LIFE SCIENCES PROJECT

High-Speed Assembly Station for Blood Sample Receptacles

The client  → A leading developer and manufacturer of solutions for blood analysis.

What was developed  →  A fast and highly accurate assembly system for emergency blood test receptacles.

CASE STUDY

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The Challenge

In situations where people are not given the luxury of time, blood test results are required quickly. Our customer has developed an analyser that provides results within minutes.

Such an environment needs to be kept completely clean and defect-free. Automation is key with operator intervention kept at a minimum in order to respect the conditions of the samples and their respective containers. Each container may vary by the smallest measurements, in order to properly distinguish the type of sample that is required. A station was requested by the customer to assemble and verify these containers so that each one is built to the exact measurement, completely clear imperfections.

Number of Receptacles Assembled Simultaneously

%

Assembly Efficiency Requirement

Seconds to Complete a Full Cycle

Operator Intervention

The Solution

A fully automated chamber was designed to first assemble the receptacle or “jacket” which consist of 3 parts, the plastic container, a plastic-like ring that must be placed within a specific depth and a thin piece of membrane allowing for different levels of stretch-ability. The jacket is very small and requires extreme precision for component placement. Once the parameters are entered, the jacket is then assembled, glued and verified, using vision inspection to ensure zero defects.

Every step of the assembly is performed using a robotic arm, which carries the receptacles, 8 at a time, throughout the clean-room chamber. These components are transferred between the different stages of assembly and verification. The station scraps any defective components and sorts them by reason for failure. The entire process takes 10 seconds to complete, providing 100% flawless results.

Results & Benefits

  • Fast cycle time for multiple units to be assembled simultaneously.
  • Fully automated with zero operator intervention.
  • Each receptacle remains dirt and particle free, including any defect invisible to the human eye.
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