How Robots are Used in the Pharmaceutical Sector?
The equipment utilized in the manufacturing area is evolving just as quickly as the pharmaceutical sector. Robots are continuously being upgraded with new and cutting-edge capabilities to provide high-quality, contaminant-free medications to the customer rapidly and effectively.
The global Covid-19 pandemic made everyone aware of the pharmaceutical sector's importance. Yes, this industry produced the necessary vaccines in a remarkably short amount of time, saving millions of people from a worldwide pandemic. Robots continue to be one of the most essential technologies of today's pharmaceutical industry due to their several benefits, despite the fact that several next-generation technologies were utilized during the manufacturing of these vaccines.
Strict regulations in the pharmaceutical sector
As medications have a significant impact on the well-being of patients, pharmaceutical manufacturers are responsible for making sure that their products are free from contaminants and made to the highest standards. In light of this, the European Union created Annex 1, a standard for proper manufacturing procedures for pharmaceuticals intended for both human and veterinary usage.
This also holds true for completed dosage forms and active ingredients. In-depth information regarding a Contamination Control Strategy (CCS), which would aid in preventing the contamination of final products, is also mentioned in the new guidance. However, this CCS will be difficult for the sector to apply because it covers a wide range of topics, from the planning and development of equipment and processes to corrective and preventive measures.
In order to strengthen the security of medications from microbial contamination and to guarantee their excellent quality, the guidance also promotes the utilization of robotic systems. The regulation, which is scheduled to take effect on August 25, 2023, is anticipated to considerably raise demand for robots not just in the EU pharmaceutical industry but also globally as the worldwide pharma sector strives to compete with various competitors and areas.
Uses for robots in the industry
Pick and place
This is most likely the pharmaceutical sector's most widely used application worldwide. Robots that have outstanding agility and effectiveness can organize different pharmaceutical items in chaotic surroundings as well as pick up multiple items off conveyor belts and move them into the manufacturing facility or vice versa.
The robotic item picker is dependent on AI and machine vision technology that completely automates complicated picking and placing of a variety of products, including blister packs and boxes, with excellent precision in rapidly changing and unstructured settings. The entire solution can consist of a robot, suction grippers, and exclusive machine vision software.
Packaging is an essential step in the manufacturing procedure that demands preciseness and accuracy, in the event of poor packing, drugs kept in blister packs may be harmed or medicines placed inside vials, bottles, or pouches may spill. Robots can assist here by automating the tedious chore of refilling and capping pharmaceutical bottles and vials, freeing up factory workers to work on more important tasks during the manufacturing procedure. Furthermore, every bottle or vial is precisely filled and sealed at a considerably faster rate.
Secondary and end-of-line packaging
Robots are also employed for secondary packaging, such as the packing of paperboard boxes, cardboard boxes, or other containers with the main packaging of medications in blisters or vials. It serves as an external barrier of defense and aids in maintaining the security of the drugs. Robots may also be used for case packing, palletizing, and de-palletizing, which are all forms of end-of-line packaging.
The method of verification is significant in the pharmaceutical sector. If the recall of the drugs by the company is not handled appropriately, it could result in a loss of image along with financial resources. This job is given to robots to automate the process and maintain regularity, ensuring that patients receive high-quality medications that are free from errors.
Robots perform an important function in the production area, and the pharmaceutical sector needs to embrace this technology if it wants to create safe, high-quality pharmaceuticals effectively and with no contaminants in less amount of time.
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