The application of robots in the pharmaceutical industry

China became the world’s largest robot market in 2013. 2015 saw an increase of 76,000 industrial robots in China, up 36% YoY. The IFR (International Federation of Robotics) predicts China remains the world’s largest robot market in the next 10 to 15 years. With the advent of robotics age, robots will be widely applied in each industry. As automated packaging becomes an inevitable trend, robots will play an increasingly important role as the most competitive automation technology.
The British Barclays Capital forecasts the output value of packaging robot will reach 3 billion dollars by 2020. In the last 5 years, the application of robotics technology to packaging sector has risen to 17.4% from 9.5%. It is learned that intelligent pharmaceutical packaging and improved pharmaceutical traceability system have drawn increasing attention among pharmaceutical packaging firms as the state has imposed stricter stipulations on pharmaceutical safety. Therefore, robots will become greatly helpful in pharmaceutical packaging sector in the future.
Robots play a vital role in pharmaceutical packaging sector. For instance, the growing demand for blister packaging calls for a highly flexible packaging line that can suit different products and packaging forms, in blister packaging machine, it is very common nowadays to adopt robot in feeding systems, such as ampoule, syringe and vial blister feeding, robot are also widely used in blister line for connection between blister machine and cartoning machine thanks to its quick transformation and accurate position.
In addition, more and more manipulators are applied in pharmaceutical industry. In the process of industrial production, manipulator replaces labor-intensive operations and achieves automated production. Manipulator can also work in harmful environments to protect workers from hazards, so it is called “a useful assistant”.
Released by the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, PMMI, the survey report suggests there will be 13% more robots employed in pharmaceutical packaging plants in less than 5 years, and the figure will climb to 40% by 2020.
The robot’s biggest advantage in pharmaceutical sector is “speed”. Compared with workers, robots are 3-4 times as productive as the former and can work round the clock, which enables robots to produce large quantities of products in a short period of time. Moreover, robots are incredibly precise in paper-thin operation, far more than workers are.。
It is learned Merck&Co. has successfully used robots in bottling line to automatically fill allergy medicine. The robot is capable of filling 1200 bottles each second in the bottling line. And what workers are only required to do is to operate the robot skillfully and correctly.
Robots play an irreplaceable role in pharmaceutical packaging sectors. Robots can make many more products in a short period of time and carry out more precise operations than workers do. It is learned FANUC robot came with five new solutions that integrate smart manufacturing and IOT technologies and keep abreast of packaging market trend at the Sino-Pack (China International Exhibition on Packaging Machinery & Materials) recently held.
Thanks to people’s higher living standards and continuous development of pharmaceutical industry, pharmaceutical packaging has drawn increasing attention among pharmaceutical firms, and the quality of pharmaceutical packaging is essential for pharmaceutical safety. As microelectronics, computer, industrial robot, image sensing technology and new materials are widely applied to packaging machinery, smart packaging machine has replaced traditional ones gradually, and pharmaceutical packaging industry will introduce new technology and use packaging equipment that is highly efficient, automated, reliable, flexible and technologically advanced. It is predicted pharmaceutical packaging is expected to become one of the fastest-growing application markets in smart packaging sector in the next few years.

Jornen Machinery