Using Robotics In Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
Automation, including automated inspection and packaging, is becoming an increasingly important part of pharmaceutical manufacturing. The many benefits of automation include efficiency, saving workers from hazardous environments or repetitive tasks, reducing training overhead, eliminating human error, increasing repeatability and reproducibility, and in cleanrooms, removing the potential for human contamination. A study by the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI) found that robots are expected to handle 34% of primary pharmaceutical packaging operations in North America by 2018, compared with 21% in 2013.
The primary advantage in sterile environments is reduction of risk due to environmental contamination and contamination generated from human intervention during component transfer. In addition, productivity is increased because of the accuracy and efficiency of robots, which often perform at increased speeds and produce less scrap.
Automatic inspection, as part of a robotic system, has the advantage of enabling 100% part inspection. Vision-sensing technology can be used in pharmaceutical packaging to verify serialization numbers for compliance with track-and-trace regulations.
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