Development & Manufacturing of Cap Installation Machine for the Pharmaceutical Industry
Ward Systems designed this automated micro centrifuge tube capping system for a customer in the pharmaceutical industry. High production throughput and the ability to handle multiple tube and cap sizes were critical to machine performance. The ingenuity of our engineering team enabled us to successfully meet both these challenges. In addition to designing quick-change tooling that would easily accommodate 4 tube and 2 cap styles, we devised a unique methodology for screwing the tube into the cap, rather than the cap onto the tube, that enabled production rates in excess of 3,000 pieces per hour.
We designed the machine with a heavy gauge 30" x 60" welded base to minimize footprint and the transmitted vibration from the two vibratory hoppers and bowls, which are used to feed the caps and tubes into an 8 station indexer for assembly, inspection, and good/reject discharge. An extruded framed Lexan enclosure keeps out contaminants, reduces noise and allows safe operation on the factory floor. Doors on the front and back provide easy access for maintenance and changeovers, while a sliding top facilities bulk loading of parts. In addition, this capping system features a series of mechanical push buttons and selector switches for routine operator inputs, and an easy-to-use touchscreen interface that displays machine status and production counts. During installation, we interfaced this system with a customer-supplied bagging machine that would package the capped tubes in lots of 50.
If you would like to learn more about this project, or how our innovative approach to automation can streamline your production operations, contact us today.
Highlights of the Capping Machine Design and Manufacturing Project
- The cap installation machine screws caps onto micro centrifuge tubes at a high rate (3000/hr.).
- Engineering & Design
- Design and Develop Cap Installation Machine
- Recommended Spare Parts List
- Electrical Schematics
- Error Recovery Instructions
- Diagnostics Table
- Maintenance Schedule
- Machine Operation Manual
- Operational & Maintenance Training
- A welded machine base was used to reduce the amount of transmitted vibration from the 2 vibratory bowls and the 2 vibratory hoppers that fed them. The base had a 30" X 60" footprint and had an extruded framed Lexan enclosure. Doors at the front and back of the machine. A sliding top allowed loading of the bulk parts (tubes and caps).
- The machine base and 30"x30" control cabinet at one end were powder coated white.
- An 8 Station Indexer provided the synchronous assembly and inspection of the tubes and caps. Station 1 loaded the tube, Station 2 skipped, Station 3 spun the tube up into the cap, Station 4 inspected the cap, Station 5 was bulk eject(good), Station 6 was bagged eject, Station 7 was bad part eject, Station 8 skipped.
- Tooling: 4 Tube Styles and 2 Cap Styles could be run.
- 3,000 Parts Per Hour
- 20in/lbs. of Torque: ±4 in/lb.
- Bowl Hoppers
- Part Ejectors
- Designed to Allow Quick Changing of Any machine Components Necessary to Allow the Tubes and Caps to Be Run
- Operator Screen Control
- Touch Screen Displays Machine Status and Production Counts
- Mechanical Push Buttons and Selector Switches Are Used Where Routine Operator Inputs are Needed
- Machine interfaced with customer provided bagging machine and indexed bagger every 50 tubes.
|In process testing/inspection performed
|Industry for Use
- This was to package pharmaceutical tubes.
- At the rate of 3000 tubes per hour.
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