER machine designers and the client’s process engineers to streamline productivity.

Infographic of a medical manufacturing worker at a machine

Build & Verify

DISHER controls engineers reprogrammed the new robotic process to accommodate the single-sealing process with two sealers. The robot positions were programmed dynamically so that a large range of bundle sizes could be packaged through the cell. DISHER also added and optimized recovery functionality to minimize downtime when issues arose.

Outcome of New Process

The quality and efficiency of the packaging cell improved significantly to meet the requirements of our client. Cycle time was reduced from 60 seconds per part to ~25 seconds per part increasing efficiency by 58%. Quality issues were reduced with human interaction, and the new process is currently in validation.

Infographic showing 58% more efficiency and increased quality

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