project scope Medical Port Device Assembly Machine

SDC proposed this system as a method to produce, inspect, and package a medical device that was new to the market. Our customer wanted a fully automated machine to assemble this device at a very high speed and with precise accuracy.

The SDC machine needed to be able to de-reel a roll of material, pull off the backing and feed it into the machine. Then, the machine needed to take the parts that are loaded into a hopper and feed them into the machine, apply a finishing treatment and then place them with the proper orientation on the backing material. Cycle time needed to be at least 6 parts per second.

sdc's solution

We started designing this machine while the medical device was in final design which gave us the opportunity to work with the various suppliers and development team to ensure the individual components were designed in a way to make it easier to assembly and package.

Assembly starts with a custom web handling system to feed the backing material into the machine. Drive pins accurately position and a Cognex vision system monitors the feed as it moves through the system.

The injection molded plastic ports are loaded into the machine using two separate vibratory bowl feeders, one on each side of the machine, which load the parts into custom nests that collect and position the parts in groups of eight. The molded ports are then gripped by SDC designed grippers which accurately hold the parts and then transfer the parts across a Corona treatment prior to pressing the group of port onto the material web. Each side of the machine processes 8 parts at a time, 16 parts total.

Once assembly is completed a second Cognex vision system is used to inspect assemblies for accuracy and identify any issues with a very tight tolerance. Following inspection, the web is slit and sheared into sheets of eight parts. At that point sheets picked using a custom vacuum gripper and stacked methodically by a SCARA in the custom packaging system. Within the packaging system the boxes are folded, loaded, sealed, and labeled to produce a product which is ready to be sent to end users.

The resulting system produced by SDC is connected and controlled using a PLC. Additionally, the connected HMI is mounted on a Swing Arm allowing operators flexibility in where the machine is controlled from. Finally, everything is guarded through by hard guarding with ample access points for personnel to access the automated cell as needed. All the access points meet required safety standards to ensure the safety of all personal. The entire system is built on a heavy-duty steel frame designed for this application by SDC.

MACHINE RATE: 6 parts/ second; 1 package produced every 5 seconds

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