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Application Note: Machine Tending for Medical Device Manufacturer

Cross Automation Improves Efficiency for Medical Device Manufacturer

The Application

A medical device manufacturer needed help automating a machine tending process. They needed to load medical devices one at a time from a part presentation tray into a Trumpf laser etching machine. Once the machine etched a number onto the medical device the operator or a robot would need to remove the device and load a new one. The customer had three laser machines performing this task of which two were automated with robots and one was still manually loaded by human operators. Because of contractual obligations as well as difficulty in finding and keeping skilled labor, they decided to add four more lasers and have Cross Company automate the four lasers with machine tending solutions utilizing Universal Robots to meet demand.

The Solution

In order to automate this process, the team at Cross designed a machine tending solution that utilized a UR5 robot mounted to a base where the platters of medical devices were to be placed. The arm itself had a Schunk PGN-64 dual-gripper end of arm tool so it could hold more than one medical device at a time. The robot itself was designed to communicate with the Trumpf laser etching machine so it would know when a part was ready to be removed from the etcher. This system was duplicated for all four machines. Each tray of medical devices takes about four hours to complete. By automating the process they could actually run one extra tray at the end of the day which significantly increased their throughput.

Case Study: Highland Brewing 11
Case Study: Highland Brewing 12

Tangible Value

By automating this process the customer was able to dramatically improve efficiency by both reducing the need for manual labor as well as increasing throughput. Based on the cost of burdened labor alone, we estimate a positive ROI in roughly one year for the customer with significant cumulative returns for years to come.

If you have a machine tending process that you would like to automate, contact us today. Our team of automation experts can help you develop a solution. We will also put together an ROI for the project so you can feel confident in your decision to automate.

See how our precision measurement team can help improve quality, increase efficiency, and reduce risk.

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