An outstanding example of high-performance handling in medical injection moulding is petri dish production. Current common practice is with production units of 8+8 cavity or 16+16 cavity (base and lid), depending on the diameter of the petri dishes. The most common sizes lie between 35mm and 150mm diameter, with a height of 13mm to 15mm; 120mm x 120mm square dishes are quite common.
The manipulation time (mould open time) of the exhibition system lies currently at around 0.6s, while the total cycle time is less than 4.5s.
For the greatest possible protection of the fragile mouldings made from polystyrene, the petri dishes are not held conventionally, but form-fit received and secured by vacuum. The subsequent assembly is adapted to the cycle time. This post processing consists of the assembly of the base and lid, stacking in buffer magazines, and the packaging in tubular bags.
High performance for multi-cavity pipette tip manipulation
Somewhat different, but no less demanding, is the handling task for pipette tips. Here, the moulded parts are usually arranged in groups of eight cavities in the injection mould. State-of-the-art are moulds with 32 to 64 cavities and cycle times of around 5s. The newly developed, weight optimised, and cleanroom-suitable handling grippers are designed as cavity blocks with integrated vacuum system and photoelectric monitoring. The movement sequence of the HEKI-linear axis can be made with an innovative motion synchronisation over long distances parallel to the cycle sequence of the injection mould. The result is a significant reduction of the moulded part removal and a mould open time of less than 0.45s.
Without loss in cycle time, qualitative non–conformance pipette tips, e.g. not fully injected, can be eliminated in the periphery equipment and replaced with correct parts from a buffer storage. Also post-processing, such as assembly of filter inserts, the assembly in racks, and packaging thereof can be carried out in conformance to the cycle time, always with 100% quality control of all production key stages.
Complete and cleanroom-suitable at a high level
Hekuma automation systems are not only trend-setting in performance, but also in opportunities for flexible adaptation to the specific manufacturing requirements of customers. In addition, for standard products like petri dishes or pipette tips, a comprehensive modular system of testing, processing and manufacturing modules is available.
Specialised systems are exactly tailored to the needs of the customer. Adapted to the product class, all system components are also available in appropriate cleanroom design. Standard automation is implemented according to the EN-ISO Class 8 (DIIN 14644-1)-corresponding class 100,000. Other cleanroom classes are available on request. All design variations have the ease of cleaning design of the enclosure, as well as the production of all sensitive components from anti-corrosive materials in common.
In total, Hekuma provides high-performance automation for all medical consumer goods, which are produced in high volumes. The focus is not only on the production output, but above all on the optimisation of the production quality in the long-term operation.
Hekuma will present corresponding measures and module systems at the K 2010 in hall 10 at stand D40.