Fully automated production line for disposable syringes
Adhesive-Free Production of Disposable Syringes
In a fully automated production line for disposable syringes to be exhibited at Medtec in Stuttgart, Germany, Zahoransky Formenbau GmbH, based in Freiburg, Germany, will be demonstrating a newly developed system that separates out up to 400 magazine-fed needles per minute. The gripper of a linear robot driven by a servo motor picks up the needles from a carrier plate on which they are already correctly positioned for the mold inserts and places them in the injection mold.
There they are overmolded with a high-quality engineering plastic (COC, cyclic olefin copolymer) via a hot runner system with needle valve nozzles (manufacturer: Ewikon) on an Engel Emotion 200-100T injection molding machine in cleanroom specification. The cavity inserts are heated for this purpose, while the rest of the mold is cooled normally. To minimize energy losses and rapidly establish thermal equilibrium in the machine, the inserts are thermally isolated from the mold. This adhesive-free method of producing disposable cannulas is new, since far more than 95 % of all cannulas are still glued today.
At the same time as the biaxial handling device inserts the needles, a multiple-axis robot removes the injection molded syringe barrels from the fixed mold half. Because the barrel removal step takes place in parallel with the placement of a new set of needles, cycle time is considerably reduced. Laser devices check the needle feed and the overmolded needles for completeness. The finished syringe barrels can then be siliconized in an integrated downstream station to make the needles slide more smoothly. Finally, the products are automatically packed. So particle contamination through human contact is excluded throughout the process chain.
The machine in which the needle separation system (type NFS) is integrated is a joint project between the Zahoransky Group, Austrian machinery maker Engel, and Transcoject GmbH, Neumünster, Germany, a manufacturer of injection cannulas and disposable syringes.
Zahoransky Automation & Molds GmbH
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